Better Luck Tomorrow

  • 15
  • Justin Lin (2001)
  • US
  • 95 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
3 out of 5

High-school clich├ęs are explored and often exploded in this slick, well-performed first solo feature from Fast & Furious director Justin Lin. A low-budget, coming-of-age drama, it follows overachieving yet disillusioned Asian-American teens (particularly Parry Shen's Ben), as they start committing scams and minor crimes for kicks, shielded by their perfect grades. Heavily stylised and hyper-kinetic visuals mirror the group's inevitable downward-spiralling experiences, which grow more erratic in line with their increasing loss of moral and physical control. But while these invigorating aesthetics demonstrate Lin's ability to work serious magic with limited funds, they also expose the episodic film's lack of narrative and emotional substance. Ultimately, the darkly comic early scenes that establish the boys' cool credentials are the most appealing, before the progressively souring atmosphere leads the far-fetched events to their excessively subdued and disappointingly open-ended conclusion.

Plot Summary

Crime drama starring Parry Shen as one of a group of high-achieving Asian-American students who spice up the boredom of their lives with cheats and scams. However, the petty misdemeanours soon escalate to more serious, and dangerous, activities.

Cast and crew

Cast

Ben Manibag
Parry Shen
Virgil Hu
Jason J Tobin
Han
Sung Kang
Daric Loo
Roger Fan
Steve Choe
John Cho
Stephanie Vandergosh
Karin Anna Chueung

Crew

Director
Justin Lin

Other Information

Language: 
English
Colour
Certificate 15
Categories
Drama

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