P (2002)
Dry Wood Fierce Fire

Reviewed by: Hyomil
Date: 04/07/2011

Reviewer Score: 6

Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 05/27/2003
Summary: Pretty good

There has not been such a interesting female character since Sammi Cheung in NEEDING YOU....

Miriam Yeung character is so interesting. A woman who purposely makes her eye sight go bad, someone know whos herbal chinese medicine and kung fu.

There are a few laughs in this, and i think they are making fun of how good looking Louis Koo is. But the comedy and interest fades after the 2nd half but a good ending helps this movie. A movie to watch with your bf/gf


Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: Stardust
Date: 12/09/2002
Summary: Compared to "Love Undercover"

For those who have watched and loved Miriam Yeung's "Love Undercover" and is expecting "Dry Wood Fierce Fire" to be just as good, if not better, will be slightly disappointed.

Compared to "LU", this is more serious and the story line actually makes a little more sense. The jokes are in there, but it won't deliver the same effects. I guess it's because no one expected anything big out of "LU" therefore it was more fun to watch. "DWFF" on the other hand, may have generated viewer expectations just by the knowing who the stars were.

Miriam and Louis Koo, probably one of the dream couples to snag for a movie lately, is a good match with chemistry. Both have one, if not more, hit movie under their belts, and their fan base is pretty solid. Honestly, just knowing that these two were in the movie, plus Flora Chan, made me want to watch it ASAP.

Back to the movie itself: the storyline is simple and predictable. But thats ok, since all of Miriam's movies are like that, and some of us still like to watch her. Characterwise, Miriam has the best role...well developed and a step up from her old roles. Louis Koo reminds me of himself in "La Brassiere", but a bit more shallow. Why Flora took on her role is a mystery. There is TINY character development and little screen time. She's a good actress, so why not use her more?

As a fan of all three actors, this would have been great. But I guess my expectations were too high. So, after watching it, I'd say it was really good. Definitely worth watching at least once.

Rating 9.5/10

Reviewer Score: 9

Reviewed by: danton
Date: 08/12/2002

I only watched this film because I was under the impression there would be some Kung Fu in here. Well, I suppose there is (or at least what passes for Kung Fu in HK cinema these days), but other that that this is just another office romance with Miriam Yeung (who seems to be starring in ever other HK film right now) doing a rather uninspired Sammi Cheng impersonation. There's very little to distinguish this film, and in fact I've already forgotten most of it. Recommended for Louis Koo completists only.

Reviewed by: abc_in_nyc
Date: 08/05/2002
Summary: A feel-good romantic comedy with charm

When I first sat down to watch this movie, I expected something along the lines of Miriam Yeung's "Love Undercover" and "Dummy Mommy" films. While there were some similarities, "Dry Wood Fierce Fire" lacked the wackiness and implausibility of those other two films. There was a more realistic and serious feel to this romantic comedy, providing a certain charm that the other two lacked.

The first hour of this movie featured Miriam Yeung at her bubbliest. There was a lot of overacting with loud, flat deliveries of lines. It had a childish feel to it and I can understand how some people find that annoying. For now, I find it fresh, honest, and somewhat cute, but I really hope to see her skills improve in the coming years. Sometimes I wonder if certain professionals would tolerate her amazing enthusiasm in front of the camera.

Louis Koo looked like he walked right off the set of La Brassiere, further solidifying his position as Vice President of the "I need a haircut" club (currently headed by the esteemed Ekin Cheng). Regardless of hairdo, he did a solid job as male lead. His chemistry with Miriam Yeung had a soothing and comforting feel, which was one of the plot's major points. It sort of contradicts the title of the movie, but what's in a name anyway?

The tail end of the film gave Miriam Yeung a chance to show some acting depth. At this stage in her career, it looks like she's just being herself when acting happy or sad. It was almost painful to hear her say "He doesn't like your daughter" to her parents. She seemed genuinely upset in that delivery and in subsequent scenes.

Overall, I found this to be a very charming film. I just watched it for the third time and still enjoyed Miriam Yeung's performance. It was really what drove this movie for me.

Rating: 4/5

Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: addy
Date: 08/03/2002
Summary: Pretty Funny

Never regret buying this movie. I watched it 5 times now and still laugh my heart out, especially at the nose-bleeding part. I think it's much funnier than Love Undercover!

