Raging Fire (2021): A ‘Satisfying’ Old-School Action Film


The film Raging Fire is the latest work by Donnie Yen and Nicholas Tse, bringing the old premise of a dedicated police officer to life, but it is well-packaged to indulge action film fans with an “angry”, intense, and suspenseful story.

This film tells the story of Cheung Sung-bong (Donnie Yen), a police officer who is known for his dedication and will do everything he can to catch criminals that make him disliked by his superiors. He was expelled in a process of ambushing drug trafficking which eventually killed his best friend.

The ambush is disrupted by Yau Kong-ngo (Nicholas Tse) who leads a group of ex-cops imprisoned for allegedly breaking the rules in a covert operation. Ngo, who feels betrayed, is determined to avenge the police who accused him, including Sung-bong, who also testified in Ngo’s trial.

Sung-bong finally learns that it was Ngo’s group that killed his best friend and took the drug. The confrontation of the two also presents a final feud that is blind in the middle of the city.

Old premise with good packaging
The Raging Fire film is an action-packed series with a solid and attractive story throughout the film. A combination that is hard to find in the latest films that only rely on a big budget for CGI and massive promotions without paying attention to the content of the film.

Bringing subscriptions to the action of Donnie Yen and Nicholas Tse, the plot is presented nicely. Although most of the narrative is predictable, the interesting packaging makes it fun to enjoy even though the duration can be said to be relieved, more than two hours.

Old age is not a barrier for Donnie Yen in presenting big action without having to rely on CGI. The overall feel of Raging Fire is even reminiscent of the continuation of the story of Jackie Chan as the legendary policeman Chan Kwok-wing in New Police Story (2004) which interestingly also stars Nicholas Tse.

In terms of action and choreography, Donnie doesn’t need to be in doubt. Although previously in the realm of action comedy with Enter the Fat Dragon (2020). But there are a few seconds of awkward moments that are seen when he does emotional scenes. But in the end, he is one hell of badass wing chun legend .

Made tense to the end
The story of the protagonist who continues to fight for his idealism to always be good is indeed an old premise. But Benny Chan and Donnie were able to boil the old premise into a film that is fun to enjoy. Full of adrenaline like any other old-school action film.

The concept of revenge from the injured group makes Ngo’s character look more human. Presenting villains who get the sympathy of the audience. Complex characters and even more powerful than the main characters.

But what captivates this film is of course the quality of the one-on-one combat choreography and intense and tense action scenes from start to finish. The battles are made close to real and bloody, especially the satisfying final third act .

Attention to detail is also felt where the scars of the fight are still left after the fight. Especially the emotional scene when Sung-bong shows his body full of bruises and broken teeth after the raid on the drug dealer’s headquarters.

But in the midst of the fighting and chase scenes, there are a few action sequences that seem exaggerated and unreasonable. Minor things that may only be a fraction of a second appear on the big screen, but instead make a cringe and interfere with the overall detail given.

Blind third act
Tense since the beginning of the story, the audience is only given a little time to breathe until finally made tense with all the action presented. The dynamic plot survives until the end, even strengthened by the ‘tiring’ third act.

Called tiring, because the fight between the characters Donnie and Tse drains a lot of energy. In fact, not infrequently you can see other spectators raise their feet or feel angry to support the two characters in the final battle which is quite long, about 15 minutes of the total duration.

The third act is made grand, intense, full of action, and flows fast, leaving a tense one-on-one battle. From the set up to the background, it is used to present an adrenaline-filled spectacle. For fans of full action films, Raging Fire is certainly not to be missed.

And most importantly, Raging Fire doesn’t have to present a cliffhanger to prepare franchises like Hollywood films in recent years. Although the ending of this film allows it to continue in a sequel that is worth waiting for Donie Yen fans, as well as action films in general.

Nicholas Tse shines at the center of this adrenaline-pumping film. Backed by slick and directed choreography, the film Raging Fire honors the action film genre without having to painstakingly rely on the franchises that have haunted the big screen in recent years.