A Better Tomorrow 2018

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A Better Tomorrow 2018
A Better Tomorrow - 英雄本色2018.jpg
Film poster
Directed byDing Sheng
Produced by
  • Zhang Miao
  • Lu Qian
  • Joe Tam
  • Chen Wei
Screenplay by
Story byJia Zhijie
Music by
  • Lao Zi
  • Dou Peng
CinematographyDing Yu
Edited byDing Sheng
  • Beijing Jingxi Culture & Tourism Co., Ltd.
  • Chongqing Shuimu Chengde Capital L.P.
  • Beijing Sparkle Roll Media Corporation
  • CoolBoy (Shanghai) Culture Communication Co., Ltd.
Distributed by
  • Beijing Jingxi Tourism Development Co. Ltd.
  • Huoerguosi Enlight Media
Release date
  • January 18, 2018 (2018-01-18) (China)
Running time
114 minutes
Box office$9.3 million (China)

A Better Tomorrow 2018 (Chinese: 英雄本色2018), is a Chinese action film directed by Ding Sheng, starring Wang Kai, Ma Tianyu, Wang Talu, Yu Ailei, Lam Suet and Wu Yue. In this remake of John Woo’s 1986 classic, director Ding Sheng delivers a similar story but with a different setting. Filming took place in a seaside location in the Northern Chinese city of Qingdao, and Japan.

The film was invited to be the closing film at the CinemAsia Film Festival in Netherlands on March 11, 2018. Also, the film had screenings at Osaka Asian Film Festival in Japan, Newcastle International Film Festival in United Kingdom, and Far East Film Festival in Italy.

A Better Tomorrow 2018 premiered in China on January 18, 2018.


Zhou Kai (Wang Kai) heads a smuggling ring that ships goods from a coastal Chinese city to Japan. He has a younger brother, idealistic rookie cop Zhou Chao (Ma Tianyu), who knows nothing about his shady dealings. When Kai’s refusal to turn to narcotics creates a rift in the team, the insidious Rubberband sets Kai up on a deal that ends with his arrest. Three years later, Kai is released from prison and tries to live a quiet, humble life with his former partner-in-crime, Mark (Wang Talu). However, the unforgiving eyes of his brother and society at large stop him at every step. When Kai’s former criminal associates force Kai to return to the game, Kai, Mark and Chao are put on a collision path that will end in violence.


  • Wang Kai as Zhou Kai, a member of a smuggling ring who got framed by his own partners and sent to prison. After doing his time, he seeks to live a straight life, but dangers from his past keep haunting him.
  • Ma Tianyu as Zhou Chao, a police officer who has great respect for his older brother Chou Kai, though he never knew of his life in crime.
  • Wang Talu as Ma Ke, a member of a smuggling group and Kai's trusty right-hand man. A simple-minded, passionate and loyal sworn brother.
  • Yu Ailei as Cang, the son of Boss Ha.
  • Lam Suet as Ha, the boss of a smuggling group.
  • Wu Yue as Pi Jin, a member of a smuggling group.
  • Li Mincheng as Guo Dui, drug-squad chief.
  • Li Meng as Mei Lin, Zhou Kai's girl friend.
  • Zhang Yishang as Lu Lu, Zhou Chao's girl friend.
  • Yûta Nakano as Okamura, the Japanese Yakuza boss.
  • Shi Liang as Zhou Kai and Zhou Chou's father.
  • Jiang Peiyao as Yang Yang, Ma Ke's girl friend.
  • Han Han as the car driver.
  • Ning Hao as the drinker in Old Ma Bar.
  • Eric Tsang as the prisoner D8145.
  • Guo Xiaoran as the boat captain.
  • Song Ge as Song, the police chief.
  • Brian Huang as Ma Ke's Taiwanese friend.
  • Ding Sheng as the taxi driver.


The film score was written and composed by Lao Zi and Dou Peng, and performed by China National Symphony Orchestra and International Master Philharmonic Orchestra.[1]


The film premiered in China on January 18, 2018. The following are the released date for each region. [2][3][4]

Released Date Region Title Distributor(s)
January 18, 2018 (2018-01-18) China 英雄本色 2018 Beijing Jingxi Tourism Development Co. Ltd.
Huoerguosi Enlight Media[5][6]
January 18, 2018 (2018-01-18) Singapore A Better Tomorrow 2018 Clover Films
January 19, 2018 (2018-01-19) Canada A Better Tomorrow 2018 Asia Releasing
H Collective
January 19, 2018 (2018-01-19) United States A Better Tomorrow 2018 Asia Releasing
H Collective
January 25, 2018 (2018-01-25) Australia A Better Tomorrow 2018 China Lion Film Distribution
January 25, 2018 (2018-01-25) New Zealand A Better Tomorrow 2018 China Lion Film Distribution
January 26, 2018 (2018-01-26) Vietnam Bản Sắc Anh Hùng 2018 Beta Media
January 31, 2018 (2018-01-31) Philippines A Better Tomorrow 2018 ABS-CBN Film Productions
February 1, 2018 (2018-02-01) Fiji A Better Tomorrow 2018 Asia Releasing
H Collective
February 1, 2018 (2018-02-01) Hong Kong 英雄本色 2018 China 3D Digital Distribution
February 28, 2018 (2018-02-28) Taiwan 英雄本色 2018 Deepjoy Picture
March 22, 2018 (2018-03-22) South Korea 영웅본색 4 Kidarient Corp.
April 19, 2018 (2018-04-19) Thailand โหดเลวดี 2018 Hollywood (Thailand) Co., LTD.

