: Out Of Inferno
: Oxide Pang, Danny Pang
: Sean Lau Ching Wan Lau, Louis Koo, Angelica Lee, Sinji Lee
Out of Inferno is certainly not one of those masterpieces you want to watch in a film festival. The Chinese movie was screened at the 45th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) 2014 as China is the focus country at the festival this year. It was earlier screened at 32nd Brussels International Film Festival.
Even more than a decade after their first film, The Eye, was released in 2002, Oxide and Danny Pang continue to be legendary names for supernatural-thriller enthusiasts. With Out Of Inferno, released last year, however, the director duo seems to have lost the fire.
This one is about two brothers -- Tai-kwan (Sean Lau Ching-wan) and Keung (Louis Koo Tin-lok) who start their careers as firefighters. They start drifting apart when one of them decides to do a business in fire-fighting equipment. The 107 minute-long movie centres around the one day in the life of the brothers, when they are forced to keep their differences aside and work as a team to save hundreds of lives.
While the director brothers, who've also co-written the screenplay, have a fairly thrilling script at hand, they fail to establish the characters well enough to get the audience involved in their emotional conflicts.
Perhaps the Pang brothers tried to explore much more than what they could handle. There are too many sub-plots in Out of Inferno, and none of them is given enough time to develop adequately. The personal challenges firefighters face, the sacrifices they have to make with their families, their emotional turmoils, their choices (or the lack of them) when confronted with a life-and-death situation, the tension between the two brothers on either ends of an ideological difference... none of these are given enough time, and by the end, you feel these issues are all but scattered around in the movie. The problem is, except for the scary fire visuals, none of the elements really leave an impact.
Out of Inferno, however, offers some interesting insights into the process of firefighting - the drills for firefighters, the actual procedure while extinguishing fires and much more. Also, the action-ridden screenplay is exciting enough to keep you on the edge of your seat, and the entire package is a thrilling experience. The fire sequences are scarily scorching and leave you disturbed for long.
The absence of actual human presence, because the directors didn't put in any effort to build the characters, however, mars the whole experience and there is very little you leave the hall with.