Film Review: Firestorm

By Pui See Tsang

Firestorm, an action film directed by Alan Yuen and distributed by Edko Films, is about a group of seasoned criminals led by the notorious Nam (Hu Jun). Armed with high-powered weapons, they pull off a violent armored car heist during broad daylight in a crowded street. Unable to stop them, the police force is ashamed and humiliated. A hardboiled senior police inspector, Lui (Andy Lau), is hot on the trails of Nam and his crew, and is determined to put an end to his madness. However, he soon comes face to face with the harsh reality that his strategies are too futile to arrest the armed thieves. The police end up resorting to extreme measures in order to get their job done, and recruit an ex-con snitch named Tou (Lam Ka Tung) to help them.

Following a series of domestic hits including Nightfall and Cold War, Edko Films’ latest offering is an outlandish action flick that stages remarkable scenes of carnage on the streets of Hong Kong. However, the film’s overuse of computer-generated effects and the generic plot and characters makes Firestorm a little superficial. This is a shame, as the film clearly put a lot of efforts in getting the viewer familiar with its setting. Various Hong Kong streets, neighborhoods and landmarks are clearly marked in an attempt to get the viewer interested in the film’s location. Unfortunately, this is overshadowed by its garish visual style, which fails to engage viewers.

Despite its flaws, Firestorm is a remarkable movie that has a lot of good reviews. It is a must-watch if you are a fan of the action genre or Hong Kong movies.

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