3 user 9 critic

Lifeline (1997)

Shi wan huo ji (original title)
Following the lives of firefighters as they deal with joys and hardships, both on the job and with their own personal lives.


Johnnie To (as To Kei Fung)


Nai-Hoi Yau (as Yau Nai Hoi)
3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »




Credited cast:
Ching Wan Lau ... Yau Sui (as Lau Ching Wan)
Alex Fong ... Cheung Man-Kit (as Fong Chun Sung)
Carman Lee ... Dr. Annie Chan
Ruby Wong ... Sunny (as Wong Cheuk Ling)
Raymond Ho-Yin Wong ... Wong Ho-Yin (as Wong Ho Yin)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Kenneth Chan Kenneth Chan ... Annie's Boyfriend
Man-Lei Chan
Annabelle Lau ... Factory Worker
Damian Lau ... Cheng Fu-Shing


Following the lives of firefighters as they deal with joys and hardships, both on the job and with their own personal lives.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

job | See All (1) »


Action | Drama


TV-14 | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Johnnie To favorite Suet Lam makes two brief appearance in the film. At first, he is in the background right before Raymond Ho-Yin Wong's character throws up. He is also the man being place in the hospital truck, before the firefighter walk into the burning building. See more »


Featured in Boundless (2013) See more »

User Reviews

After a slow first hour this film explodes into 45 minutes of one of the best fire sequences ever put on film.
23 September 2006 | by dbborroughsSee all my reviews

I find this film very hard to describe. The film is about the firemen at a particular firehouse in Hong Kong. They have a reputation for being jinxed and everyone lives in fear of something terrible happening. Indeed the film opens with the crew going en-mass to the emergency room because they all ate tainted food. As time goes on we watch them as they perform rescues and get on with their lives. Its very soapy stuff, well done but very unremarkable (especially considering who the director is). However about an hour into the film it shifts its focus and becomes 45 minutes of some of the tensest action you've ever seen. Director To amps up our nerves as the group of men and women that we have just a great deal of time getting to know, are now trapped inside a burning factory and they have no clear way out. It will rattle your cage.

Its an odd film, and in reality its actually two films the big fire and before. The before stuff is pretty pedestrian stuff and you can pretty much fill in the blanks. However once this film kicks into high gear and the crew is called into action this movie becomes an action classic. Certainly the fire sequence is one of the greatest fire scenes ever put on film. The entire set piece consists of "oh my god"shots as the crew struggles to get out from what is essentially a funeral pyre. Its amazing (and was no doubt cribbed by the makers of Ladder 49). Odds are you'll never have seen anything like this unless you were trapped in a burning factory.

If you love action films you have to see the end of this movie. The first hour isn't horrible, but its nothing special.

7 out of 10.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 3 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.



Hong Kong


Cantonese | English

Release Date:

3 January 1997 (Hong Kong) See more »

Also Known As:

Lifeline See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed