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Written by Funn Lim


This review was posted many years ago, exactly when I am not sure but it should be within months from the original broadcast of Burning Flame. I am posting it as I have posted it originally.


SPOILERS ... SPOILERS ... SPOILERS



Below is my very personal review of burning Flame.
---by Funn Lim---

Name of series : Burning Flame (Lit For Hung Sum)

How long : 21 tapes(I think)

Who's in it : Plenty of up and coming actors and actresses you can name. Let's see,there's Wong Hei, Louis koo, Esther Kwan,Chin Ka lok,Cheng King Kei,Lee San San,Chan Siu Ha,Chun Pui,Leung Chan and others that I don't know their names but very familiar faces.

What's it about : Firemen In Hong Kong Really, what's the story about : The long one or the basically one?Either way,it's too long to write here. But briefly, it's about these three guys called the Nam Shan Three Tigers(named after their housing estates),and their undying friendship to each other.

Lok Tin Yau (Wong Hei) is the smart one amongst the 3 of them who wants to be a fireman but mommy wouldn't let him to coz he almost burnt to death when he was a littl boy. And Also he doesn't know who's his father is, secretly in love with his Japanese pen-pal(Lee San San) only to realize his true love is Sum Pek Yiu)Esther Kwan),who is the reluctant firewoman who found out her boyfriend was cheating on her not once ,but twice at one go!

Chin Ka Lok plays Ng Tai Hing,a man who is more like a gangster than a fireman, who joined the fire department because his friends wanted to. He has a little sister who later will disappoint him most, a grandmother whom he adores and a woman who is the daughter of a gang leader whom he is later forced to marry for his friends' sake.

The third friend is Sze To But (cheng King Kei) who is the least smart of them all, always depending on his friends to get out of sticky situations. He loves to ask riddles coz it makes him feel smart but never realiasing that his friends knew the answers. He will later fall in love with Ng's sister who will cause his downfall.

Then there's Louis Koo who plays his trade mark role, a cool rich guy who has a mentally retarded younger brother who became a fireman because that was the first place he saw when he was seeking employment. He has a very bad relationship with his rich but uneducated father who hates the youngest son, a big brother who helps with his father's business but things turn ugly when Mr Cool Guy falls in love and successfully snatch away brother's girlfriend, that causes a domino effect that eventually causes every character in the series some bad luck.

Then there's the chief Fireman who we later know is the half brother of Lok Tin Yau who is actually in love with Sum Pek Yiu first but Lok Tin Yau got her at the end and because of sheer jealousy, he turned to a monster and also did things you'll hate him for. Then there's... Wow,t hat was long : this series may only be 40+ episodes but it actually has the contents of a 100 episodes. Very very long but not long winded.

Any annoying factors : Lee San San coz she can't really act here. She has improved tremendously in Detective Investigation Files IV, but luckily, she only has a minor role(and in this series, minor roles can be for about half the series). Another annoying factor would be so many people die in here. Characters that you've seen from episode 1 till almost the end, so get ready with your tissues. Y ou'll need them or else, you just never pay attention to this series. Please do pay attention.

Hate factor : Plenty! Too many in fact. There's Louis Koo's older brother who turned bad after he discovered he ain't the real son of the rich guy and his girl got snatched by Louis koo. He'll cause the imprisonment of Louis Koo and his subsequent amputation of his leg. Did I say too much?? Then there's also the brother of Lok Tin Yau who also turned ugly because his girl got snatched away by his little brother and because his career as a fireman was ruined because of his sheer stupidity. What is it with brothers and girlfriends?

Pity factor : Leung Chan, who plays the woman caught between two brothers (Louis and his brother) who will later be raped ,humiliated, buried alive and that's only half the story. But the award will go to Sze To But who'll definitely make anyone cry for his choice at the end of the series. He will marry Ng's sister who never really loved him and used him as a scapegoat for her illegitimate son, got alienated by his two best friends and caught between saving himself or his loyalty to his gangster friend who was a fireman until his own brother was killed by Louis's big brother. You may think his choice his stupid but come to think of it, it's the only way to salvation of ones soul. See the third last episode.

Cute factor : The Nam Shan Three Tigers. TVB has always been good at portraying friends and their undying loyalty to each other but this series will be the landmark for such portrayal. You'll laugh with them, cry with them, in fact you wanna be with them. It also helps that they have chemistry with one another. Excellent.

Fave Couple : Chin Ka Lok and Chan Siu Ha.Very funny couple. He was the reluctant groom at first and she was the blushing bride but all's well will end well. Mismatched couple : Not in the plot but by looking at them, Esther and Wong Hei. She looks like his sister whilst he's like a little boy. But acting wise, they compliment each other. Another excellent stuff here. Wow, can they act.

Dramatic change : Lok Tin Yau's brother, Lok Hiu fung. From the legendary and very respected fireman chief ,he ,VERY SUDDENLY changes into an ogre, simply because he discovered his girlfriend is actually in love with his half-brother and his hand got so severed by glasses that he himself broke that he no longer can be a fireman. Because of greed and jealousy he ruined his own life and others as well. The change was unbelievable. And another worth mentioning was Louis koo, from an arrogant rich man's son he became a humble man after every bad things that happened to him. I mean this guy will have to see his own father almost die of heart attack, his girl died, his father's company ruined, his freedom taken away, his movement limited, his career and ambitions vanish...Well, he should be the pity factor.

Fave Scene : the training scenes in the first few episode. Funny and very educational. Makes me realize fireman's job isn't only about fire. And every scene that has the Nam Shan Three Tigers.

Troubling scene : yep, there's one. That's where Leung Chan was trapped and buried alive under a big big pile of mud when there was a landslide and firemen was trying to dig her up. The way they tried to dig her up was what scares me the most. With their bare hands and only like ten people there. No wonder that she died. She died????: Oops ,sorry. yeah she died. I mean why do you think they put Lee San San there for what? Louis koo will be the only guy there tall enough to look at her in the eyes. That was the predictable plot but the rest isn't.

So,the verdict : Excellent stuff. Really ,be honest :It's been a long time I've ever been emotional about any series and this one makes me cry like 3 times. the last one made me scream, NOOOOOO!!!! If you watch from episode 1,you'll definitely feel for the characters. The characterization here is excellent. An instant classic so don't miss this one. Better than the movie version, Lifeline : Action wise, NO.If you wanna see action scenes, see the movie. this one is for acting and their interpretation of their characters. May I add that Wong Hei was excellent in here.

Any interesting facts : I saw the making of this series and the fire scenes, all real, No Blue/green screen here. And they got the cooperation of the HK fire department. Took almost 6 months to complete, and was TVB's highest budget series at the moment achieved a high rating of 41 points(and that is extremely high).So for that sake, go watch it. You'll love it.





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