Island of fire (1991)
aka The Prisoner

Synopsis: A cop goes undercover into a prison to ferret out a crime ring, and investigate prison corruption.  The stories of several of the inmates intertwine with that of the undercover officer. 

Debbie’s Review:  This was the third and (thankfully) final favor that Jackie owed to Jimmie Wang Yu for helping him avoid the Hong Kong triads in the late 70s--early 80s.  Jackie is by no means the star of this film, but Sammo Hung has a major role as one of the inmates. I think that Sammo’s story is pretty sappy, but he does have a few good scenes. Jackie was busy making Operation Condor at the same time he was appearing in Island of Fire, and he only has a few good scenes, most of them too short. He plays a pool hustler, unjustly imprisoned for accidentally killing a man in self defense.  Maybe the most interesting scene is when he is playing pool, and runs the table without missing a shot. Pretty impressive! He also has three fights, short but good ones. This movie is full of the standard prison-movie clichés, and it’s also pretty violent and gory. I guess as a movie, it’s just so-so. As a Jackie Chan vehicle, it’s worth a rental if you’ve nothing better to do. It also has a cameo by Andy Lau, whose performance is worth noting.

Score: 4/10

Reader Reviews

Chan-o-rama's Review: I just cannot stand this movie! It's another example of movie companies using Jackie to sell their low budget, half a$$ed movies. I thought Jackie was supposed to be a good role model, and here he is plopped into Island on Fire. This movie has bad language, blood and gore, partial nudity. Thats just not Jackie's style. I'll give Jackie some credit on his pool skills though. (I wonder if he's really that good?)

Score: for being a pool shark-3/10

Homer J's Review: Considering I only bought this film in order to be a Jackie completist, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it.

The film did go with convention regarding all the usual prison film cliches (corrupt guards, fights amongst inmates, "nice" inmate killed etc) but given the calibre of stars involved it still made for interesting viewing. I thought Sammo especially did a good job, his scenes with his son being quite touching and well played, although his escapes were pretty laughable for their ease! - ooh, create a distraction, steal their car - simple!

One also has to question the merits of using the old wet t-shirt technique for providing (very) cheap laughs, certainly less acceptable in this more politically correct world - hehe.

Jackie's involvement unsurprisingly lifts the film, although his presence is sporadic and doesn't blend into the narrative very well. His fight scenes are unremarkable with Jackie obviously holding back to save his better work for his own productions.

The biggest drawback is the film's twist, whilst although part of the story is not given enough time and just provides an excuse for the explosive finale. I did appreciate the fact that the makers did not take the easy option and let the major players survive, it certainly is a little peculiar to see them die on screen when we are so used to seeing them escape death time and again.

Overall, I would still recommend this movie to JC fans for the pool scene where he shows off his skill in true style. Is there anything this guy cannot do?? Kung-fu, stunts, acting, singing, rugby, shuttlecock hakki-sac and now pool master as well!

It is also fitting that Jackie's involvement in the film starts with his beaming smile and the film finishes with an outtake of him smiling, it provides a nice bookend to his participation to this fairly enjoyable film.

Score: 5/10

Super Tokyo Man's Review: SPOILER ALERT
this was not a true jackie movie but it was entertaning for the first 20 minuetes but then it became boring with its silly plot twists and then at the end they kill jackie! all in all this has to be one of jackie's worst films.

Score: 3/10

Locito's Review: Well, I am under 18 but I still enjoyed it.Although he is not in the movie that much,the storylines of the others made it interesting. 

Score: 8/10

Aaron Newman's Review: SPOILERS! well, this movie wasn't a typical Chan movie, He was only featurd in about, 35 minutes of this 100 minute movie which is unlike jackies tipical movies. It was very interesting though, to say the least, and i also enjoyed Sammo Hungs roll in the film. Also, the end has a little of a twist to it, everyone dies right before they escaped. So, i also enjoyed seeing something different at the end. Over all, i would recomend this movie to any Martial Arts film fan. email me -

Score: 9/10

Nicky's Review: hmm.. Jackie doesn't star very much in this film.. but at least Sammo is there..

the film is suppose to portray what Prison life is like x 10 harsher. The story was a mix of 4 guys and it was very confusing in most parts... Sammo's story was the msot emotional as he wanted to see his Son on his birthday..

unfortunately, all of them 'die' and miraculosly bought back to life.. this is when the story is f*cked up. the 'dead' guys are given another chance to get their life back by taking down an army.. ooh err..

they nearly managed it though until the reinforcements came and shot their asses.. all but one survived.. unfortunately not Jackie

poor beyond doubt, mixed storylines and confliction made this very poor... at least many stars

Score: 4/10

Manny's Review: This movie is not very good for starters but it is for people who is used to blood and Jackie Chan himself. If your under 18 except for me you will hate it. This would be the best Jackie Chan movie 1991-1993. Adam JC fan is right, he is hardly in the movie.

Score: 5/10

Cristopher's Review: I can only say like Debbie says Thank for that being the last favor to Jimmie Wang Yu, this film isn't good, only has some rather good scens and it rather boring after you watch it for 10minuts, you drag yourself throw the movie only becouse you most see the scens with Jackie, I say; Don't watch, don't care

Score: 2/10

Joe's Review: Ok I liked this movie too, *hides* it was stupid, but I still liked it, with some decent stuff 

Score: 5/10

Adam JC fan's Review: This movie was even thought Jackie Chan was barely in it. When he was in the movie, the fight scenes were excellent. 

Score: 6.5/10

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