Firestorm (2013 film)

Firestorm is a 2013 Hong Kong action film written and directed by Alan Yuen, produced by and starring Andy Lau. The film was converted to 3D during post-production, making it the first 3D Hong Kong police action film.[4] Firestorm was chosen to be the opening film at Screen Singapore held on 4 December 2013 where Lau and co-star Gordon Lam walked the red carpet for the film's premiere.[5] The film also opened the 56th Asia Pacific Film Festival on 13 December 2013 in Macau before it was theatrically released on 19 December 2013 in Hong Kong.[6] In addition, Firestorm also had its North American premier at the 57th San Francisco International Film Festival on 3 May 2014.[7]

Firestorm
Film poster
Traditional風暴
Simplified风暴
MandarinFēng Bào
CantoneseFung1 Bou6
Directed byAlan Yuen
Produced byAndy Lau
William Kong
Written byAlan Yuen
StarringAndy Lau
Yao Chen
Gordon Lam
Hu Jun
Ray Lui
Music byPeter Kam
CinematographyChan Chi-ying
Edited byKwong Chi-leung
Ron Chan
Production
company
Edko Films
Sil-Metropole Organisation
Focus Films
Good Friends Entertainment
China Dream Film Culture Productions
Ample Ideas (Hong Kong) International
He Xin Zhongshan Jin Investment Management
Elegance Media Guangdong Company
Youku Tudou Inc
Distributed byEdko Films
Release date
  • 12 December 2013 (2013-12-12) (China)
  • 19 December 2013 (2013-12-19) (Hong Kong)
Running time
109 minutes
CountryHong Kong
LanguageCantonese
Mandarin
BudgetUS$20,000,000[1]
Box officeUS$56,382,533[2][3]

Plot

A storm is heading to the city of Hong Kong, and with it comes another occurrence so destructive, it vows to bring down everything it touches.

A crew of seasoned criminals led by the notorious Cao Nam (Hu Jun), armed with high-powered weapons, pulls off another smooth and violent armoured car heist in broad daylight in a crowded street. Whoever tries to get in their way, they will show no mercy. This puts the police force to shame and humiliation.

A hardboiled senior police inspector Lui Ming-chit (Andy Lau), hot on the trails of Nam and his tight crew, determines to put an end to this madness that causes the lives of innocent people. But he soon comes face with the cruel reality that the usual police tactics are too futile to send these armed thieves behind bars. Extreme crime requires extreme justice, even if it means crossing his moral line. To Shing-bong (Gordon Lam), an ex-con desperate to leave his criminal past behind, volunteers to be Lui's informant in exchange for a fresh start with his girlfriend Yin Bing (Yao Chen). But little does he know what hellish situation he is getting himself into.

While Nam is putting together his next big score, the two colliding forces from both sides of the law, each at the top of their games, will soon face their archenemies. As Lui's hunt heats up, their ultimate confrontation is about to take place on the streets.

As the storm passes through and the dust settles, whoever survives can hardly cope with its horrifying aftermath.

Cast

  • Andy Lau as Senior Inspector Lui Ming-chit (呂明哲)
  • Yao Chen as Law Yin-bing (羅燕冰)
  • Gordon Lam as To Shing-bong (陶成邦)
  • Hu Jun as Cao Nam (曹南)
  • Ray Lui as Paco (啪哥)
  • Philip Keung as Tong Keung (唐強)
  • Kenny Wong as Sergeant Chiu Kin-kwok (趙建國)
  • Oscar Leung as Kit (阿傑)
  • Michael Tong as Jackal (傻豹)
  • Vincent Sze as Sergeant Szeto Yat-ming (司徒一鳴)
  • Terence Yin as Goofy (高飛)
  • Sammy Hung as Dicky (狄偉)
  • Michael Wong as Chief Superintendent Choi (蔡警司)
  • Wong Cho-lam as Correctional Service Superintendent
  • Alex Tsui as Police negotiator
  • Eddie Cheung as truck driver
  • Ben Wong as S.D.U. Team Leader
  • Bob Lam as Attorney
  • Mandy Wong as Yin-bing's colleague
  • Lo Hoi-pang as Uncle Chi (智叔)
  • Grace Wong as female victim
  • Bonnie Sin as hostage
  • Lavinia Smith as Nipple
  • Cheung Kwok-keung as CIB Sergeant Chow (周Sir)
  • Hayama Go as Daffy (大飛)
  • SIR JBS@24HERBS as Au-yeung Ping (歐陽平)
  • Phat@24HERBS as Phat (阿肥)

Production

Filming for Firestorm began in November 2012 and was wrapped up on 1 February 2013. Filming locations included North Point,[8] Government House and Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens in the Central and Sheung Wan areas.[9]

Reception

Critical

Firestorm received mixed to positive reviews from critics. Derek Elley of Film Business Asia gave a positive review praising the acting, especially by Andy Lau and Gordon Lam, strong characters and action sequences, referring it as "one of the best Hong Kong shoot-'em-ups in recent memory, with top playing and action. Asian and genre events, plus ancillary."[10] Gabriel Chong of MovieXclusive also gave a positive review, praising the action choreography, twisty and compelling narrative and the tight engaging script and referring it as "the must-see Hong Kong action thriller of the year that's packed with exhilarating action, a compelling plot, and a commanding lead performance from Andy Lau."[11] Time Out Hong Kong gave the film three stars out of five praising the action sequences, strong performances and visual effects that were never seen in Hong Kong cinema.[12]

On the other hand, James Marsh of Twitch Film gave the film a mixed review, praising it for having "a vibrant, kinetic aesthetic that attempts to keep its audience in a state of breathless anticipation throughout" and also criticising "the over-reliance on computer-generated effects and the almost total absence of plot or characterisation make Firestorm an incredibly loud, yet hollow experience."[13] Clarence Tsui of The Hollywood Reporter also gave a mixed review praising Lam's performance and action choreography by Chin Ka-lok, but criticising how the film "could not read as anything more than just an action thriller."[14]

Box office

Firestorm premiered in China on 12 December 2013 and grossed ¥165,308,501 during its first three days and opening at No.1 during its debut weekend.[15] During its second week, the film grossed ¥100,045,163 and was the second highest-grossing film of the week.[16] The film remained at top 10 for the rest of its theatrical run in China and eventually grossed ¥309,878,757.[17]

In Hong Kong, Firestorm premiered on 19 December and grossed HK$8,024,961 during its first three days and was also No. 1 during its opening weekend grossing a total HK$11,056,920 including its preview-screening gross.[18] During its second weekend, the remained at No. 1 spot and grossed HK$11,186,358[19] The film grossed a total of HK$24,336,182 at the Hong Kong box office.[20]

As of April 2014, Firestorm grossed a total of US$56,382,533 (HK$437,172,118.47) worldwide, combining its box office gross from Hong Kong, China, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Australia and New Zealand.[2]

Awards and nominations

Awards and nominations
Ceremony Category Recipient Outcome
33rd Hong Kong Film Awards Best Action Choreography Chin Ka-lok Nominated
Best Film Editing Kwong Chi-leung, Ron Chan Nominated
Best Visual Effects Yu Kwok-leung, Lai Man-chun,
Ho Kwan-cheung, Lam Ka-lok
Nominated
Best New Director Alan Yuen Nominated
12th Huading Awards Top Ten Chinese Films Firestorm Won
14th Chinese Film Media Awards Outstanding Film Firestorm Nominated
Outstanding Actress Yao Chen Won

References

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