My submission is a video essay exploring the male melodrama within the context of cinematic excess in the films by Hong Kong director John Woo. Looking specifically at his films starring Chow Yun-fat – A Better Tomorrow (1986), The Killer (1989) and Hard Boiled (1992), this essay illustrates Woo’s excessive visual style and its roots in melodrama. The video essay allows the main features of melodrama presented by W. S. Dye (1919) to be investigated visually in John Woo’s films, with relevant clips playing as part of the analysis. While John Woo’s films from the 1980s and 90s may seem too distinctive from an analysis of melodrama from the 1920s, the features discussed in Dye’s work such as pathos, overwrought emotion, sensationalism etc. can all be found in Woo’s filmography. Woo’s films are extraordinary in that they bridge all these different elements as well as take inspiration from traditional Hong Kong cinematic styles, influencing a whole new chapter in Hong Kong action cinema.