School On Fire (1989) Ringo Lam

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pollypolly
Posts: 4214
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2006 11:18 am

School On Fire (1989) Ringo Lam

Postby pollypolly » Sun Dec 19, 2010 3:49 pm

‘School On Fire’ was the third in director Ringo Lam’s “Fire” trilogy. Although the three films have little in common plot-wise, they all paint a similar bleak, dark and desperate vision of Hong Kong in the 1980’s.

In ‘School’ the film’s main protagonist, Chu Yuen Fong, is a model pupil trying to keep her head above water (and out of hot water) in a school pretty much controlled by the triads. Her unruly friend Siu Chun offends one of the young triads and a boy is subsequently killed trying to defend the two girls from an angry gang trying to save face. The gang and their leader, Big Suave (brilliantly portrayed by Roy Cheung),then begin to hound Chu Yuen Fong threatening to kill her if she identifies the boys to the police and also forcing her to pay back 30,000 HKD in fees that Big Suave lost due to police searches and harassment. Complications arise when Chu Yuen Fong sparks up a relationship with one of Suave’s men, Scar...meanwhile tensions at the school are rising..

This is an extremely nihilistic film and should be filed alongside similar movies such as ‘Don’t Play With Fire’. If you haven’t seen the film, don’t be put off by the school setting – this is definitely no ‘Saved By The Bell’! Unfortunately, the Joy Sales DVD is marred by some obvious cuts, most of which are unlikely to be restored due to the sensitive subject matter but this doesn’t detract from what is undoubtedly a very powerful film.

The scenes of violence are unflinching and raw. No slow-motion or fancy effects, just gritty , dark action the way I like it. Despite some heavy melodrama, the acting is very good throughout with special mentions going to Roy Cheung for his portrayal of the smug, ruthless, Big Suave and also to Sarah Lee who plays Siu Chen.

[img]http://img404.imageshack.us/img404/4411/vlcsnap2010122016h37m16.png[/img]
[img]http://img143.imageshack.us/img143/1403/vlcsnap2010122016h40m52.png[/img]
[img]http://img26.imageshack.us/img26/9901/vlcsnap2010122016h38m22.png[/img]

mikeleeder
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2010 3:37 am

School On Fire

Postby mikeleeder » Tue Feb 01, 2011 2:33 am

its such an under-rated movie....

I used to live in Kowloon City very close to where it was filmed, and had the pnaes flying in over me every day

Great direction, great cast, many of whom got a chance to show different sides then they normally got to show

It was very controversial when it came out, in Taiwan they ahd issues over it being a Triad/School movie...and it got cut down to about half the length for cinema release and then got released uncut on VHS & LD etc

Wish Ringo would direct again

pollypolly
Posts: 4214
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2006 11:18 am

Postby pollypolly » Tue Feb 01, 2011 7:02 pm

The 'Fire' trilogy is essential viewing IMO. Hard pressed to beat that level of rawness and intensity that Lam managed to conjure up in those 3 films.

mikeleeder
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2010 3:37 am

Postby mikeleeder » Wed Feb 02, 2011 1:33 am

i was hoping that Ringo would jump back into directing properly after the 'Triangle' segment, and Raymond Wong was talking about him as the helmer for the proposed Donnie Yen/Tony Jaa movie but nothing moved forward and general consensus is that Ringo is retired..

A pity that his last full feature was the flawed but fun action comedy 'Looking for Mr Perfect'....how i'd like to see Andy On in a proper Ringo lam thriller


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