Movie Details

Firestorm

A crew of seasoned criminals led by the notorious Nam, armed with high-powered weapons, pulls off another smooth and violent armored car heist in broad daylight in a crowded street. Whoever tries to get in their way, they will show no mercy. This puts the police force to shame and humiliation. A hardboiled police inspector hot on the trail of the notorious criminal crew, is determined to put an end to this madness, even if it means crossing his moral boundaries.

Language: Mandarin
Subtitle: NA
Classification: NC16
Release Date: 12 Dec 2013
Genre: Action / Thriller
Running Time: 1 Hour 49 Minutes
Distributor: GOLDEN VILLAGE PICTURES
Cast: Andy Lau, Ray Lui, Hu Jun, Gordon Lam
Director: Alan Yuen
Format: 2D

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Review
Writer: Casey Chong

Writer Ratings:
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Watch this if you liked: "Hit Team" and "Cold War".

As one of the most anticipated Hong Kong movies of the year, "Firestorm" is heavily promoted as Andy Lau's comeback to his serious-cop role since the "Infernal Affairs" trilogy as well as the explosive action sequences shown in the trailers. The hype is mostly real in "Firestorm".

Andy Lau plays Lui, a tough senior police inspector who values integrity in his work ethic. When the police force is humiliated by a gang of seasoned criminals, led by Nam (Hu Jun) during a daring armored car heist on the broad daylight, Lui quickly responded by launching an all-out war against them.

Prior to "Firestorm", director Alan Yuen was primarily known for his screenwriting talent such as the Jackie Chan-starred "New Police Story" and "Rob-B-Hood". But in his rare writing-and-directing combo since "Princess D" in 2002, Yuen proves to be a versatile filmmaker who knows well how to craft a high-octane action thriller that rivaled some of the best action directors in Hong Kong (namely Benny Chan of "The White Storm" fame and Dante Lam of "The Viral Factor" fame).

Speaking of action sequences, Chin Kar-Lok's stunt choreography is top notch. All the action sequences here are exhilaratingly paced that gives the viewers a sense of kinetic aura. The 'all-hell-breaks-loose' gunfight finale at the Central district is easily the best of the bunch. It's an electrifying sequence that deserves a spot as one of the best action designs ever staged in a long while. The only gripe about these otherwise flawless action sequences are the spotty CG effects which almost ruined the visceral impact.

Meanwhile, Alan Yuen's screenplay is compelling if sometimes bumpy. While the twists and turns are admirable in the second half, Yuen seems to be trying too hard to make his plot as complex as possible. A little restraint would have help to balance his heavy-handed plot nicely.

As for the cast, Andy Lau delivers an engaging presence as Lui. Despite already advancing at the age of 52, Lau still has the edgy charisma and physical attributes to handle lots of dangerous stunts. Hu Jun is coolly charismatic as Nam while Gordon Lam gives a solid support as the conflicted To. Other supporting cast is equally substantial as well, including some of the veteran TVB actors (from Kenny Wong to Ray Lui) that appear throughout the movie.

"Firestorm" may have been far from perfect, but the movie is reasonably entertaining enough to satisfy lots of action fans.


Cinema Online, 05 December 2013
   
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Classification
Effective 15 July 2011
G - Suitable for all ages
PG - Suitable for all ages, but parents should provide guidance to their young
PG13 - Suitable for persons aged 13 and above, but parental guidance is advised for children below 13
NC16 - Suitable for persons aged 16 years and above
M18 - Suitable for persons aged 18 years and above
R21 - Restricted to persons aged 21 and above only
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