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Raging Fire (Well Go USA) Blu-ray Review

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    Ian Jane
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  • Raging Fire (Well Go USA) Blu-ray Review



    Released by: Well Go USA
    Released on: November 23rd, 2021.
    Director: Benny Chan
    Cast: Donnie Yen, Nicholas Tse, Simon Yam
    Year: 2021
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    Raging Fire - Movie Review:

    The final film from the late Benny Chan, who sadly passed away from Cancer last year at the all too young age of fifty eight, 2021's Raging Fire as a cop named Cheung Sung-Bong. Early in the film, he's called into a lunch meeting with some associates who pressure him to make the arrest of a high ranking businessman go away. He refuses, and in retaliation is taken off a case that he's been spearheading on the very day that the Hong Kong Police Department are to make a daring raid and stop a drug dealer named Yau Kong-Ngo (Nicholas Tse), who has ties to Bong's past.

    Not one to take no for an answer, Bong figures out where the raid is taking place and gets there only to learn that Ngo's team have slaughtered the gang of Vietnamese gangsters they were to do business with and killed eight cops in the process. They get away easily, leaving a very distressed Bong in their wake, one of his best friends lying dead nearby.

    From here, the movie turns into a bit of a cat and mouse game between Bong and Ngo. Flashbacks show us why Ngo is the way he is, why he wants to take out as many cops as he can and where his connection to Bong was born. At the same time, Bong fights corruption in the department and uses everything he can to try and track down the deadly criminal mastermind before he can kill again!

    When Raging Fire is an action movie, it fires on all cylinders. Despite the frequent and obvious use of some rather clunky CGI, the fight scenes hit really hard and the action set pieces are tense, exciting and very well-choreographed. At times, you get the impression that Chan is trying to deliver something decidedly old school in the vein of classics like Hardboiled. Raging Fire doesn't quite reach that level of awesomeness, but it gets points for trying and when it's all over, it packs a pretty strong punch. That said, when Raging Fire is working drama, or more accurately overdone melodrama, into its narrative, well, that's the point in the movie you can get up and go to the kitchen to get a beer, because the dramatic moments that are shoehorned into the story don't add much at all. Case in point? Bong's wife is pregnant. We know after only a few minutes after this is revealed that this is in the narrative for one reason and one reason only, and that's to bump up the audience's sympathy for her when she's inevitably kidnapped by the bad guys and held hostage. There's lots of emoting here and it kind of slows things down a bit.

    But the good very definitely outweighs the bad in this film. Yen is in fine form here, punching and kicking and shooting his way through the streets of Hong Kong looking every bit the bad ass you'd want the lead in a movie like this to look like. He isn't a young man anymore but he still moves like a champ and his work here is more than solid. Nicholas Tse is even more fun to watch. He's slick and cool but also prone to chewing the scenery when needed, something that he does very well in this picture. Ngo is an absolute scoundrel, but the movie does do a decent enough job of humanizing him and explaining his motives towards the end of the film, giving the finish a bit more punch than it would have had otherwise. Throw in a supporting role from the great Simon Yam and, yeah, this is one that action movie fans should definitely appreciate.

    Raging Fire - Blu-ray Review:

    Well Go USA presents Chasing The Dragon on a 50GB Blu-ray disc, with the feature using 38.5Gbs of space, in an AVC encoded 1080p high definition transfer properly framed at 2.39.1 widescreen and it looks excellent. The digitally shot feature is pristine, just as you'd expect, while fine detail is excellent throughout. There are times where the colors have been intentionally muted to give the film a certain look, but that's part of the picture's aesthetic - otherwise, color reproduction is great. Skin tones look nice and lifelike and there are strong black levels as well. No complaints, the movie looks great on Blu-ray.

    Cantonese and Mandarin options are offered in Dolby Atmos and Dolby TrueHD 7.1 while a dubbed English option is offered in DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio with removable subtitles offered up in English and Chinese. For review purposes, the movie was watched with the Cantonese Atmos mix, and it's quite strong. The action scenes make the most of the surround channels while there's decent LFE action present throughout. The score sounds strong without burying the performers while dialogue remains nicely balanced.

    There are two quick behind the scenes bits here, the first running two minutes and the second just over a minute. Each one is a montage set to music that shows off some of the effects work and what it was like on set.

    The two minute Donnie Yen Commentary piece isn't a commentary but actually just a quick interview with the film's leading man where he talks very briefly about the film. The two and a half minute Nicholas Tse Commentary is a similar piece with Yen's co-star in front of the camera.

    Finishing up the extras are a teaser and two trailers for the feature, bonus trailers for a few other Well Go USA properties, menus and chapter selection options.

    Raging Fire - The Final Word:

    There isn't much in the way of extras here, but Well Go USA's Blu-ray release of Raging Fire is otherwise a very solid disc. The movie itself is a bit longer than it needs to be but it does offer up plenty of kick-ass action set pieces and some fun performances from its two main leads. Recommended.

    Click on the images below for full sized Raging Fire Blu-ray screen caps!





























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