Fire of Conscience

Fire of Conscience (Chinese: 火龍; literally: 'Fire Dragon') is a 2010 Hong Kong-Chinese action film directed by Dante Lam and starring Leon Lai and Richie Jen.

Fire of Conscience
Directed byDante Lam
Produced byDante Lam
Candy Leung
Screenplay byJack Ng
Story byDante Lam
StarringLeon Lai
Richie Jen
Wang Baoqiang
Vivian Hsu
Liu Kai-chi
Michelle Ye
Wilfred Lau
Music byHenry Lai Wan-man
CinematographyCharlie Lam
Tse Chung-to
Edited byChan Kei-hop
Media Asia Films
China Film Media Asia Audio Video Distribution
Distributed byMedia Asia Distribution
Release date
  • 1 April 2010 (2010-04-01)
Running time
105 minutes
CountryHong Kong
  • Cantonese
  • Mandarin



Director Dante Lam explained that the title of the film originates from the traditional fire dragon dance that Hong Kong residents used to practice to drive off pestilence and that he believes that there is pestilence in every human's soul that must be beaten out.[3] To prepare for the action scenes, Leon Lai prepared for these scenes by exercising, jogging and swimming. Richie Jen stated that Lam wanted him to "lose weight to add more shadiness to my character. But before making any extra effort, I found myself thinner thanks to the hot weather and so many fighting scenes to shoot."[3] Lai suggested the both Jen and him should sing as a duet for the theme song for the film. Jen stated that he "felt strange. But I liked the song instantly when Mark Lui finished it. We hope the song can lead the audience into a deeper understanding about the movie."[3]


Fire of Conscience premiered at the Hong Kong Film Festival on March 23, 2010. It received wide release in China and Hong Kong on April 1, 2010.[2] Fire of Conscience's debuted at fourth place at the Hong Kong box office and charted in Singapore, Malaysia, and New Zealand. The film stayed in the charts for four weeks in Hong Kong. The film grossed a total of US$526,017 in Hong Kong and US$806,708 world-wide.[4]


Perry Lam of Muse magazine writes, 'in designing and executing the action scenes, [Lam] focuses too much on firepower and body count, and too little on their potential transgressive and transformational power.'[5] Time Out Hong Kong gave the film a rating of three out of six stars noting that it was slightly less memorable than Dante Lam's previous film Beast Stalker.[6]

The Montreal Gazette gave a mixed review, saying that the film is "exciting, visually stunning movie, full of action and the bright punchy colours of a Sharp Quattron commercial. Unfortunately, it’s not much more than that."[7] IFC gave a mixed review stating that "Lam's action is innovative and clever, but his approach to the characters is the exact opposite: predictable and obvious. We know these cops from so many previous movies. Not a single thing they do surprises us."[8] The Hollywood Reporter described the film as "the loudest of the year" and "Any real thought about the nature of duty and the law is swept aside for action, action, and more action – which is average for Lam but still superior to most."[9]

The Montreal Mirror called the film a disappointment of the Toronto Film Festival, noting "incoherent plotting" and that "Lam obviously has some action chops, but he doesn’t exploit them nearly enough here."[10]


  1. Edwards, Rusell (April 5, 2010). "Fire of Conscience". Variety. Retrieved September 26, 2010.
  2. Elley, Derek (May 14, 2010). "Fire of Conscience (火龍)". Film Business Asia. Retrieved September 26, 2010.
  3. Fang, Liu (April 12, 2010). "Action movie "Fire of Conscience"". China Central Television. Retrieved September 27, 2010.
  4. "For lung (Fire of Conscience)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved September 27, 2010.
  5. Lam, Perry (2010). "'Question and answer'". Muse Magazine (40): 88.
  6. Lee, Edmon (March 31, 2010). "Fire of Conscience". Time Out Hong Kong. Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved September 26, 2010.
  7. Kratina, Al (September 21, 2010). "TIFF 2010: Fire of Conscience". Montreal Gazette. Archived from the original on December 13, 2010. Retrieved September 26, 2010.
  8. Singer, Matt (September 25, 2010). ""Fire of Conscience," Reviewed". IFC. Archived from the original on October 8, 2010. Retrieved September 26, 2010.
  9. Kerr, Elizabeth (March 23, 2010). "Fire of Conscience – Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 26, 2011.
  10. Slutsky, Mark (September 23, 2010). "It takes two to TIFF". Montreal Mirror. Retrieved September 26, 2010.
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