With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013
With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

FIRESTORM available on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital today, September 23

Well Go USA
Firestorm / Fung bou
Written and Directed by Alan Yuen
Starring Andy Lau
Hong Kong/China, 2013, 109 minutes

Tagline: A citywide outbreak

Firestorm is an  action-packed crime thriller that is now available on Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital from Well Go USA Entertainment. This review is based on the Blu-ray release.

As a severe storm approaches Hong Kong, an audacious and ruthless gang of criminals perpetrate a series of armed robberies. Just how audacious are they? Well, I'd say their using a huge crane to hook a moving armored car is way up there on the list. And as for ruthless, let's just say that they have no qualms about letting loose with fusillades of gunfire on public streets, totally indifferent as to whether they're killing and injuring civilians or police officers.

The forces of the law are led by Police Inspector Lui (Andy Lau, who also co-produced the film). He's a by-the-books kind of officer, but he increasingly turns to extra-legal and morally questionable actions to kill or capture the criminals.His frustrations are complicated by the cops under his command, whom he describes as being "drunks, divorced or gamblers."

The fine cast also includes:
- Michael Wong (Triple Tap)
- Ray Lui Leung-Wai (Transformers: Age of Extinction)
- Ka Tung Lam (Drug War, Ip Man)
- Jun Hu (Bodyguards & Assassins)
- Chen Yao (Caught in the Web)
- Vincent Sze (Vengeance)
- Chi-yin Wong (Life Without Principle)
- Shing-Ban Lam (Young and Dangerous: Reloaded).

Disc Stats:
- Cantonese 5.1 DTS HDMA
- Cantonese 2.0 Stereo
- English
- Off
Bonus Materials
- “The Making of Firestorm” which includes very good mini-featurettes on:
   - Andy Lau
   - Yao Chen
   - Lam Ka Tung
   - The Criminals
   - Action Choreography
   - Action Scenes
   - Visual and Special Effects
   - Crossfire Scene
- Firestorm Trailer
- Trailers for three other Well Go USA offerings

Firestorm had its New York Premiere at the New York Asian Film Festival this past July, where it was shown in its original 3D format as Firestorm 3D. Regretfully, it was one of numerous screenings that I would have liked to have seen, but couldn't make. So I can't comment on how the film looks in 3D, but some of the scenes were clearly shot with the intention to have maximum impact in that format. In any case, the film doesn't seem to suffer at all in 2D. It looks quite fine, as far as I'm concerned.

If, like me, you're a big fan of the street shootout in Michael Mann's Heat (1995), or if you just like your action film filled with several balls-to-the-wall action sequences, you will absolutely love Firestorm.

AsianCineFest rating: 3.5 out of 4 stars, very highly recommended.

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