Ringo Lam has died. A veteran of the Hong Kong film scene, Lam exploded into the world of action and crime films with his 1987 feature film City On Fire . To this day, he remained in the "evil men with arms and honor" as a codifying film "subgenre of crime images and the unofficial inspiration for Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs . Although his later films – including several American films with Jean-Claude Van Damme, many strangely obsessed with duplicates and doublets – have not captured the same kind of style and creative energy, Lams influence on the modern action image is not overlooked
As with many names that would eventually rise to the top of the Hong Kong scene, Lam began in the world of comedy by working for the established producer Karl Maka Geselle at the cheap prices. After her fourth film (coincidentally also the fourth movie in the series of action comedy series by Maka Aces Go Places ) became a hit, Maka Lam gave the license to write and direct this type of film , he wanted to make . City On Fire was the episode.
Consciously following in the footsteps of John Woo's genre-defining A Better Tomorrow – including casting the movie's erupting star, Chow Yun-fat, as the conflicted undercover cop in its midst – City Of Fire is just the kind of tense, violent, violent story of shared loyalties American directors would occasionally copy with varying degrees of success over the next 20 years. The film, which helped a great deal with Chow's fearful charisma (and Lams' years in which he built his choreographic workers), helped cement a whole world of films in which evil men are desperately held on honor codes that are violent Work increasingly conflicting.
The movie was also fortunate enough to be a moderate hit at the box office, making Lams name as producer and allowing him to jump between comedies and the next decade Criminal images (often with the words "On Fire" in the title and with a similarly grim view of Hong Kong society). At the same time, he flirted more actively with the idea of trying to reach the Western public; although he would not make the move to Hollywood until 1996 – thanks to his first Van Damme image – Maximum Risk – – Films like the 1990s undeclared War occupied a number of non-Asian actors (19459024) including Olivia Hussey) in key roles. Hong Kong audiences were generally unimpressed, though films like The Near-To-Home Prison On Fire II continued to be big box office hits.
But despite his reputation (and his status as a source of inspiration for up-and-coming directors like Tarantino), Lam never settled comfortably in the Hollywood world and did not find the modest success that greeted his contemporary Woo. Part of it is probably due to his associating his star with Van Damme; The Belgian martial artist was caught in the long years between his Bloodsport and his later attempts at contraption as a winking self-parody and simply did not have the acting skills to give films such as Risk ] [19459023Replicant or their final collaboration, The Wicked 2003 Prison Thriller In Hell the human touch that so easily permeated Chow in Lams earlier films. The director himself is not off the hook either. His films in the late '90s and early' 2000s betray the feeling of a man increasingly bored with violence and crime and often become like a worker who is often condemned with low praise: "Not even Ringo Lam can save him." As Lams diversified Hong Kong projects in different ways, they similarly began to waver, causing him to take a break of almost a decade when he was making films in the mid-2000s. Even then, his last two films, 2015 Wild City and 2016 Science Fiction Themes Sky On Fire were both referred to by critics as failures.
Ringo Lam's career is a single, overwhelming spirit in reflection: The Earlier Career of Hong Kong Director Ringo Lam. Every filmmaker is, to a degree, condemned to live in comparison to his earlier work. Lam's later films suggest, however, that a man who felt trapped in a particular genre – at least in part because he helped – could never go beyond the simplest beats. At the same time, he played a crucial, indisputable role in shaping the face of action cinema in the 20th and 21st centuries. He risked films in which violent violence is associated with an often depressing open and emotional view of the way modern society moves, the people trapped in it. His flops are likely to fade quickly, consumed by a legacy that has devoured so much of his later work. But the human moments of connection he held, often amid rifle fire, betrayal and hardship Guy Elend, will live on.
Lam was 63 years old.