Hong Kong director, Dante Lam (林超贤) is one dude who digs violence, philosophy and manly rivalry. This is epitomised by two of his movies I watched – last year’s The Sniper 《神枪手》, starring Edison Chen (陈冠希) and Huang Xiaoming (黄晓明); and this year’s Fire of Conscience《火龙》, starring Leon Lai (黎明) and Richie Ren (任贤齐).
Thanks to Shaw, I watched the preview screening for Fire of Conscience on Monday (29 Mar). The movie opens in Singapore cinema today (1 Apr).
The investigation of a prostitute homicide brings headstrong, heavy-handed Detective Manfred (Leon Lai) in an unlikely collaboration with sly, man-of-the-world Inspector Kee (Richie Ren) from the Narcotics Bureau.
When the DNA samples of one of Manfred’s fellow officers are found at the crime scene, implicating him as the prime suspect, Manfred must look beyond the obvious to get to the truth. Meanwhile, Kee’s uncanny eagerness to lend a helping hand every step of the way outside his own turf is beginning to smack of evil.
In the line of fire between high levels of corruption and possible malice, Manfred must solve all the twists and turns of the mystery, trying to figure out who his enemy is and how to save his innocent partner from unfathomable disgrace. Unwittingly, he is about to open a Pandora’s Box that will threaten to upend the entire Hong Kong Police Force.
As expected, the movie was rated NC16 for violence. Not your garden-variety cartoon violence, mind you – but attention-to-detail violence that is shockingly real and chilling, Dante-Lam-style.
It has been a while since I last watched a Hong Kong movie, but it seems cop-and-gangster movies will always be one of their forte which no movie directors from other countries can emulate (Remember how good Infernal Affairs was and what a piece of crap the Hollywood adaptation was?).
In this movie, Dante Lam made Hong Kong very grimy, crime-infested and lawless. The cops are not all good and the gangsters are not all bad either.
Leon Lai’s lead character in the movie is a cop, but he looks and behave like a crook. The nemesis character in the movie played by Richie Ren is a suave looking, high flying cop, but is actually the ultimate bad ass.
I did not really get the philosophy part about both characters being born in the year of the dragon and hence being cursed to forever pursue something someting… etc. I got lost in the mumbo jumbo, granted I am not a superstitious person also.
However, I did enjoy the adrenaline pumping action sequences, coloured with realistic violence and drama.
If you were to ask me, this is a very MAN movie. The kind suitable for army buddies to watch together for brotherly bonding. Overall satisfying, save for the brain frying philosophy stuff at the ending.
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