Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: Fire of Conscience

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    44,282

    Fire of Conscience

    I watched a screener last night - very enjoyable. Reminded me a lot of John Woo's balletic gunplay films, even though it's quite different.
    Fire of Conscience -- Film Review
    9:07 PM PDT 10/14/2010 by Elizabeth Kerr, AP

    HONG KONG -- In a front-runner for the title of loudest film of the year so far, "Fire of Conscience" tackles the heady subject of police corruption at street and institutional levels on the surface, but is really just an old school cops and robbers shoot 'em up most notable for a pair of highly inventive deaths. Director Dante Lam throws in everything but the kitchen sink in a story that somehow works in South Asian arms dealers, a Mainland bomber and drug dealing cop killers. Any real thought about the nature of duty and the law is swept aside for action, action, and more action-which is average for Lam but still superior to most.

    Lam is making a case for himself as the Michael Mann of Hong Kong with his second high octane, noisy bit of law enforcement pornography in as many years. "Fire of Conscience" should attract the same distributors and specialty festivals that 2009's "Sniper" did, but it lacks the earlier film's sense of retro fun. Stars Leon Lai and Richie Jen could generate interest in theatrical release in Asia but the film's prospects beyond that are limited.

    Man (an hirsute Lai) is a garden-variety detective with a dead wife and a penchant for brutalizing suspects. While looking into the murder of a prostitute, he hooks up with former narcotics investigator Kee (Jen), who needs his help finding a petty thug that stole a cell phone from his partner-right before he got pulverized by a car.

    Once he finds the thug it becomes apparent that Kee has his own suspect relations problems, and may not be the force's poster boy everyone thinks he is. Meanwhile, Man's partner Cheung-on becomes a suspect in the prostitute's death and eventually drags Man into a conspiracy to cover up the fact that he saw the woman the night she died. Somehow this all points to a crew of thieves and a Chinese bomb specialist -- whose wife is being held hostage -- with designs on pulling off an evidence van heist in the middle of the day in crowded, downtown Hong Kong.

    That's the tip of the narrative iceberg and everything else strains credibility; hard as it may be to believe, the convoluted story does clarify itself by the final reel. But Lam and writer Jack Ng heap more misfortune on its leads than is probably necessary and draw attention away from "Fire's" strongest elements, which are the gunplay and Jen as the heavy. We learn Man's wife was murdered-before a uterine tumor could kill her. At one point his higher-ups tell Man he's suspended, but he goes out and solves a crime anyway (natch) without any consequences. Man thinks his department has a mole, but it's never explained who it is or how they find him. Why Kee's fiancee is even there is a mystery. She contributes about as much as a houseplant.

    Jen is quickly becoming Hong Kong's go-to guy for ambiguous heroes after breaking into the industry as a romantic comedy lead and it turns out he's Lam's greatest asset. While far from nuanced, Jen manages to infuse Kee with some of the shadiness of the film's visuals. "Fire of Conscience" is technically strong (and did we mention loud?) and its saturated, garishly hued images add a certain gritty finish that gives the unsavory story a suitably skeevy tone.

    Venue: Hong Kong International Film Festival Filmart/Gala
    Sales: Media Asia Distribution
    Production company: Visual Capture
    Cast: Leon Lai, Richie Jen, Wang Baoqiang, Liu Kai-chi, Wilfred Lau, Charles Ying, Vivian Hsu
    Director: Dante Lam
    Screenwriter: Jack Ng
    Executive producer: John Chong
    Producer: Candy Leung, Dante Lam
    Director of photography: Charlie Lam, Tse Chung To
    Production designer: Alfred Yau
    Music: Henry Lai
    Editor: Chan Kei-hop
    No rating, running time -- 104 minutes
    More to come...
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    44,282

    New sweepstakes!

    Enter to win Fire of Conscience on DVD! Contest ends 6:00 p.m. PST on 10/20/2011. Good luck everyone!
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    44,282

    A full review

    This sweepstakes question is turning out to be rather challenging. We've had several entries, but not enough correct answers, so I'll drop a full review for y'all with the answer embedded within.

    In the tradition of John Woo, Fire of Conscience is a gritty dirty cop drama, a real postcard of modern Hong Kong with some top-shelf ultravi. The opening scene was brilliant - totally hooked me in. It got a little overly melodramatic, which slowed things down in the middle. Then I got lost in the plot twists for a bit, until a lot of characters were killed off, narrowing it down. Then it made sense. The actors weren't overly impressive, but the action is great - nice gun play, swirling city scenes, HK neon colour schemes, visually very engaging. No sword fights but enough full auto, grenade blasts and brutal stabbings to make up for that. Two pregnant women in peril. Two! This film is titled Fire Dragon in Chinese. It's a much better title as it relates to the characters and what happens. About half way through, I had forgotten that Chan Koon Tai was a main reason I was watching this and started to get skeptical about my source saying he was in this. But he has a great cameo - totally steals the scene like the seasoned veteran that he is - towards the latter third or fourth of the film.

    This film is about nicotine, hard liquor, bullets and grenades.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    44,282

    Our winners are announced

    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •