Film Review: Raging Fire

good versus evil

There’s something distinctly unique about Hong Kong action films. A mix of East and West which isn’t replicated anywhere else in the world. Much of this can be attributed to the complex history of the colony. With the territory’s film industry in the middle of a crisis, perpetrated by the Chinese authorities cracking down on freedom of speech, we’re seeing fewer and fewer films making it to European markets every year. Raging Fire is the last film from action-master Benny Chan.

Bong (Donnie Yen) is a long-serving cop who is well respected by colleagues for his abilities to bring criminals to justice and for his incorruptible morals. Now expecting his first child, he’s beginning to reconsider the danger he puts himself in. His past comes back to haunt him when a sting operation is targeted by a mysterious gang, led by Ngo (Nicholas Tse) – a former protégé who was sent to jail thanks to his witness testimony.

Raging Fire is fantastic fun. Donnie Yen, who has always been a great martial art practitioner, is finally beginning to demonstrate just what a fine actor he is. The only downside to Benny Chan’s fitting swansong is that there’s a little bit too much exposition and melodrama, but that aside it’s riveting cinema. The action is beautifully choreographed and some of the stunt work is awe inspiring. The plot itself is fairly standard, but Tse makes a great complex baddie. Raging Fire mixes old school action with clever writing to create a superior Hong Kong actioner.  

Raging Fire is released in UK cinemas from 12 November and on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital on 31 January 2022.

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