City on Fire (1987)
Reviewed by: Gaijin84 on 2005-06-18
Summary: Solid Chow Yun Fat film
Probably best known for being a huge influence on Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs, City on Fire is one of Ringo Lam's "Fire" series of films (Prison on Fire, School on Fire, etc.) starring Chow Yun-Fat as an undercover cop in too deep. Yun-Fat plays Ko Chow, who has become disinterested in his job and feels as though he is constantly put in danger because of others mistakes. He infiltrates a gang of robbers, and allies himself with their leader Lee Fu (Danny Lee) by providing them guns for their robberies. During one of their jobs, Lee Fu saves Chow's life, setting up the moral dilemna for Chow between his job and the man he owes his life to. Throw into the mix a tulmultous relationship with his girlfriend, and you have a man ready to snap. The film follows Chow as he not only tries to help the cops bust the gang, but save Lee Fu from the authorities.

City on Fire is a hard movie to criticize, being that it isn't a poorly made or boring film. Unfortunately, there are no great features either, which leads the film to being strictly mediocre. Chow Yun-Fat is solid in his role as Ko Chow, but his supporting cast don't bring enough personality to the film to make you care about Chow's plight. Dannly Lee, as the loyal member of the villains, seems like too nice of a guy to be a criminal and the other henchmen are simply bland thugs who hardly seem menacing. I never really felt as though Chow was in serious trouble, and therefore the side plot of Chow's rocky relationship with his girlfriend Hung (Carrie Ng) becomes more interesting than the undercover operation. A decent film, but there's not enough to make it stand out from the crowd.

Reviewer Score: 6