The following are the released date for each festival.

Released Date Region Festival Title Note Ref(s)
March 10, 2018 (2018-03-10) Japan Osaka Asian Film Festival 男たちの挽歌 2018 Special Screening [7]
March 11, 2018 (2018-03-11) Netherlands CinemAsia Film Festival A Better Tomorrow 2018 European Premiere
Closing Film
March 31, 2018 (2018-03-31) United Kingdom Newcastle International Film Festival A Better Tomorrow UK Premiere [9][10][11]
April 24, 2018 (2018-04-24) Italy Far East Film Festival A Better Tomorrow 2018 Italian Premiere [12][13]

Home media[edit]

A Better Tomorrow 2018 with Chinese subtitle was released on Digital HD on March 2, 2018, and A Better Tomorrow 2018 with English subtitle was released on Blu-ray and DVD on March 29, 2018.[14][15]


Box office[edit]

A Better Tomorrow 2018 grossed $9.3 million in China.[16] It made $7.5 million in its opening weekend.

Critical response[edit]

A Better Tomorrow 2018 received mixed reviews.

Idarklight of Cfensi, in her positive review of the film, wrote "From some of the boldest music choices to drastic switches in tone of cinematography to one of the most interesting shootout scenes in a while, A Better Tomorrow 2018 felt like a firework so bursting with life that it left me too busy savoring every minute details of brilliance to think about its flaws. You can just feel how much love and thought director Ding Sheng and the cast put into every scene. Even all the jokes avoid lazy one-liners but instead are all carefully set-up earlier to land perfectly.[17] Pablo A. Tariman of Star Cinema praised the film, wrote "The film delivers as a crime-action flick. The actors give their characters an earthy feel and they remain unscathed all throughout the bloodshed saga."[18]

Conversely, LP Hugo of Asia Film Strike gave the film a negative review, wrote "A solid crime drama on its own terms, A Better Tomorrow 2018 can however not sustain comparison with the original. But despite a wavering tone, some heavy-handed references, it still manages to introduce interesting variations, and benefits from Wang Kai’s charisma."[19] Sean Gilman of MUBI Notebook Column, wrote "There’s nothing especially unusual about a bland, over-edited and undercooked crime movie. And without the A Better Tomorrow connection Ding Sheng’s film would barely be noticed among the sea of mediocrity that is mainstream Mainland cinema."[20]


A Better Tomorrow 2018 received two nominations at the 4th Annual International Jackie Chan Action Movie Week. One is Best Movie Stunt and the other one is Best New Actor In Action for Wang Talu.[21]


  1. ^ "The film credits in "A Better Tomorrow 2018"". Tencent Video. March 2, 2018.
  2. ^ ""A Better Tomorrow 2018" had deals for South Korea and Singapore". The Hollywood Reporter. May 19, 2017.
  3. ^ ""A Better Tomorrow 2018" had deals for Taiwan, India and the Philippines". Variety. September 10, 2017.
  4. ^ ""A Better Tomorrow 2018" had deals for Thailand, Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong". Screen Daily. February 15, 2018.
  5. ^ "Filmmaker Ding Sheng requested distributor to provide record of expenses". China Film Insider. May 3, 2018.
  6. ^ "Filmmaker Ding Sheng and distributor disputed over marketing". China Film Insider. May 11, 2018.
  7. ^ "The special screening for Osaka Asia Film Festival". www.oaff.jp. March 10, 2018.
  8. ^ "The closing film for CinemAsia Film Festival". CinemAsia Film Festival. January 25, 2018.
  9. ^ "The screenings for Newcastle International Film Festival". www.newcastlefestival.co.uk. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  10. ^ "The tickets for Newcastle International Film Festival". www.newcastlefestival.co.uk. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  11. ^ "The Newcastle International Film Festival introduced A Better Tomorrow at Instagram". Instagram. March 27, 2018.
  12. ^ "A Better Tomorrow 2018 at Far East Film Festival". Far East Film Festival. Retrieved May 3, 2018.
  13. ^ "Film Review: A Better Tomorrow 2018 from Italy" (in Italian). www.nonsolocinema.com. Retrieved May 3, 2018.
  14. ^ "A Better Tomorrow 2018 Blu-ray". YesAsia. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  15. ^ "A Better Tomorrow 2018 DVD". YesAsia. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  16. ^ "Box Office in China". www.maoyan.com (in Chinese). Retrieved June 9, 2018.
  17. ^ "Response by Idarklight". cfensi.wordpress.com. January 21, 2018.
  18. ^ "Response by Pablo A. Tariman". Star Cinema. February 3, 2018.
  19. ^ "Response by LP Hugo". www.asianfilmstrike.wordpress.com. January 19, 2018.
  20. ^ "Response by Sean Gilman". MUBI. February 13, 2018.
  21. ^ "The complete list for nomination". www.weibo.com (in Chinese). CCTV6. July 18, 2018.

External links[edit]