Director: Ringo Lam
Notable Cast: Daniel Wu, Zhang Ruoyun, Joseph Chang, Zhang Jingchu, Amber Kuo, Fan Guang-yao, Wayne Lai, Philip Keung, Cheung Siu-fai, Ying Batu
Despite mixed reviews, Ringo Lam’s comeback action thriller Wild City was still a decent return that showcased a director who was trying to blend his classic Hong Kong action chops with a slightly more modern approach. When it was announced that his next film would be Sky on Fire, going with a title scheme that would indicate a throwback to previous films from the golden age of Hong Kong cinema like City on Fire, Prison on Fire, or School on Fire, there is obviously a lot of expectations that come with that. Partner it with some solid marketing and Daniel Wu to anchor the lead, this film had momentum to go with those initial expectations too. So perhaps it’s not all that shocking that Sky on Fire comes off as disappointing in the end. Sure, this is a film that attempts to recreate the Ringo Lam style of yesteryear with its plentiful action and design, but it’s a film that ultimately rings off as a hollow recreation rather than a film that belongs in the same echelon. There are moments, sparks if you will, where one can see it start to reclaim the style, but it doesn’t have enough emotional resonance and effective narrative flow to make it work.