Firestorm is an action thriller out of Hong Kong. It came out in late 2013 and was shown at three festivals here in the states this spring – Dallas in April, and San Francisco and Seattle just last month. As a starting point, there’s an armored car heist, and there’s a shootout in the city streets, just like in the 1995 action thriller Heat. I think we shall probably have this film in our theaters later this year.
The key point is that Firestorm has way more firepower than Heat. Bigger shootouts, bigger explosions, this film’s second or alternative name could be ‘Pyrotechnics‘. On the other hand, Heat had plenty of character development to keep you involved between the action set pieces. Firestorm makes a stab at it – but is really not all that concerned with developing characters.
The story is simple. Hong Kong mega-star Andy Lau plays HKPD Inspector Liu, and a guy that Liu went to school with, Tou Sing Bong, is played by Gordon Lam. Liu went into the police for his career. Bong went into crime, and as the film opens, Bong and another con have just been released from prison at the same time.
Bong has a girl friend waiting for him. She’s desperate for Bong to go straight. She’s even hooked him up with a job as a chef in an upscale restaurant. But we know his heart isn’t in cooking. But after protesting, he agrees. But the siren song of big time heists is too strong for him.
Liu soon after has to deal with the armored truck heist. And car chases, and a raid in an apartment block which, like we saw in the Johnny To 2004 thriller Breaking News. I could be wrong, but it seemed like in every action set piece, cops and swat teams went flying due to grenades being launched at them. In every car chase, how did they end? Right – with airbags deployed.
In one sense, which I will call the action factor, this movie has it all.