The Big Heat | Chicago Reader

The Big Heat

In this 1988 Hong Kong action film, directed by Andrew Kam and To Kei-fung, a Hong Kong cop pursues the murderer of his friend, an informer named Skinny Tse who was burned to death in Malaysia. As Inspector Wong and his colleagues plunge deeper into the investigation, the gangster world they're trying to penetrate becomes more labyrinthine; that, plus a few plot points, makes one wonder if the title is an hommage to the 1953 Fritz Lang film of the same title. Much of this film consists of violent shoot-outs, car chases, and torture scenes, which are edited with great skill, the cutting timed to the action to produce an almost abstract rhythm. But they're ultimately mechanical, and the film is rather soulless. 98 min.

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