Film pick: Firestorm (NC16)

Hong Kong police inspector Lui (Andy Lau, above) is determined to nab baddie Nam (Hu Jun), a crook who has escaped jail sentences multiple times due to a lack of court evidence. He must also decide if he can trust his former classmate Shing Bong (Gordon Lam), a former convict who shows up with insider information and volunteers as an informant on an upcoming job.

Chinese films have toyed with big explosions before (see last year's The Viral Factor), but rarely have they reached a scale as large as what is shown in this one climactic scene alone. Entire buildings collapse, vehicles fly up and the ground eventually caves in on itself. It is a destructive scene that is almost on a par with big blow-ups featured in major Hollywood blockbusters such as the Transformers movies, even if some of the computer- generated imagery is a little patchy.

For action film fans, it is exhilarating to watch, though the scene drags on far too long and could have done with some judicious editing. Still, going by the amount of fiery spectacle alone, the film manages to stand apart from the typical Hong Kong police actioner, despite the familiar-sounding premise.

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