Saturday, 11 January 2014

Movie Review: As The Light Goes Out (救火英雄)

 As The Light Goes Out (救火英雄) is another HK-China fire-fighter action thriller film after last year's Out of Inferno (逃出生天).The film is mainly character-driven as it follows a team of fire-fighters being called upon to stop a small fire at a liquor warehouse. Things were fine at first, until a series of unforeseen events happen that causes the fire starts to spread again to a nearby power plant, threatens to plunge the whole of Hong Kong into darkness during Christmas Eve.
The film shows the brotherhood bond between the leads at first, provide sufficient back stories for mostly all the key characters for the audience to get to know them. It does a good job in balancing the drama and action. The lead and supporting actors provide decent performances in their respective roles as the film progresses. The action sequences in the power plant were quite intense and thrilling enough for the audience to watch. The film also does a good job in showing the real danger behind a fire - the thick smoke, not the flames, that kills. When a person is in a room filled with thick smoke, he/she will be unable to see, breathe or think clearly...constant smoke inhalation can kill a person within minutes.
However, the chaotic shaky camera style is irritating as it makes action scenes quite difficult to follow at times. The CGI smoke and fire doesn't seem to be realistic or believable enough as you continue watching the film. Furthermore, some plot events are questionable and the film suffers from a few too many convenient contrivances to convince. The eventual sacrifice of a key character at the end of the film is simply not convincing enough to be accepted (he could have just throw the cigarette and run towards the locker room). It's also quite challenging to identify who is whom when they're all suited up in their fire fighting outfits, helmets and oxygen masks.
The film is said to be dedicated to all the real-life fire-fighters out there. While it's not a perfect film, the film certainly delivers what is expected from it. Furthermore, there's another surprise cameo from another action star in the film as well.

Rating: 7/10

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