While the movie is a little heavy handed at times, this easily has become one of my favorite Yen vehicles in recent memory
Plot: A seasoned, respected cop goes up against a former friend and protégé who has become his nemesis.
Review: A series of daring heists sends a slew of good cops either to the hospital or to the grave, and one seasoned cop named Bong (Donnie Yen) suspects someone he knows as the leader of the gang of thieves. The suspect is a former protégé of his, a promising former detective and enforcer named Ngo (Nicholas Tse), and their history is complicated: Bong testified against Ngo after witnessing him and several other cops using excessive force to kill a criminal, and while the incident was approved (against regulations) by their superior, Bong took the high road and turned his back on the crooked cops in his department, making him a pariah. After spending time in the slammer, Ngo and his team reemerge to get their revenge on Bong and society in general with their outlandish and bloody robberies. When Bong brings Ngo and a few members of his team in, there’s no proof to pin the crimes on them, but Bong doesn’t slack on his investigation, prompting Ngo to just admit it and force Bong into a brutal showdown.
One of the better Donnie Yen martial arts actioners since the game changing Flash Point, Raging Fire puts Yen at the forefront of a relentless cops and robbers epic in the style of Michael Mann’s Heat. Director Benny Chan (who passed away before this was released) does a pretty fantastic job with the intensity and dramatics, and a no-holds-barred finale in a church does not disappoint. While the movie is a little heavy handed at times, this easily has become one of my favorite Yen vehicles in recent memory, far surpassing fare such as Enter the Fat Dragon, Special I.D., and Kung Fu Killer.
Well Go USA has just released a Blu-ray and a DVD of Raging Fire after a theatrical run earlier this year. The disc comes with a making-of feature, trailers, and an English language track.