3.0, Hong Kong/China

Prison on Fire

1987 / Ringo Lam > It’s a bit tragic that A Prophet may have forever ruined expectations for prison films. Trendsetter Lam’s take on the genre tries very hard to shine through the brutal experience of being behind bars but never really breaks through with anything particularly memorable. Prison on Fire ends up being a fairly ho-hum tale with a few stereotypical characters saved primarily by another fantastic performance by Chow Yun-Fat, who’s considerably more watchable when directors utilize his abundant charisma. Consider this an appetizer of sorts for their electrifying joint-effort in Full Contact.