Reviewed by: snookie_1
Date: 06/26/2002
Summary: a slight disappointment but funny nevertheless...

i saw this movie after love undercover and i must say i'm a BIT disappointed...after watching LU i was looking forward to this movie, knowing that miriam yeung and louis koo both do some good comedy and flora chan,my fav tv star,is in the film...but the movie as a whole was a little under the par...i admit there were some funny laugh out loud moments but when u compare the amount of time u spend laughin and the amount of time u spend waiting for the jokes...the latter outweighs the former..some side comments are that flora chan looks mighty cool in another strong woman role as the writer michelle, and i also feel that louis koo looks and acts a little...ummm...cam?? but just my opinion so all louis koo fans plz halt the hate mail!i also give my props to yuen-king-dan for putting on the makeup to be miriam yeung's mom...wyman wong makes an ok side role although he's not given much material to work wif..pretty solid comedy, and if u don't have high expectations u won't get disappointed 7.5/10

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: lemoncola
Date: 06/26/2002
Summary: Funny! Pure Comical Genius

Looking at the cover photo on the DVD box for Dry Wood, Fierce Fire, I did not think this movie would be good. Looking at Miriam Yeung and Louis Koo together, makes me shake my head "No." To me they do not look like a good match. Therefore my first reaction was "Huh? Dry Wood, Fierce Fire???"

Miriam Yeung gives a great performance as Alice, the daugher of Dr. Tsui who is a great herbalist. Alice herself is a great herbalist, but not so good at her job as a writer at the magazine. She also knows kung-fu and her parents tries to set her up with eight-time kung fu champion (Wyman Wong).
All throughout her childhood, her parents taught her that beauty comes from within and that the outer appearance is not so important.

Alice works for a magazine called Ladies and Louis Koo (plays Ryan Li) works for a magazine called Gents. Ladies and Gents both merge to become one magazine, the new boss is Flora Chan (plays Michelle) who is a well-known writer.

When Alice first sees Ryan, she sees him in slow motion. But when Ryan sees Alice, he does not have any feelings. When Ryan sees Michelle, he sees her in slow motion. Therefore at the beginning of the movie you know Alice likes Ryan, but Ryan likes Michelle = Love Triangle.

There are many funny scenes in this movie. I have to mention this one scene, when the doorman calls Alice "Mrs. Li" (as in Ryan Li's wife). She had just came from Ryan's apartment and is very upset because she was locked up in the refrigerator freezing (hiding from Michelle) and she is really angry at Ryan. She kicks the hanging light and the light bulb breaks. She then looks at the doorman, waves her finger as in suggesting "no" in front of him and then clutches both fists (makes bone cracking noise) and then again with one fist (makes bone cracking nose), this is so Bruce Lee! I was laughing hysterical at this scene.

Does Miriam and Louis have good chemistry? A big NO! There is very little chemistry between the two of them. But that is okay, because it fits well with the movie title. I think Miriam gave a very wonderful and funny performance, her character was very well-developed and most audience members can really feel what her character is feeling and can relate and at times sympathize with her.
The only thing that bugged me the most -- was Miriam's wardrobe. At least the director could have given her a much nicer outfit for the Merger Party scene. She looked like she was out for a jog and the hair was totally wrong! All the outfits she wore made her look like she just got off the farm truck. Very hee-haw.

Some of the scenes look a bit improvised. Like the scene where Alice is showing Ryan how to give a present of a necklace to a girl, which will make her heart melt. Miriam is laughing a lot and some of the stuff she does is funny, but kind of weird.

I wish there was more to the ending of the movie. It is somewhat satisfying and disappointing at the same time (I won't say because that will give it away). You will have to watch the movie to see how it ends.

This movie is really funny. I think the writers did a great job. I watched this movie 3 times and am still loving it.

Reviewed by: magic-8
Date: 06/06/2002
Summary: Yueng's Winning Performance

You've seen this movie before. The plot is as thin as rice paper and the characters are straight out of a comic strip. What separates Wilson Yip's "Dry Wood Fierce Fire" from other recent Hong Kong comedies (including "Love Undercover") is Miriam Yeung as Alice. Miriam gives an infectious and bubbly performance as the plain girl in the middle of a love triangle with Louis Koo and Flora Chan. Director Yip is able to elicit a winning turn from Miriam that borders on extemporaneous outtake material.

At first, I thought "Dry Wood Fierce Fire" would be just another also-ran comedy, where every character appeared to be cardboard cutouts, from Alice's parents to her coworkers. All of my trepidations were allayed after the 20-minute mark when Miriam breaks free from the caricature portrayal into an idiosyncratic person full of vim and vigor. Miriam's performance is so vivacious that it even rubs off on Louis Koo, to create chemistry between the two leads. Koo still has problems with character transitions, but that is a minor flaw.

