Island Of Fire (HK 1991)

Rating: ***
Cast: Tony Leung (Ka Fei), Samo Hung, Jackie Chan, Andy Lau, Jimmy Wang Yu

A great looking and well made heroic bloodshed prison movie, with a tight and intelligent script, and an all-star cast. Too bad I don't like prison movies... The film follows the lives and motivations of four prisoners who, after rash acts of disobedience, are sentenced to death and then secretly assigned to part of a top secret elite government task force that goes above the law to take out undesirables. Tony Leung is a cop who suspects something is going on in the jail and goes in undercover. Jackie Chan is a professional pool player who gets framed for murdering Andy Lau's brother when he's gambling for money to pay for his girlfriend's life-saving operation. Andy Lau goes to jail in order to kill Chan and avenge his brother. I don't know why Samo Hung is there, but he continually attempts to escape in order to see his son. The first eighty minutes all deal with prison life, the hardships endured, and the friendships that are made. Then it turns around 180 degrees as Leung, Hung, Chan, and Lau go to the Philippines to assassinate a drug lord, with the promise of freedom awaiting the completion of their mission. Too bad for them that they're expendable, and in a double cross, only Tony Leung makes it to safety alive. He then arrests the crooked warden and lives happily ever after with his girlfriend, so I guess it sort of has a happy ending. Very different for Jackie Chan and Samo Hung, who both end up riddled with bullets.