Thursday, August 12, 2021

Raging Fire Review: Donnie Yen Burns Brightly In The Action Packed Final Act

Donnie Yen		 Nicholas Tse	Nicholas Tse		 Jeana Ho	Jeana Ho		 Ray Lui	Ray Lui		 Patrick Tam	Patrick Tam		 Ben Lam	Ben Lam		 Deep Ng	Deep Ng		 Kang Yu	Kang Yu		 Kwok-Keung Cheung	Kwok-Keung Cheung		 Rest of cast listed alphabetically: Singh Hartihan Bitto	Singh Hartihan Bitto	...	Gangster Chris Collins	Chris Collins	...	Sargeant Rock USMC

Release date: August 13, 2021
Running time: 126 minutes
Directed By: Benny Chan
Starring: Donnie Yen (Mulan, the Ip Man franchise), Nicholas Tse (Shaolin, New Police Story), Qin Lan (Story of Yanxi Palace), Lui Leung Wai (Flash Point), Simon Yam (Little Q, Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life), Ben Yuen, Ben Lam (Flash Point, Police Story), Ken Low (Rush Hour), Carlos Chan, Patrick Tam (Master Z, Ip Man 3), Kenny Wong (New Police Story), Deep Ng (Stool Pigeon), Jeana Ho (The Grandmaster, Special Female Force), Angus Yeung, Bruce Tong, Henry Mak (Operation Red Sea), Yu Kang (Ip Man 3), German Cheung (The White Storm 2: Drug Lords), Tony Wu Tsz Tung (Men on the Dragon)

Bong (Donnie Yen) is a highly respected hardline cop with a long history of success on dangerous cases. However, his past unexpectedly comes back to haunt him when a sting operation is attacked by a mysterious group of criminals led by Ngo (Nicholas Tse), his former protégé, a talented former officer who had once respected and admired Bong. However, a terrible mistake three years prior landed him in prison, quickly turning the once rising star into a furious man with a grudge, and the will to destroy everyone who had wronged him—including his former mentor.

Ken Lo	Ken Lo		 Henry Prince Mak	Henry Prince Mak		 Inderjeet Singh	Inderjeet Singh	...	Gangster Yee Tong	Yee Tong		 Tak-Bun Wong	Tak-Bun Wong		 Tony Tsz-Tung Wu	Tony Tsz-Tung Wu		 Simon Yam	Simon Yam
Raging Fire is a mix of strong brutal action and police intrigue.  The movie is a showcase for Donnie Yen and Nicholas Tse as opposites in this fight.  Yen is the uncorruptable officer who will do what it takes to catch the bad guy (within the law), and Tse is the ruthless ex cop who will do whatever it takes to get his revenge.  The movie has a lot of police intrigue but that is buttressed by some great action sequences.  From hand to hand combat, to gunplay, to some great driving sequences, this film will get your blood pumping.  There isn't as much action as I was hoping for, but what is there is brutal and very well done.  The hand to hand combat feels especially violent, with an emphasis on brutality and less on show.  It set a nice tone for this movie and made you really apprecaite these fight sequences.

But the film also has style as well.  As a gritty police procedural, you have some great scenes at night, in the rain, and in the neon.  The movie sets a great tone as Donnie Yen hunts down these former cops and tries to pin this latest crime on them.  And all of this is accompanied by some really good dramatic music.  And although the film does use CG, the effects are overall very well done.  The CG seems to be used to accent and accentuate the action, not simply to replace it.  This makes it blend in much better and it is only noticeable a few times.  Overall, the film is a solid action and police procedural and a great return to form for Donnie Yen.

If there is anything wrong with this film, it is that the story is convoluted and hard to follow, especially at the start.  The movie starts with a bang, but I did not appreciate what was going on at the time.  The film also jumps back and forth in the timeline to fill some in, but I didn't realize this until later.  It made the whole opening quite confusing to follow, but that was cleared up by the fantastic end.  This also leads to some strange emotional scenes as well, because something dramatic will happen and a flashback will occur.  However, since I didn't realize it was a flashback, it made it look like the formerly devastated cops were now joking.  Again, this was all cleared up by the end but until then, it was tough to follow.

Raging Fire is a showcase for Yen and Tse, with fantastic, brutal action, great style, and a police procedural plot that pits these two superstars against each other in a climactic conclusion.

Watch it.

Raging Fire Movie STill
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Raging Fire is available in theaters on August 13, 2021.  For showtimes, click here

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