Internationally renowned superstar Chow Yun-Fat (CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON; THE REPLACEMENT KILLERS) delivers an electrifying performance in this hard-hitting big-screen thrill ride! An undercover cop sent to infiltra... more »te a notorious crime ring, Ko Chow (Chow Yun-Fat) must replace a fellow officer who was killed in a violent confrontation. But, as he earns the trust of the syndicate, he develops a tight friendship with one of the thieves. Then, when a planned heist turns into a bloody shoot-out with police, suspicions arise about who the informant could be. As friendship and loyalty clash with duty and honor, you'll be riveted by the explosive power of this intensely entertaining motion picutre!« less
"I first saw this gangsters and gunplay epic a few years back late one night on television. From that moment I decided to purchase the film on DVD. When I eventually got a player, years later, it was with giddy excitment that I popped this title into the tray. Unfortunately, this DVD showcases perfectly what can happen when little care is taken in the mastering of a film. Now, i'm DEFINITELY NOT one of these people who whines when the picture quality isn't perfect and other such things, but when I saw this DVD I had to write this review to instruct people NOT to buy this version of the film. So, I will now list the problems this DVD has: 1. The Subtitles, they are TERRIBLE, they were obviously done by a person who did not have even a 20% grip of the english language. Literally, they don't make any sense in places. Secondly, they disappear far too quickly. I'm not a slow reader but you'll be struggling to keep up. 2. The soundtrack is terrible. I could be wrong on this point as I had not seen the film in years, but I got the feeling that the Cantonese soundtrack had been dubbed over with a Chinese one, including new sound effects which are disasterous. The bottom line is that an amazing film has been ruined by these two faults. If it weren't for the fact that the film is so good, I would have given it 1 star. This review may be hard to stomach for the fans of this film but please heed my words, I am a fan of this film too. If there is another version available, please e-mail me."
Be careful when purchasing!
Tensegrity Dan | Berkeley, CA United States | 04/25/2002
(1 out of 5 stars)
"If you order the Dimension/Disney version (which has a big blue Chow Yun-Fat face on the cover and a picture of a city on fire. Get it? city - on - fire. Yes, Disney does think you are that simpleminded) you get the version with English dubbing only. If you get the Tai Seng version (with the faces of three actors and Chinese writing on the cover) you get the vastly superior original version with subtitles. They cost the same but the Tai Seng version is so much better. Do yourself a favor and get that one.I give the Disney/Dimension version 1 star and the Tai Seng version 5 stars."
Awesome, action packed must for fans of HK cinema!
Douglas R. Williams | 01/20/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is primarily known in America as the film on which Quentin Tarrantino's RESERVOIR DOGS was based. That alone makes it a must-see, but it also stands on its own as a classic example of Hong Kong action. Honor, loyalty, and savagery come together to create a real powerhouse. Fat plays an undercover cop assigned to infiltrate a gang of jewel theives. He befriends Lee, a member of the gang, while at the same time trying to hold onto a disintegrating relationship with his girlfriend/fiance. Not only does Fat's job as a cop interfere with his home life, but he feels increasingly guilty about betraying Lee. Fate and bureaucratic incompetence combine to make the gang's final heist a bloodbath, in which Fat is forced to participate. In a chase/shoot out scene reminiscent of the end of DePalma's SCARFACE, bullets fly and blood flows in the streets of Hong Kong's diamond district. Fat finally tells Lee of his betrayal, but not in time to save either of them. This is a must-see for fans of Tarrantino, Hong Kong actioners, or great caper-flicks! Sadly, the subtitles are pretty pathetic ("No poiny gun boss" is among my favorites), and I was really disappointed that they didn't re-do them for the DVD (I've shelled out a total of about $80 to get this on VHS, and later on DVD, and I'd like to be reading complete sentences for that kind of money). That having been said, this is a GREAT movie! See it!"
THE REAL RESERVOIR DOGS
Eduardo C. Dayao | Quezon City, Metro Manila Philippines | 11/09/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The delicate paranoia, the gaping loneliness, the schizophrenic glamour. In his watershed crime classic, the scorsese-damaged "City on Fire", nothing interests Ringo Lam more than the knotty moral and emotional tangles of the undercover life. Chow Yun Fat plays Ko Chow, an undercover cop who infiltrates an enclave of jewel thieves and eventually gets sucked into an undertow of malice. Pretty soon, the line between what's prefab and what's true to life obscures to a blur and the secret identity becomes the alter ego. It is this precise moment that "City on Fire" snipes for dramatic grist. Navigating this hyperkinetic slalom of bullets, betrayal and broken hearts with all the cunning facility of a mastermind, there's a reason why Lam was name-checked by Hollywood, alongside John Woo and Tsui Hark. And it's not just because Quentin Tarantino tactlessly shoplifted chunks of "City on Fire" chapter and verse to surplus his meal ticket to Hollywood, "Reservoir Dogs". ( Indeed, Hollywood pundits have chosen to sweep this henious incident under the carpet or write it off as some kind of homage or the other). Lam is no castoff. And no John Woo parrot by any stretch. Woo has plied these dire straits before, in "Hardboiled" ,also with Chow Yun and a pre-Cannes Tony Leung. But "City on Fire" is a more feral, more raw, less heroic and ultimately more tragic picture. Far from just another "Honor Among Thieves" rehab, it upped the ante of your routine cops and robbers melee. And , more than ten years down the line, still strengthens the argument for Lam as more than a high-impact action specialist. Simply put, a director on fire."
Buy the other version -- the Tai Seng release
captvanhalen | United States | 01/28/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I would like to give this version 5 stars, i love the movie, but this is the Dimension release which only offers an English language dub. If that's OK by you, then this is the cheaper version, but if you are a purist like me, you'll want the Cantonese/Mandarin version with English subtitles."