Burning Paradise

1994 Directed by Ringo Lam. Starring Kwan Tin Sang.

REVIEWED By Joey O'Bryan, Fri., Aug. 12, 1994

Produced by prolific fantasy auteur Tsui Hark (Chinese Ghost Story), this latest film from gritty actionmeister Lam (Full Contact) applies his hard edge to the usually lighthearted period kung fu film, making for a unique entry into the genre. The plot follows the adventures of legendary Chinese heroes Fong Sai Yuk and Hung Sei Kwan, imprisoned in a brutal, trap-laden, underground temple following their capture during the destruction of the famed Shaolin Temple. As usual, Lam dazzles with a combination of violent action, wicked irony, and down-and-dirty script mechanics, while producer Hark provides the generous production values that give the whole affair that extra gloss. Newcomer Kwan Tin Sang's performance as Fong has made him the hot new action star in Hong Kong, and his stylish acrobatics are sure to keep audiences happy. However, it's Lam's bizarre direction that makes this one of the better chopsocky efforts in recent memory. He manages to make the genre's clichés seem brand new again, creating a considerably darker and more sinister piece than your typical martial arts picture. Picture Abel Ferrara directing a Jet Li movie and you'll get the idea. Although the finale is a slight letdown, for the most part, Burning Paradise is a terrific movie that tells an old story with a new attitude.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More by Joey O'Bryan
The Legend of Drunken Master
A classic chopsocky mixture of action and comedy, capped by a ferocious 20-minute finale.

Oct. 19, 2000

Iceman Cometh

Aug. 30, 1996

KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

Burning Paradise, Ringo Lam, Kwan Tin Sang

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle