DVD 92 mins IMDB 5.4
Suitable for 18 years and over
Island Of Fire [1990]
In Collection

Seen It:
Action, Crime, Drama
Taiwan  /  Cantonese

Jackie Chan Lung/Steve
Barry Wong Inspector Wong
Andy Lau Lau/Boss Lee
Sammo Hung Kam-Bo Fatty Liu Hsi Chia/John
Tony Leung Ka Fai Wei Wang/Andy
Yu Wang Kui/Lucas
Chun Hsiang Ko Prison Chief/Prison Superintendent
Chung Hua Tou Chiu/Charlie
Jack Kao
Chuan Chen Yeh Fong

Director Yin-Ping Chu
Producer Wen Ho Chen; Chun Hsiang Ko
Writer Lee Fu; Yun Chiao Yeh

Island on Fire is, as the trailer says, "five films in one!". Despite the packaging headlining Jackie Chan this violent modern-day prison drama is an ensemble piece with Chan, a pool-player in prison for accidentally stabbing a man to death, on screen for no more than a quarter of the 92 minutes. Anyone buying this as a Chan movie may be seriously disappointed, for apart from the brevity of his role there is no trademark Chan humour. Also in the brutal and corrupt prison is Andy Lau, an undercover cop searching for the murderer of his professor, and Sammo Hung offering comedy and pathos as an inmate who keeps escaping to visit his son. There are many more characters, together with one subplot involving a mouse which anticipates The Green Mile (1999) and another concerning an assassination conspiracy which parallels Nikita, also released in 1990. Island of Fire is an uneven, always entertaining, sometimes moving film which packs an incredible amount of incident into its running time. However, it should be noted that it is an imitation of, rather than an official entry in, Ringo Lam's Fire series, which includes Prison on Fire (1987) and City on Fire (1987).

On the DVD: The anamorphically enhanced 1.77-1 picture is a very good transfer of a rather grainy print, though given the many darkly lit scenes, this grain is probably part of the original film. The mono sound is fine. The film can be watched with the original Mandarin soundtrack and English subtitles, or with a much better than average English dub. The packaging claims there are over 60 minutes of extras. In fact there are nine deleted/extended scenes of variable quality, the best of which give more emotional depth to Sammo Hung's character, together with video interviews with Sammo Hung, Jimmy Wong Yu and director Chu Yen Ping. These total around 20 minutes and are interesting but not specific to the film. Also included is the theatrical trailer, Hong Kong Legends' own "music promo" trailer and eight trailers for further releases. There is also a six-page "animated" biography of Jackie Chan. --Gary S Dalkin

Edition Details
Barcode 5032438503421
Region 2
Release Date 09/10/2000
Screen Ratio 1.78:1
Subtitles English
Audio Tracks Mandarin Chinese Dolby Digital 2.0
Nr of Disks/Tapes 1
Personal Details
Links Amazon UK