SF, fantasy, horror, mystery website
illustrated SF and general satire
action movie heroines
helicopters in movies and TV
VideoVista is published by PIGASUS Press

copyright © 2001 - 2004 VideoVista

Island Of Fire
cast: Jackie Chan, Andy Lau, Sammo Hung, and Jimmy Wong Yu

director: Chu Yen-ping

93 mins (18) 1992 widescreen 16:9
Hong Kong Legends DVD Region 2 retail
Also available to buy on video

RATING: 6/10
reviewed by Jeff Young
Reportedly, this uneven crime drama cum action thriller was made as a sort of charity movie by Jackie Chan, Andy Lau and Sammo Hung to help their old pal Jimmy Wong Yu out of dire financial straits. As such there's a hurried rough-cut quality to many scenes, and the narrative tilts from slapstick comedy to horror and violence without consideration for balance or sense. Basically, Island Of Fire is a tribute to Cool Hand Luke (1967) and The Wild Geese (1978). Convicts are press-ganged into service as assassins by a sinister committee not unlike the renegade judges of The Star Chamber (1983). One character accidentally kills the brother of a top gangster, while the hero is a cop working undercover. Others are victims of a brutal prison system that dehumanises inmates through solitary confinement, beatings and summary execution. There are scenes lifted wholesale from offbeat US prison movies such as The Mean Machine (aka: The Longest Yard, 1974), and dropped into this exercise in adventure without consequences whether they suit the rest of the plot or not.
   Island Of Fire isn't a classic Chan film by any means. Various bits of the storyline are so clearly assembled on a whim that it may detract from viewing pleasure. But there are compensations in being able to compare the HK stars' differing styles of acting and the action packed finale is a terrific payoff after about an hour's worth of prison intrigue.
   DVD extras: excellent! Dual languages (in Mandarin with English subtitles, or a dubbed option), six-part animated Chan biography and filmography, interviews with co-stars Sammo Hung and Jimmy Wong Yu, and director Chu Yen-ping, nine deleted scenes (including one entire subplot), trailer, music promo, scene access, plus adverts for other HKL films.

Did you find this review helpful? Any comments are always welcome!
Please support VideoVista, buy stuff online using these links -  Blackstar 
HK Flix  WH Smith