City on Fire - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

City on Fire Reviews

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½ November 2, 2017
Ko Chow is about to resign from the police force when he is asked to take on one more case. He is to go undercover in a gang that is robbing jewellery stores. He accepts the task and successfully infiltrates the gang. It is a very dangerous mission, not just because the gang might discover his true identity but because many of the police suspect he may well be a criminal.

The movie that inspired Tarantino's superb Reservoir Dogs, and, as it turns out, that's the only possible reason to watch City On Fire. Quite mediocre: random, padded script that only really finds a focus towards the end. Poor direction and performances, resulting in some pretty cringeworthy scenes. The domestic stuff involving Chow Yun Fat, and anything where he is around a woman, is very embarrassing. Hammy acting, by just about everyone concerned, throughout. Don't model your mannerisms on Charlie Chaplin when you're doing drama...

Worst of all, it bares very resemblance to Reservoir Dogs. Only in the last 15 minutes or so can you see where Tarantino got the idea for Reservoir Dogs from, and even then the similarities are only in the broader plot development. Ending is not anywhere near as powerful as Reservoir Dogs and the general tone is not anywhere near as gritty.

Quite poor and not worth watching, even if you are a Reservoir Dogs fan.
April 19, 2017
gripping and compelling
January 10, 2017
Se nota bastante la influencia de esta película sobre varias películas occidentales. Un gran film que dejo bastante escuela.
½ January 20, 2016
2.5 / 5. Often stylish but mired in dated sensibilities, "City on Fire" provides some fun for all of its silliness but is notable to this latecomer only for the ideas that Quentin Tarantino took from it and developed (for his entirely different - and more memorable - film, "Reservoir Dogs"). The perception of women as infantile and hysterical objects of male wish-fulfilment in this film is particularly off-putting and the protagonist (Chow Yun Fat) is essentially a selfish adolescent.
April 13, 2015
Long before there were series.
½ December 17, 2014
Un des premiers Ringo Lam. Sympa mais qui traine un peu.
½ November 8, 2014
Un classique du cinéma HK.
Super Reviewer
June 27, 2014
Inspirational material, cops, and robbers all stem from Ringo Lam's City on Fire.A solidly written story backed with good storytelling gives this 100 minute picture life. Major characters receive much needed buildup along the way, leading to a conclusion with recognizable and familiar segments.Low budget caliber action and sound effects blows through the film from start to end. While some of it tends to be a little over the top, it doesn't feel out of place given the time frame of the film.Chow Yun-Fat is a star. His performance over shadows much of everything else that this film has to offer. Danny Lee proves to be an integral part of the story when the conclusion comes around. Carrie Ng, Roy Cheung, and Yueh Sun complete a package of supporting characters.City on Fire is Hong Kong cops and robbers at a high level with an ending of familiarity.
May 27, 2014
Stunning 80s crime story from Ringo Lam - one of HK's finest directors ever. And yes, by the end you realize this is the story of what happened in Reservoir Dogs before that film begins. Extra cool.

Compared to The Killer and A Better Tomorrow it falls a little short but it's still one of the best HK cop dramas of the 80s.
December 11, 2013
alot like 'resevoir dogs"
½ October 4, 2013
This hong kong crime/action movie that inspired, in a small part, Tarantino's masterpice "Reservoir Dogs", may seem slow at times but the view is nice and exciting, it's also original and does't miss to be cruel and touching.
September 24, 2013
I was so ready to write a long thing about how this isn't at all like Reservoir Dogs... until the last 15 minutes but honestly most of the film is more like The Departed (or Internal Affairs) it's just at the end it's like someone came in and put Reservoir Dogs in on fast forward. Good movie, but RD is better. To all those people who say Reservoir Dogs is a shot-for shot remake, NO it isn't. Quentin Tarantino clearly saw this movie before he made his, but this really does dance the line between remake and inspired by. He needs to come out and admit he's seen and admit I saw this had an idea how to do it the basic story better but instead he keeps saying "I hope to see it one day."
July 30, 2013
Good little Ringo Lamb movie. I can see where Reservoir Dogs borrows from it heavily. This was fun to watch, because I just pretend Chow was Mr. Orange, and the movie kind of worked like a prequel to Reservoir Dogs. Which was fun. The cinematography was especially fun in this. As usual for great Hong Kong crime, the entire film is poetic as hell. The ending is great. Good way to wrap things up. I really enjoyed it. I can't wait to go through Ringo's catalog. Good Concept, Good Execution.
July 22, 2013
Ringo Lam's gives us one of the greatest crime flicks ever made. After forming a friendship with his last undercover target. Cop Chow reluctantly goes back undercover with a gang of jewel thiefs. Cinema at it's very best.
½ June 25, 2013
a little out there, but still good.
½ March 4, 2013
Considered a Hong Kong action classic, but didn't really do it for me. Tarantino lifted a fair bit from this for 'Reservoir Dogs'.
½ January 22, 2013
Pretty damn good. So it is "Reservoir Dogs". It's also Asian. Wait, didn't this happen with "Infernal Affairs"? Actually, I prefer QT's remake.
December 17, 2012
Tää on pitänyt katsoa jo pitkän aikaa koska väitetään että Tarantino Reservoir Dogs on City On Firen SUORA KOPIO. Mikä on kyllä nyt todettu ihan paskapuheeksi. Tunti nelkyt minsaa kestävässä City on Firessä on ehkä n. 5 minuuttia "suoria" yhtäläisyyttä RD:n kanssa. Täysin eri leffa mitä tulee kokonaistyyliin ja juonenkuljetukseen. Kaiken kaikkiin City on fire ei minusta yllä parhaiden honkkareiden tasolle mutta ihan viihdyttävä. Jotenkin ajansyömä tyylillisesti. Surkeasta huumorista ja romantiikkalässystä miinusta.
November 25, 2012
"City on Fire" the first entry in a quartet of director Ringo Lam's "...on Fire" films focuses on the dismal state of Hong Kong, a society overrun by crime and violence. In a radical departure from his perennial role as a member of law enforcement Danny Lee helms a group of jewel thieves who Chow Yun-fat -- a forlorn undercover cop -- has lost himself within. Western audiences often cite this film as the inspiration for "Reservoir Dogs" Quentin Tarantino's 99-minute exercise in male posturing.
October 5, 2012
Bit cheesy but nevertheless a very good crime drama film. Can see why Tarantino was inspired by this. Action sequences were handled quite well. As usual Yun Fat Chow is fantastic in his bad-ass role. Solid film from Hongkong.
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