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Out of Inferno

Jan 2014

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In the line of fire: Louis Koo (left) and Angelica Lee feel the heat

Up in flamesEdge-of-the-seat action scenes make Out of Inferno a standout disaster movie, writes Con...nie LaiBest known for supernatural thrillers such as The Eye and The Detective, Hong Kong’s sibling director duo Oxide and Danny Pang have recently dabbled in the disaster genre, spending three years creating Out of Inferno. The scorching imagery keeps viewers on edge and the result is comparable to the Pangs’ most thrilling works.When an inferno breaks out in a skyscraper, former firefighter Keung (Louis Koo) and his sister-in-law find themselves trapped in the building – along with many others. Keung’s estranged elder brother Tai-kwan (Lau Ching-wan), a fire-department captain, arrives to spearhead the rescue mission from below. Meanwhile, Keung resorts to his former firefighter role and tries to find a way out for himself and his sister-in-law.A showcase of high-tech visuals, the raging fire, choking smoke, crumbling structures and explosions are realistic and monstrously menacing. Credit goes to Dion Lam for choreographing the tight action sequences, while audiences are able to engage with the characters as they scramble to escape. Through a variety of familial relationships, the film highlights the role of fatalism in the face of disaster. While more could been done to show the team spirit for which firefighters are known, Out of Inferno is, overall, one of the few standout Chinese-language disaster pictures of recent years.

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