City on Fire (1987 film)
|City on Fire|
Hong Kong theatrical poster
|Directed by||Ringo Lam|
|Produced by||Karl Maka
|Written by||Ringo Lam|
|Music by||Teddy Robin Kwan|
|Editing by||Wong Ming-Lam|
|Distributed by||Cinema City Film Co. Ltd. (Hong Kong)|
|Running time||98 min.|
|Box office||Hong Kong 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.
Ko Chow (Chow Yun-fat) is an undercover cop who is under pressure from all sides. His boss, Inspector Lau (Sun Yueh), wants him to infiltrate a gang of ruthless jewel thieves; in order to do this he must obtain some handguns; his girlfriend (Carrie Ng) wants him to commit to marriage or she will leave Hong Kong with another lover; and he is being pursued by other cops who are unaware that he is a colleague.
What is more Chow would rather quit the force. He feels guilty about having to betray people who have become his friends, even if they do happen to be killers, drug dealers, loan sharks and protection racketeers: "I do my job, but I betray my friends."
To add to his problems, he begins to bond with Fu (Danny Lee), a member of the gang.
- 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
- Jessica Chau as Lily
- Yeh Fang as Chow Nam
- Victor Hon as Bill
- Kong Lau as Inspector Chow
- Elvis Tsu as Chan Kam-wah
- Wong Kwong-leung as Kwong
Filming began in Hong Kong in 1986 and concluded around November or December, because near the end of the film, Christmas stuff can be seen around town.
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 magazine, 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."
- 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