This is a police and gangster film released at the end of last year, to be honest, I think it's very average.
The plot is average: two rising stars in the police station, one was played by the higher-ups and spent a few years in prison, and after coming out, he decided to seek revenge; the other transformed into justice and confronted him. It's a very cliché buddy cop film.
Let's talk about the two main actors: Donnie Yen and Nicholas Tse. Donnie Yen seems to love taking on these types of roles, upright and impulsive, powerful, and in the end, he won't lose. And Nicholas Tse, as soon as he appeared, I felt like I've seen him somewhere before, without much thought, I could guess his character's personality and fate. In simple terms, the roles of the two are too stereotypical, and the acting skills of these two big brothers really didn't have any breakthroughs - although I quite like these two stars.
Cliché plot, stereotypical characters, average acting... you can imagine the movie experience.
But what I think is worth mentioning is the director of this film - Chen Wood. His name may not be familiar to many people, but when it comes to the classic films he directed, such as "New Police Story," "The New Shaolin Temple," and "Drug War," I'm sure many people have seen them. And this film "Raging Fire" is his last work - during the filming in 2019, he suddenly felt unwell, and after examination, he was diagnosed with advanced nasopharyngeal cancer and passed away the following year.
His directing style is greatly influenced by John Woo and Johnnie To, and you can see a lot of their shadows in his films. His films also have his own characteristics, which are the exciting police and gangster fight scenes, but in terms of theme exploration, they seem relatively one-sided and not as profound as Johnnie To's films - I think Johnnie To's "Infernal Affairs" series is the pinnacle of this genre in China.
Returning to this film, there are too many familiar settings, too many unreasonable plots, and it feels like Director Chen is still stuck in the era of the turn of the millennium - the plot is not important, as long as it's enjoyable. But the audience nowadays is not easy to please, a movie not only needs to be enjoyable but also needs to be logical, and it's best to criticize society, otherwise, it's considered a bad film. It can still get a rating of over seven on Douban, I feel it's purely supported by nostalgia.
The person is gone, only sighs remain, treating this last work as a nostalgic retro piece is also not a bad idea.