The idea that Asian Americans are a model minority in America is a long-standing myth based on the conventional wisdom that all Asian Americans are successful. According to Jao, on the one hand, “Better Luck Tomorrow” supports the Model Minority Myth; on the other hand, it destroys it. It would be correct to say that this film challenges the Model Minority Myth. In particular, the film interacts with the idea of a model minority through the characterization of Ben and Steve. Students realize their minority model stereotypes during the day but completely contradict them with criminal activities.
The film breaks the stereotype of the exemplary minority through the violence that Ben and Steve do, even to their own family, and through the sexual rivalry provoked by the characters of Ben and Steve. Throughout the film, Ben challenges the status of a model minority with no respect for academic integrity. Steve, on the other hand, is an exemplary minority. He has a good family, fancy cars, and a specific place in the ivy league, but he is still unhappy and wants more from his life. Thus, director Justin Lin in this film takes the idea of a model minority and destroys it by taking a group of highly successful Asian American students and turning them into criminals.