Gaam yuk fung wan (Prison on Fire) (1987)
Ringo Lam delivers this two-fisted gritty thriller written by his brother Nam Yin. Timid Lo Ka-yiu (Tony Leung Kar-fai) is thrown in the clink for a three-year stint after being convicted of manslaughter. Possessing none of the requisite instincts to survive in a maximum-security prison, Lo looks like he's going to be easy prey. Yet before you can say, "You dropped the soap," he befriends Chung (Chow Yun-fat) a charismatic con who has charmed every prison guard except security chief Hung (Roy Cheung), a psychotic whose brutalized visage inspired the moniker "Scarface." When Lo snitches on crime boss Micky, the don conspires with Scarface to rub out weedy stool pigeon. When Chung stands up for Lo and tells the warden of Scarface's nefarious acts, Micky gets transferred to another prison and Hung vows revenge. Later, Micky and Scarface frame Chung for a prison protest. Pushed to his psychological limits after days of torture, Chung soon is out for blood. ~ Jonathan Crow, Rovi … More
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Critic Reviews for Gaam yuk fung wan (Prison on Fire)
Audience Reviews for Gaam yuk fung wan (Prison on Fire)
One of the signature movies of Hong Kong cinema from the 80s, Ringo Lam's precise direction hooks you from the very beginning. Good pacing and a great cast. There are no impossible escapes here, this is a story of loyalty and brotherhood. Essential view.More
A lot of people are scared of getting killed, but for a while it seems the main dangers are explosions of chaotic fights and police brutality, allowing for Chow Yun Fat to use comic relief. Then, you realize that people's backs can be slammed against any hard-cornered thing in sight and it makes hand-to-hand fighting seem unromantic. Great camera angles and editing around men in file.More
This Hong Kong crime-drama prison movie is pretty powerful and believable depiction of the state of prisons in Hong Kong and how much power the triad members have there.
The cast is very good in this movie and it includes Roy Cheung as the violent warden "Scarface" and Roy can also be found as a triad leader in School on Fire and a cop in City on Fire. The characters, especially Chow Yun-Fat's and Tony Leung Ka-Fai's, seem to develop little too fast as their dramatic decisions and actions are not as carefully explained and introduced as possible. I mean the scenes like "the suicide attempt" and the angry and almost comical face expression Chow gives to "Scarface" at one point; they show that these men really can act (and they can) but these kind of actions should be little more restrained and explained, but still Chow's character is here much better than in City on Fire which suffers a lot from the weak character of Chow's.
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