City on Fire

Critics Consensus

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92%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 12

75%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 6,370
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Movie Info

This tense Hong Kong crime thriller is known best as the film upon which Quentin Tarantino borrowed heavily for his 1992 debut, Reservoir Dogs. Those who criticized the American director for lack of originality have perhaps missed the point. In the highly commercialized, formulaic crime genre of Hong Kong, very few thrillers are truly original, and innovation comes in the form of style, action choreography, and dramatic tension. City on Fire, directed by Ringo Lam, is no exception. The story, told in a more traditional narrative form than Reservoir Dogs, follows Chow Yun-Fat as Ko Chow, an undercover cop who infiltrates a ring of jewel thieves. When a heist goes wrong, Chow is wounded, and tension among the robbers escalates as they begin to suspect a traitor among their ranks.

Cast

Yun-Fat Chow
as Chow Yun Fat
Danny Lee
as Danny Sau Yin Lee
Sun Yueh
as Yeuh Sun
Roy Cheung
as Inspector John Chan
Kong Lau
as Inspector Chow

Critic Reviews for City on Fire

All Critics (12) | Fresh (11) | Rotten (1)

Audience Reviews for City on Fire

  • Jan 12, 2012
    I was thrilled watching Reservoir Dogs so I decided to check out the movie that Quentin Tarantino borrowed heavily from, though not as good, I found it to be a great movie. An undercover cop, played by Chow Yun-Fat, infiltrates a gang of thieves who plan to rob a jewelry store. The story sounds familiar, but Quentin Tarantino doesn't borrow everything from this movie. For example, the bank robbery going bad is actually shown, Chou Yun-Fat character also has a love interest that wants him to commit to her, and Chow Yun-Fat character really wants to quit his job throughout the whole movie. Yet despite these differences, it's not as good as Reservoir Dogs. The story main problem is that Chow Yun-Fat character back story to wanting a marriage with his girlfriend is really not that interesting at all or adds emotional weight to this character from the audience. The good and bad things about this movie also comes from the bank robberies. The first took too long to execute and wasn't all that entertaining and fun. Though the second and last robbery was a little better. Seeing the bank robbery go bad was entertaining in it own right, but the Mexican stand off at the end didn't thrill as much as it should have. City on Fire is like Reservoir Dogs, except it shows the robberies, a marriage back story, and not as captivating performances. City on Fire is a surprisingly good movie despite not being at the same level as Reservoir Dogs as a whole. While I stilled like the movie, I feel that anyone who seen Reservoir Dogs won't be able completely enjoy it in the same level. Still worth checking if you're curious where Reservoir Dogs came from.
    Caesar M Super Reviewer
  • May 13, 2010
    I really enjoyed it, but I do have to mention that I watched the dubbed version, which was a bit strange in a couple parts. I wished I could have had the option of watching it with subtitles but the DVD only had the dubbed version. It's strange how the more films I watch the less respect I have for what I thought were Tarantino's "original" ideas.
    Marion R Super Reviewer
  • Aug 06, 2008
    hmm. i can tell this is a good heist film but it's hard for me to rate fairly as i watched a dubbed version. my bad. it makes everything look cheesy. it seems tarantino worked backward by expanding on the ending and actually created a better film in res dogs
    Stella D Super Reviewer
  • May 05, 2008
    Ringo Lam delivers a dark and gritty crime thriller which shows Chow Yun-Fat in a different light from the traditional John Woo duel gun waving savior. Instead Ringo Lam shows the more human side of Chow Yun-Fat, his fragile relationship with his on-screen girlfriend Carrie Ng and brother like relationship with Danny Lee. Really try and do yourself a favor and put Reservoir Dogs out of your mind as to not compare the two, because City On Fire deserves to be seen on its own terms, and those terms are an amusing, thrilling gangster picture that modern Hollywood can all-too-rarely match. <a href="http://s273.photobucket.com/albums/jj203/goji9000/?action=view¤t=city03.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i273.photobucket.com/albums/jj203/goji9000/city03.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>
    El Hombre I Super Reviewer

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