In the World of Hong
Kong Cinema, there are films from certain actors and directors that
are a must-view.
They may not live up to
expectations or hype, fans of Donnie Yen will always be waiting for
the next big film he throws out.
And it's pretty much
the same with certain directors.
With Hong Kong cinema
it has always been the likes of John Woo, Dante Lam, Sammo Hung, Yuen
Woo-Ping that direct films that draw big audiences.
And it was the same
with the films of the Late Benny Chan. The Late Mr.Chan's films
though not vast in number far outshone many of the leading directors
of action cinema throughout his career.
His breakthrough film
1990 Moment of Romance with a young Andy Lau is a landmark film in
Chan's work would be first viewed in his direction of Jackie Chan's
Who Am I in 1998.
The two Chan's would go
on to collaborate on a further three films, New Police Story from
2004 would be nominated for numerous awards and winning Best
Supporting Actor for Daniel Wu and getting an Audience Choice Award.
Since those films,
Benny Chan had directed some great action cinema with great
So when it was
announced in 2019 that Benny Chan would be collaborating with Donnie
Yen for his next film, my attention was peaked.
Benny Chan had worked
before with Donnie Yen back in 1995 for the Fist of Fury TV series,
so it was twenty-five years nearly since they had worked together.
Also on board was
another Hong Kong legend and a regular who had worked with Benny Chan
before, the actor Nicholas Tse.
One common dominator
with all of Benny Chan's films is the way he gets to cast a whose who
of Hong Kong cinema in so many of his films. So the inclusion of Ray
Liu, Simon Yam, Ken Lo, and Patrick Tam also starring.
In reality, Raging Fire
would have been released sometime in 2020, it of course was delayed,
but not all due to the Pandemic, Unfortunately, one of the main
reasons was due to Benny Chan being diagnosed with Cancer.
The director had
finished Directing duties of the film around Sept 2019 but was too
ill to finish doing the Post-production, this was later passed to a
friend. In August 2020 Benny Chan sadly Passed Away in Hong Kong.
For fans of Hong Kong
cinema, the collaboration between Yen and Chan was cinematic heaven.
What's sad is not the
time we have had to wait to see this film, but the fact that this is
Benny Chan's last film.
What's also important
to point out is this is a Hong Kong action film, Not a Chinese film.
Many of the Hong Kong studios have folded more and more since 1997,
the focus has been for China to have these big productions done
through their own production companies, many of the past directors
have moved on making big Chinese extravaganza's or have even moved to
The late Benny Chan has
delivered a piece of Hong Kong cinema to the fans, just like he
always had done in the past.
We viewed the film at
the London East Asia Film Festival in the heart of London's Leicester
As an opening Gala
event to start the festival and to honour a Great film director.
Being this was the
first major event I had attended since before the Pandemic I must
admit I slipped back into the flow of things with all the crowds in
Introductions by the Festival Director Hyejung Jeon, and Director
General for the Hong Kong Economic, and Trade Office in London,
Gilford Law the audience sat back in comfort at The Odeon Luxe West
End and tucked into their goody bag ready for the big film.
Set in Modern Day Hong
Kong, Donnie Yen plays Bong, a Police officer who always has to do
the right thing, even if it means landing himself into trouble.