City on Fire (1987 film)
|City on Fire|
Hong Kong theatrical poster
|Directed by||Ringo Lam|
|Written by||Ringo Lam|
|Music by||Teddy Robin Kwan|
|Edited by||Wong Ming-Lam|
|Distributed by||Cinema City & Films Co. (Hong Kong)|
|Box office||HK$ 19,723,505|
City on Fire (simplified Chinese: 龙虎风云; traditional Chinese: 龍虎風雲; pinyin: Lóng hǔ fēng yún) is a 1987 Hong Kong crime film written, produced and directed by Ringo Lam, and starring Chow Yun-fat, Danny Lee and Sun Yueh. Following A Better Tomorrow (1986), it helped establish Chow's popularity as an action star in Asia, and to a lesser degree, North America.
After the death of a fellow cop (Elvis Tsui), Ko Chow (Chow Yun Fat) is sent undercover by his superior Inspector Lau (Sun Yueh) to infiltrate a syndicate responsible for a brutal jewelry robbery, led by their leader, Fu (Danny Lee). However, after gaining the confidence of the men he is supposed to be taking down, Ko Chow forms an unlikely friendship with Fu. Meanwhile, due to Ko Chow’s newfound association with the syndicate, he finds himself pursued by the police sent by Inspector John (Roy Cheung), who are unaware of his true identity. Disillusioned by the position he is in, Ko Chow’s personal ethics are put to the test, leaving him torn between his loyalty to his new friend, and his duty to bring the criminals to justice.
- Chow Yun-fat as Ko Chow
- Danny Lee Sau-yin as Fu
- Sun Yueh as Inspector Lau / Uncle Kung
- Carrie Ng as Hung
- Roy Cheung as Inspector John Chan
- Maria Cordero as Lounge Singer
- Fong Yau as Chow Nam
- Victor Hon as Bill
- Kong Lau as Inspector Chow
- Elvis Tsui as Chan Kam-wah
- Tommy Wong Kwong-Leung as Kwong
- Cheng Mang-Ha as Ko Chow's Grandmother
- Parkman Wong as Detective
- Jessica Chow as Lily
- Ringo Lam as Ko Chow's Contract
- Joe Chu as Joe
- Chan Chi-fai as Big Song
- William Ko Ka-kui as Nightclub Boss
Filming began in Hong Kong in 1985 and concluded around the Christmas season.
City on Fire is Ringo Lam's most celebrated work. The film has been critically acclaimed, holding a 91% "fresh" rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
Quentin Tarantino's 1992 film Reservoir Dogs includes several similar key plot elements and scenes, most notably the famous Mexican standoff near the end of the film. After critic Jeffrey Dawson noted "in jest, similar elements" in Empire, other publications including Film Threat promoted the observation, and a Michigan film student created a 1995 short film, Who Do You Think You're Fooling?, which mixed dialog and visuals from both movies to demonstrate the similarities. In addition to Reservoir Dogs, critic Matt McAllister notes that one "can equally see the influence of City On Fire - and similar Hong Kong cops-and-robbers movies - on many other Hollywood 'undercover cop' movies such as Point Break."
Chow Yun-Fat and Danny Lee faced a role-reversal two years later when, in John Woo's The Killer, Chow plays a hitman who bonds with Lee, this time appearing as the cop.
- ↑ City on Fire at HKMDB
- ↑ City on Fire at chinesemov.com
- ↑ City on Fire at Rotten Tomatoes
- ↑ "Who Do You Think You're Fooling?", by Mike White YouTube
- ↑ Jeffrey Dawson (1995). Quentin Tarantino: The Cinema of Cool. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 90.
- ↑ McAllister, Matt (26 April 2005). "City On Fire Film Review". Retrieved 29 March 2012.
- City on Fire at the Internet Movie Database
- City on Fire at AllMovie
- City on Fire at Rotten Tomatoes
- An article by Ron Lim on the similarities between City on Fire and Reservoir Dogs
- A review from hkfilm.net that also outlines the similarities between both movies.
- Who Do You Think You're Fooling? on YouTube