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Raging Fire (2021) – English Review

A group of former cops is wreaking havoc in the city and there is just one man who can stop them. His name is Chuck Norris! Except, this Chuck Norris doesn’t have any beard.

Raging Fire was the last movie Benny Chan directed before he sadly died. He was 59 years old, which was way too early. He’s never been one of the best directors. He’s always been mediocre. Some of his movies are entertaining. But you don’t use the word quality and Benny Chan in the same sentence.

The Hong Kong movie industry and especially action movies have been dead for many years. The last nail in the coffin was when they had to adapt to mainland China’s rules to enter their market. When they interfere, nothing good comes out of it.

But even if you can feel the disgusting hand of CCP in this movie, the script is total shit! The characters are a bunch of cardboard cutouts, and they are all soulless. This is a typical movie where you don’t care about the characters. They are so hollow and boring. And the worst part is that the movie doesn’t have that many action scenes, and the action scenes don’t impress at all. The script and the characters will make you laugh. This type of lazy storytelling expired many years ago! Jesus Christ! 

Donnie Yen isn’t a young man any longer. And if my memory serves me correctly, he said that he was going to retire as an action star when he turned 50. Well, he still tries to be an action star, and to be honest, he shouldn’t do it anymore. He has given us some fantastic fight scenes in his career, but it’s time to stop now, Donnie. You look so tired and uninspired in Raging Fire. The spark is gone. Please, just work behind the camera and enjoy life. You have given us enough.

The action scenes aren’t impressive. There’s a lot of chaos during the action scenes, but the director must have control and let us be a fly on the wall when all hell breaks loose. I want to see everything from a distance and be impressed by the action choreography. But the editing and choreography are pretty bad in the action scenes. Benny Chan isn’t Johnny Too or Michael Mann. Raging Fire borrows the legendary shootout from Heat, and the result is embarrassing. It’s just chaos, and there’s no style to it. 

What disappointed me the most besides the lackluster action choreography was that there weren’t enough action scenes. There’s too much talking. It’s shocking to witness all the talking in Raging Fire. And no one in their right mind will enjoy the dialogue in this movie. The characters are boring as hell, and they don’t have any personalities. There’s so much laziness in this movie, and I wish it never was made. It has a cool title, but the cool title doesn’t deliver what you expect it will deliver when you sit down to watch the movie.

Donnie Yen is too old, and Nicolas Tse has always been a mediocre martial artist on the big screen. But he outshines Donnie Yen in the acting department. Donnie Yen is a pretty bad actor, and he shows it again in Raging Fire. He should, mostly, let his fists and legs do the talking. His acting in Raging Fire is cringeworthy, and he feels and looks so tired. The fight between these two did nothing for me. At the start of the fight, Donnie Yen tries to lure us in that this will be like the fight between him and Wu Jing in the fantastic SPL: Sha Po Lang. But trust me, it isn’t. It feels slow, and the choppy editing doesn’t help at all. There’s no real martial arts flow in this fight. The flow is gone.

I didn’t have high expectations when I sat down to watch Raging Fire. So, in that department, the movie delivered what I expected of it. I can’t call Raging Fire a mediocre Hong Kong action movie. It’s just bad. The storytelling is terrible. The characters are terrible, and the action choreography is disappointing. The same goes for the editing. It’s hard to get a clear picture of what’s going on in the most chaotic action scenes. Benny Chan loses control, and that isn’t the first time in his career.

Rest in peace, Benny Chan, and thanks for the try. You did it your way.

Rating: 3/10

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