films seen
7
average score
3.21*
nationality
Hong Kong - 45 years old
status
Alive and kicking
more info

The good stuff

The Moss

by Chi-kin Kwok
Also known as
Ching Toi
Specifics
2008 / 95m - Hong Kong
Genre
Crime
More info:
rating
4.0*/5.0*
toplist position
The Moss poster

The Moss is not a wildly original film, but executed so well that it impresses from the very first seconds right until the final credit fades from the screen.

Solid pieces

Full Strike

by Chi-kin Kwok, Henri Wong
Also known as
Chuen Lik Kau Saat
Specifics
2015 / 108m - Hong Kong
Genre
Comedy, Action, Sport
More info:
rating
3.5*/5.0*
Full Strike poster

As the Light Goes Out

by Chi-kin Kwok
Also known as
Gau Fo Ying Hung
Specifics
2014 / 115m - Hong Kong
Genre
Drama, Action
More info:
rating
3.5*/5.0*
As the Light Goes Out poster

Chi-kin Kwok strikes back after a horrendous collaboration with Stephen Chow. While Jiu Huo Ying Xiong (As the Light Goes Out) can't match Kowk's best (Ching Toi), it's definitely on par with Da Lui Toi (Gallants). His latest also erases all fears that he may have lost his touch in his attempts to please the masses.

There aren't that many fire fighter flicks coming out of Hong Kong, which is probably why it's remarkable to see two high profile ones in just as many years. After seeing the release of the Pang brothers' Out of Inferno last year, Jiu Huo Ying Xiong takes things to the next level. While Kwok doesn't shun the typical genre clichés, there's a lot more going on than a mere genre rehash.

With guys like Nicholas Tse, Shawn Yue and Simon Yam filling in the lead and main secondary roles, you know you're settling for a film that is aimed to please the crowds. Still, Kwok doesn't just dish out some slick, hollow blockbuster. Sure enough there is some unnecessary drama to fill in the gaps, but for the larger part it's a dark, tense and well-executed affair.

The visuals are grim yet stunning. There are some amazing sequences that give the film that little extra artistic merit, making sure it never becomes too shallow. The soundtrack is fitting and never too bombastic. Stylistically, this is definitely one of the better commercially oriented Hong Kong films I've seen. The dramatic side can be a little overdone though, adding some unnecessary fat to the film. It's a typical genre thing I guess, but one this film could have done without.

Kwok's Jiu Huo Ying Xiong is a step up from the Pangs' attempt at a good fire fighter flick. It falls just a little short of being truly great, but if you're looking for a sleek and tense thriller you're at the right address. Hopefully Kwok will continue on this path with this next film.