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Sky on Fire (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

June 1, 2017 by  



Ringo Lam films are known for its action-packed scenes and for popcorn action fans, “Sky on Fire” has plenty of it.  But if you are wanting a comprehensive story to go along with the action, unfortunately the film is hurt by a convoluted story involving too many characters and scenarios.

Images courtesy of © 2016 Skyman Development. All Rights Reserved.


TITLE: Sky on Fire

FILM RELEASE: 2016

DURATION: 100 Minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, 16:9 aspect ratio, Mandarin 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, Subtitles: English

COMPANY: Well Go USA

RATED: Not Rated

RELEASE DATE: June 6, 2017


Directed by Ringo Lam

Written by Ringo Lam

Music by Dave Klotz

Cinematography by Man Lung Choi

Edited by David M. Richardson


Starring:

Hsiao-chuan Chang as Jia

Daniel Wu as Chong Tin-Po

Simon Yam

Amber Kuo as Jane

Zhang Ruoyun as Ziwan

Leon Lai

Ka Tung Kam

Jingchu Zhang as Gao Yu

Fan Guangyao as Wing-cheung


In this driving, non-stop action thriller, the chief security officer at a top-secret medical facility finds himself caught in an explosive battle when a young thief and his accomplices steal a groundbreaking curative medicine. After discovering the true origins of the medicine, the officer must decide whom he can trust to protect the cure from falling into the wrong hands and prevent an all-out war from bringing the city to its knees.

Famous for his dedication to realism and his use of practical effects, Ringo Lam is known as one of the most acclaimed action directors of all time. Now, teaming up with emerging superstar Daniel Wu (AMC s Into the Badlands), Lam s latest opus Sky on Fire promises to take the filmmaker s craft to a whole new level, with operatic gunfights and a twisting plot that will be immediately familiar and immensely satisfying to any fan of Hong Kong action cinema.


Filmmaker Ringo Lam is an action director known for martial art films such as “Full Contact”, “Twin Dragons”, “City on Fire”, “Full Alert” and Jean Claude Van Damme films “Maximum Risk” and “Replicant”.

Creating HK action films throughout the ’80s and ’90s, Lam would explore comedy and darker storyline in the 2000s.  But with his latest action film “Sky on Fire”, Lam makes his return to the hard-hitting action type of films that he is best known for.

The film stars Daniel Wu (“New Police Story”, “One Night in Mongkok”, “Warcraft: The Beginning”),  Hsiao-chuan Chang (“The Laundryman”, “Prince of Tears”, “Girlfriend Boyfriend”), Amber Kuo (“Au revoir Taipei”, “Love”, “Keeper of Darkness”).

In the film we are introduced to several characters. Tingbo (portrayed by Daniel Wu) is a security guard who is mourning his wife’s death from cancer.   We are also introduced to a trucker named Jia (portrayed by Hisago-chuan Chang) who is trying to help his sick sister Jane (portrayed by Amber Kuo) who traveled to Kowloon in hopes for Jane to get experimental stem-cell cancer treatment.

We are then introduced to a character flashback at the company where Tingbo works and see Professor Lee dying in a fire while a his female counterpart, Ko Yu (portrayed by Zhang Yingchu) is devastated by Lee’s death.  We learn that Tingbo works for Tang (portrayed by Fan-kuang Yao), a man who cares about nothing but profit and wants to use Professor Lee’s research to make money from stem-cell to create a mega drug for big profits.

Tang hires rival security guard Wolf (portrayed by Li Haitao) to prevent Professor Lee’s son Ziwan (portrayed by Zhang Ruo Yun) who is seeking revenge against him for the death of his father.

But when Jia and Jane are refused for a meeting for stem-cell research, they steal a lab van with a scientist and Ziwan joins them on a ride.

And Tingbo, is he a man who will support his crooked boss or the people fighting against him?


VIDEO:

“Sky on Fire” is presented in 1080p High Definition (2:35:1 aspect ratio). Featuring close-ups with very good detail, the film looks very good as outdoor scenes are colorful and vibrant. I didn’t notice any major artifacts, banding or issues with picture quality during my viewing of the film.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Sky on Fire” is presented in Mandarin 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. Because the heavy amount of action in this film, the film utilizes the surround channels and LFE very well. Frenetic action throughout the film, “Sky on Fire” has an action-driven lossless soundtrack.

Subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Sky on Fire” comes with no special features but a trailer.


I have enjoyed past Ringo Lam films in the past and while I am thrilled to see the filmmaker’s return for a modern action film, unfortunately this film tries to incorporate a several storylines that involve too many characters and the result, we have a confusing story that is further all over the place due to the film’s action-packed storyline.

I kind of liken the film to a summary film that we see from Asian TV dramas.  As Asian TV dramas will have several episodes, there is sometimes a summary episode which takes bits and pieces from each episode to make one episode to get people caught up.  In this case, “Sky on Fire” feels like we have bits and pieces of people’s lives that we don’t know why certain situations are happening.  This happens to frequently that you may find yourself confused by watching this film.

In some ways, I found the film an ode to older (not so popular) Hong Kong action films with plenty of action and sketchy character development.

Overall, Ringo Lam films are known for its action-packed scenes and for popcorn action fans, “Sky on Fire” has plenty of it.  But if you are wanting a comprehensive story to go along with the action, unfortunately the film is hurt by a convoluted story involving too many characters and scenarios.






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