Raging Fire review: Donnie Yen and Nicholas Tse face off as cop and criminal

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·3-min read
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Raging Fire stars Donnie Yen as Inspector Cheung Shung-bong. (Photo: MM2 Entertainment)
Raging Fire stars Donnie Yen as Inspector Cheung Shung-bong. (Photo: MM2 Entertainment)

Length: 126 minutes
Director: Benny Chan
Cast: Donnie Yen, Nicholas Tse, Jeano Ho
Language: Mandarin with English and Chinese subtitles

In theatres 19 August (Singapore)

3.5 out of 5 stars

With the action scenes directed by Donnie Yen... it is impossible to take your eyes off all the fierce fistfights and combats.

Raging Fire is an action crime film that pits Donnie Yen as Inspector Cheung Shung-bong, known as Bong for short, against Nicholas Tse as Ngo, a former fellow cop who has been forced into a life of crime. Directed by Hong Kong director Benny Chan, who died of cancer in August last year, Raging Fire marks the last movie Chan filmed before his death. Chan was known for directing a number of action films starring Jackie Chan, including Who Am I (1998), New Police Story (2004), and Rob-B-Hood (2006). The rolling credits of Raging Fire also featured a tribute to the late director, showing some of the behind-the-scenes.

Given the experience of director Chan, who emphasised that Raging Fire is all about anger and rage, the film is undoubtedly intense and exciting, and will keep you on the edge of your seat. With the action scenes directed by Donnie Yen, known for starring in martial arts film series Ip Man, it is impossible to take your eyes off all the fierce fistfights and combats.

Even Yen revealed during a promo event in Hong Kong, “The film is a cop thriller with lots of fight action! A lot!” Some scenes may even come across as too gruesome, especially during the grand battle between the two lead actors.

Nicholas Tse plays in a villainous role in Raging Fire. (Photo: MM2 Entertainment)
Nicholas Tse plays a villainous role in Raging Fire. (Photo: MM2 Entertainment)

It is also very refreshing to see Nicholas Tse, who has recently been more active as a chef and a judge in singing competitions, in a villainous role. In fact, the last movie he starred in is Cook Up A Storm (2017), where he played a young talented chef. Tse was able to portray the insanity in Ngo, whose actions were driven by revenge and hatred for all the injustice he was dealt. Furthermore, Raging Fire is probably one of the very few opportunities to see Tse in so much action.

On the other hand, Donnie Yen is once again playing a righteous character, with some resemblance to his iconic character Ip Man. In a scene where he is the lone warrior against a large group of rivals, it is difficult to not remember that famous line in Ip Man: I want to fight 10 men. In a way, Yen’s characters are getting too predictable and monotonous. It would be more interesting to see Yen as a downright evil villain, breaking the hard-as-stone impression of Ip Man that many of us associate with him.

All in all, Raging Fire is 126 minutes worth of explosive action that is bound to entertain and keep your eyes busy.

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