DirectorRingo Lam Initial DVD releaseOctober 26, 1999 CountryHong Kong
Release date13 February 1987 (1987-02-13) WriterRingo Lam (story), Jack Maeby (english adaptation), Sai Shing Sun Music directorTeddy Robin, Greg Morgenstein CastChow Yun-Fat (Ko Chow), Danny Lee Sau-Yin (Fu / Tiger), Suen Yuet (Inspector Liu Ting-Kuang), Roy Cheung (Inspector John Chiao Chi), Elvis Tsui (Chan Kam-Wah), Lau Kong (Commissioner Chow) Similar moviesRelated Ringo Lam movies
TaglineHe Thought He Knew the Risks of Going Undercover
City on fire hkl trailer
City on Fire (simplified Chinese: 龙虎风云; traditional Chinese: 龍虎風雲; pinyin: Lóng hǔ fēng yún) is a 1987 Hong Kong crime film written, produced and directed by Ringo Lam, and starring Chow Yun-fat, Danny Lee and Sun Yueh. Following A Better Tomorrow (1986), it helped establish Chow's popularity as an action star in Asia, and to a lesser degree, North America.
After the death of a fellow cop (Elvis Tsui), Ko Chow (Chow Yun Fat) is sent undercover by his superior Inspector Lau (Sun Yueh) to infiltrate a syndicate responsible for a brutal jewelry robbery, led by their leader, Fu (Danny Lee). However, after gaining the confidence of the men he is supposed to be taking down, Ko Chow forms an unlikely friendship with Fu. Meanwhile, due to Ko Chow’s newfound association with the syndicate, he finds himself pursued by the police sent by Inspector John (Roy Cheung), who are unaware of his true identity. Disillusioned by the position he is in, Ko Chow’s personal ethics are put to the test, leaving him torn between his loyalty to his new friend, and his duty to bring the criminals to justice.
Chow Yun-fat as Ko Chow
Danny Lee Sau-yin as Fu
Sun Yueh as Inspector Lau / Uncle Kung
Carrie Ng as Hung
Roy Cheung as Inspector John Chan
Maria Cordero as Lounge Singer
Fong Yau as Chow Nam
Victor Hon as Bill
Kong Lau as Inspector Chow
Elvis Tsui as Chan Kam-wah
Tommy Wong Kwong-Leung as Kwong
Cheng Mang-Ha as Ko Chow's Grandmother
Parkman Wong as Detective
Jessica Chow as Lily
Ringo Lam as Ko Chow's Contract
Joe Chu as Joe
Chan Chi-fai as Big Song
William Ko Ka-kui as Nightclub Boss
Filming began in Hong Kong in 1985 and concluded around the Christmas season.
City on Fire is Ringo Lam's most celebrated work. The film has been critically acclaimed, holding a 91% "fresh" rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
Quentin Tarantino's 1992 film Reservoir Dogs includes several similar key plot elements and scenes, most notably the famous Mexican standoff near the end of the film. After critic Jeffrey Dawson noted "in jest, similar elements" in Empire, other publications including Film Threat promoted the observation, and a Michigan film student created a 1995 short film, Who Do You Think You're Fooling?, which mixed dialog and visuals from both movies to demonstrate the similarities. In addition to Reservoir Dogs, critic Matt McAllister notes that one "can equally see the influence of City On Fire - and similar Hong Kong cops-and-robbers movies - on many other Hollywood 'undercover cop' movies such as Point Break."
Chow Yun-Fat and Danny Lee faced a role-reversal two years later when, in John Woo's The Killer, Chow plays a hitman who bonds with Lee, this time appearing as the cop.