Shi Wan Huo Ji
1997 / 108m - Hong Kong
Action, Thriller
Fireline poster


September 13, 2013


The late 90s were a disastrous time for Hong Kong cinema (though you could also argue that's when the 00s renaissance started). To didn't stand above these issues and delivered some doubty films, Fireline being one of them. Too much padding, limited budgets, and waning star power crippled what was supposed to be a tense firefighter thriller.

The film follows a firefighter squad as they go about their daily routines. They face difficult situations on the job, but they also have to deal with personal issues. After an hour-long intro where we get to know the characters, the film is ready to start its more than half-hour-long finale, with a pretty predictable outcome of course.

Ching Wan Lau is a decent lead, but that's about it. The rest of the cast isn't on the same level, which is a problem for a film that is quite drama-heavy during its first half. Sadly, the big finale isn't all that tense or exciting either, though it does have its moments. There just wasn't enough To here, poor oeuvre filler from someone who can do so much better.