Written by: Michael Den Boer on May 17th, 2017
Theatrical Release Date: Hong Kong / China, 2016
Director: Ringo Lam
Writer: Ringo Lam
Cast: Hsiao-chuan Chang, Andrew Dasz, Amber Kuo, Leon Lai, Ka Tung Lam, Daniel Wu, Simon Yam, Jingchu Zhang, Ruoyun Zhang, Fan Guang-yao
BluRay released: June 6th, 2017
Approximate running times: 100 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD 5.1 Mandarin, Dolby Digital Stereo Mandarin
BluRay Release: Well Go USA
Region Coding: Region A
Retail Price: $29.95
“The chief security officer at a top-secret medical facility finds himself caught in an explosive battle when a young thief and his accomplices steal a groundbreaking curative medicine. After discovering the true origins of the medicine, the officer must decide whom he can trust to protect the cure from falling into the wrong hands and prevent an all-out war from bringing the city to its knees.” – Synopsis provided by the Distributor
There is no denying Hong Kong action cinema of the late 1980’s and early 1990’s influence on the West, more specifically Hollywood. And one of the more influential filmmakers to emerge from this era of Hong Kong cinema was Ringo Lam, whose notable films include, City on Fire, Prison on Fire, School on Fire, Full Contact and Burning Paradise.
The narrative is well constructed and pacing is never an issues as key moments are given an ample amount of time to resonate. Another strength of the narrative is how it finds a good balanced between the more dramatic moments and action set pieces.
Though there are elements of the plot that are far-fetched. The enthusiastic performances make these elements an afterthought. Standout performances include, Daniel Wu (Triple Tap) in the role of a chief security officer named Tinbo and Fan Guang-yao in the role of unscrupulous Doctor named Tang, who is willing to do anything even commit murder to keep the truth of his mentor’s death a secret.
It would be futile trying to compare this film or any film for that matter to that aforementioned Hong Long action cinema from the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. And the landscape of the world which those films were made in has drastically changed. Fortunately, for fans of Hong Kong action cinema, Sky on Fire has all the ingredients that have become synonymous with Ringo Lam’s most celebrated films.
Sky on Fire comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. The transfer does a great job retaining the intended look of the film. There are no issues with DNR or compression.
This release comes with two audio options, a DTS-HD 5.1 mix in Mandarin and a Dolby Digital stereo mix in Mandarin. These audio mixes sound, clear, balanced and robust when they need too. Included with this release are removable English subtitles.
Extras for the release include, trailers for Sky on Fire, The Final Master, Operation Mekong and Cold War 2.
Overall Sky on Fire gets a solid audio / video presentation from Well Go USA.
Note: This film is also being released by Well Go USA on DVD.