One day Miriam will make a film in which the producers give her a better wardrobe. Her recent movies show her in the frumpiest, unflattering of outfits. Kudos goes to Wilson Yip for transforming such lackluster material into a positive vehicle for Yeung. The other outstanding performance in the film goes to Wyman Wong, who plays one of Yueng's suitors, an eight-time kung fu champion. Cheung Tat-Ming also appears in a memorable cameo, as Yeung's uncle, filled with some funny kung fu antics.

Yueng steals the show with her winning performance and is the only reason to recommend "Dry Wood Fierce Fire."

Reviewed by: Inner Strength
Date: 05/26/2002
Summary: And another one...

Yet again, we are struck with a romance comedy. Another dull one at that. Though I still go by what I've said before about Miriam Yeung (being a good singer, but terrible actresses), she did seem to have her heart in this one a little more than usual. Not a lot more though, and Louis Koo is more annoying than ever in this.

I don't think too many people would enjoy this, except maybe new-comers to HK films. Like Syndneyguy said, it's more for a couple to go see.


Reviewer Score: 4

Reviewed by: MrBooth
Date: 05/26/2002
Summary: Pointless exercise in derivative movie-making

I enjoyed Wilson Yip's last movie, 2002, quite a lot. Not a work of brilliance like his earlier movies BULLETS OVER SUMMER and JULIET IN LOVE, but a positive sign that he was getting used to working with bigger budget/higher profile movies and casts. When I heard that he had a new movie called "Dry Wood, Fierce Fire", I was quite optimistic - I think that's one of the best movie titles I've heard in a while. When I heard it was a romantic comedy starring Miriam Yeung I was less excited... surely they don't need a director with the style, insight and intelligence that Yip has shown to make a romantic comedy? But NEEDING YOU and LA BRASSIERE have perhaps proved that great directors can turn a romantic comedy into something more than box office fluff, so I was still cautiously excited.

Dry Wood, Fierce Fire gets off to a promising start - we are introduced to Miriam Yeung's character as a child, where she is quite cute and quirky, and the key scenes of her development that we get to witness are both very strange and quite funny... it reminded me a little of the opening scenes of Amelie. With parents like Yuen King-Tan and Lo Meng, there was no doubt that Miriam (Alice) would grow up to be a little odd. Kooky perhaps. And lo, here is Miriam herself as the fully grown Alice, and how quirky she is! And so very, very annoying! Vaguely reminiscent of Sammi Cheng's character in Love On A Diet (but not quite so fat), but... even more annoying. And at least in LOAD you felt it was because that's how the character was meant to be. Here, it's impossible to accurately decide whether Miriam is acting really badly or just not acting at all.

So annoying!

The plot, a vaguely LA BRASSIERE-esque setup... the female staff of a women's magazine and the male staff of a men's magazine suddenly find themselves working together when the magazines are merged. Mostly very very NEEDING YOU though, as Miriam and Louis Koo's characters are brought closer together as friends under the pretext that Louis is helping Miriam to be less geek-y and Miriam is helping Louis to make himself more attractive to super-cute boss Michelle (Flora Chan apparently?). Will they fall in love? Will they tell each other how they feel in time? 3 guesses...

There are some amusing moments, but for the most part it just feels so incredibly derivative there is just no excitement whatsoever about what might happen, how it all will end. I found myself praying for the movie to throw some kind of curve ball that showed it wasn't sticking like glue to the romantic comedy formula, but it doesn't. It just gets more and more derivative as it progresses, to the point it could be interchanged with pretty much any fluffy romantic comedy without anyone noticing. In some movies, the characters and the performances and the little details elevate the movie above fluff status, but nothing here has that effect. Louis Koo is flat, Miriam Yeung never gets any less annoying or shows any sign of actually acting, and an interesting supporting cast are extremely underused.

I didn't walk out of the movie, but I was quite tempted to do so since viewing it seemed basically redundant when I've seen the other movies whose patterns it clings to so closely. Perhaps I was hoping that it was all just a cruel joke, and in the final reel at least *something* interesting would happen. Not a chance. So horribly formulaic, so shallow and candy-coloured, so completely pointless... and Miriam is *so* annoying.

Definitely not recommended I'm afraid.

Reviewer Score: 3