Bong, Donnie Yen (“Mulan”, “Enter The Fat Dragon”), is a by the book cop who winds up testifying and sending a bunch of other cops, mostly his friends, to prison.
The leader of this group Ngo, Nicholas Tse (“New Police Story”, “Bodyguards And Assassins”), has taken it upon himself to wage an all out war on the police, mainly by killing them.
When Bong realises who’s involved, as do the rest of his team, it’s a worst case scenario, but these guys are now cop killers, so they go for them.
The film is written and directed by Benny Chan (“Invisible Target”, “New Police Story”), his final film which makes it even harder to be down on, alas it is fair to say it’s rooted firmly in the nineties of Hong Kong genre police action films. Even to the point of Ngo involving Bong’s wife, oh and a bomb, obviously, with a wire-cutting drama.
At over two-hours long Raging Fire is overly long, there are moments of sadness, soaring music, slow, long looks into the distance, that sort of thing.
The trouble is, the actual story is cliched and been done to death, so these moments just serve to slow the whole story down.
As for the action, well it’s few and far between thanks to these slow moments. When it does arrive, it too is cliched. There’s a scene, at the halfway point, a street battle involving the police ‘gang’ and the bad-guys.
Ngo, on a motorbike, manages to avoid every bullet that heads his way, other members of the bad-guys turn up just at the right time, etc, etc, you know the sort of thing I’m talking about.
From the start of Raging Fire you know what’s going to happen, either Bong is going to have to break some rules to get what he wants or the movie will play out showing that doing good is always the ways to go. It’s one of those movies in which the bad guys will manage to kill everyone whilst the police struggle.
Frankly, you’ll be past caring at this point, the film trundles on and on, cliche after cliche, with not enough action to punctuate the slow moments. Oh, and of course, there’s a final hand-to-hand combat scene between our two protagonists.
13th August 2021
THE QUICK SELL
Bong is a righteous cop whose his past comes back to haunt him when his sting operation is attacked by a mysterious group of criminals led by his former protégé.