Inspector Waipong Wong has to put his life and resignation from the Hong Kong police department on hold to investigate his former partner's mysterious murder. What he and his crack team of ... See full summary »
Inspector Waipong Wong has to put his life and resignation from the Hong Kong police department on hold to investigate his former partner's mysterious murder. What he and his crack team of three other cops uncover is a plot far more sinister than they originally anticipated. Written by
Inspector Wong and his partners drives a 1975-1983 BMW 3-series coupe during all times in the movie except after being ambushed after leaving the lab. then it suddenly changes to a BMW 5-series of the 1982-1988 generation, a four door proper sedan of the same color as his previous car. In all subsequent scenes he is driving his original car again. See more »
Detective Ah Kam:
[chatting with Inspector Wong]
The hostage asked me why I shot him. I told him the gun misfired. He says he'll sue. These guns are supplied by the UK. Go sue the England.
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Still, simply the greatest and grittiest action miracle from Hong Kong
This is my second review on this incredible action film, The Big Heat (Hong Kong, 1988) by film makers Andrew Kam and Johnnie To. More detailed review by me can be found by reading user comments on this film or alternatively clicking my IMDb nick and searching there the first review of mine. I feel a need to write more about this film now that I watched the film again tonight.
The atmosphere and tune of the film is so incredibly infernal and non-stop ominous that I'm even more impressed than what I was when I watched this previously, and that is only one proof of the fact that most Hong Kong/Asian films are revealed more and more with each viewing and they cannot be fully understood after first viewing. The cinematography is very convincing and there are couple of scenes involving brightly red smoke and dangerously misty blue which really create an atmosphere of mayhem and violence, which is present whole the time in this movie, and also in World the film depicts collapsing. Blue smoke and atmosphere created by blue is very usual element among greatest Hong Kong thrillers, and most memorable use of that element can be found in finale of Ringo Lam's City on Fire, and also in many films made by Billy Tang, like Red to Kill and Dr. Lamb (which he directed with actor turned director Danny Lee.) The music in The Big Heat is also very effective and adds to the tension very greatly.
The blood and guts carnage and ultra violent action is very graphic and over-the-top to say the least, and will definitely make more squeamish viewer think twice whether or not continue watching the film. One death scene involving a multi level highway is perhaps the most brutal death scene I've seen in any film, and that is really saying something about the power and punch of this unique film, and that "highway scene" is just one pretty brief scene in this film. The shootout at the hospital is very dark and savage and no one is safe from angry bullets, including little children and nurses. The editing is very important element in these action scenes and there's absolutely nothing worth blaming about editing and cinematography in this film. This film is far grittier and bleaker than most John Woo films, and this is pretty close to Ringo Lam's films full of rage. I love also John Woo's films, but they are very different compared to The Big Heat and other rougher rides of Hong Kong mayhem/action cinema.
The Big Heat may have some negative points like unbelievable plot turns and other usual flaws usually found in action films, but it fortunately lacks all the stupid humor elements found irritatingly too often in Hong Kong action films. The Big Heat is serious all the time and tries not to entertain its audience by making it laugh. The plot is again very confusing, but that is another thing that is often present in these films and seems perhaps more confusing seen through Western eyes, but all these little negative things in the film are so easy to forgive since the film as a whole is so full of positive things and cinematic achievements that really make this film among the greatest Eastern action films ever. I think one has to be pretty keen on Hong Kong and Asian cinema in general in order to appreciate The Big Heat as much as I do, and I know many people wouldn't like films like The Big Heat by various reasons, perhaps most notably because it (fortunately) lacks all the efforts to entertain and make feel safe. I love this film very much and in its own genre full of rage, this film ranks among the most powerful and memorable films ever made. 10/10
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