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sQ (1989)
Burning Ambition

Reviewed by: dassault
Date: 03/30/2007
Summary: A Direct rip-off from Kinji Fukasaku's

Anybody who is interested in the HK action movies might be somewhat far-off from the Japanese samurai actions in the almost same era. This is a modernized adaptation of Fukasaku's classic epic "Yagyu conspiracy (1979)" starred by Sonny Chiba, Etsuko Shihomi, and Kinnosuke Nakamura. Actually, the YC is based on a plausible historical fiction across the greedy ambition of the Yagyu family on the thronning of shogunate. Frankie Chan, a genuine gem in HK cinema, aptfully adapted the YC's basic plot and transfomred into a modern funky (yeah, it's really funky and sloppy) kungfu action movie. If one does not recognize this movie has stemmed from Fukasaku's original cinematography, it comes as a satisfying piece of late 80's great action genre. Otherwise, it is just an abuse of the constellation of such great stars as Frankie Chan, Kara Hui, Yukari Oshima, Simon Yam, Austin Wai, Roy Chiao, and Jeffrey Falcon. Even Sin Fui-On, Eddy Ko, Fung Hak-On and Lau Siu-ming make their appearances fairly well. Good entertainment but poor originality while enjoyable.

Reviewer Score: 5

Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 07/17/2002
Summary: good action movie

This Triad movie has the tried-and-true plotline of "dad dies and the brothers fight for control of the family", with Simon Yam being the "good" kid who wants to make the family legit, and Austin Wai beign the "bad" kid who will take out anyone in his rise to power. There are a couple of twists and turns dumped in, but this is by-the-numbers stuff all the way.

What sets Burning Ambition apart are a number of great action sequences -- most notably one with Yuakri Oshima (once again regulated into a too-short role) and Kara Hui having to fend off a group of thugs in a parking garage. The goons break out a bunch of car windshields, which present a problem as the ladies are barefoot, but Yukari manages to whip a bunch of ass anyway using a baseball bat. It's a great bit of action, with plenty of hard hits and some impressive acrobatic movies. Props go out to Yukari for doing a mid-air hurricanarana and Hui for managing to do some impressive kicks while doing a handstand -- moves which need to be seen to be believed.

Even though the film has a disjointed, almost Godfrey Ho-esque feeling at times, it's stuff like this which makes Burning Ambition worth a viewing for action fans, even though those viewers expecting something a bit deeper might be put off by the shortcomings in other areas.

[review from]

Reviewed by: Inner Strength
Date: 01/12/2002
Summary: Just another gangster 'story'

This movie is all over the place at times, not much of a story, but good action at times. But this is just another gangster film, which we've all seen before.

Rating: 2/5

(This rating is based on the year & genre, so don't think it's based as a comparison on new releases etc.)

Reviewer Score: 4

Reviewed by: jfierro
Date: 12/21/1999

The story of a powerful underworld family torn apart by theinternal struggle for power after the boss is murdered. Although it looks like it will be about the two sons who seek to take the place of their father, it ends up being more about the family of one of the advisors. And, of course, producer and director Frankie Chan has to make himself the ultimate hero among the impressive array of stars, even though he is not listed as one of the main actors. Dissappointing plot, but some impressive action sequences.

Reviewed by: hkcinema
Date: 12/08/1999

This stars Simon Yam, Yukari Oshima and a couple of other famous actors who I cannot remember. Anyway, the interesting thing is that all the stars have equal screen time and no one hogs the spotlight in this movie. The movie starts off with the crime boss telling his son (Simon Yam) that while he is in Canada, the son (Yam) will run the crime family. Someone is not pleased about this as they feel the oldest son, Yam's older brother, should be running the crime operation. Well, someone assasinates the boss, and from then on, mayhem erupts as the crime ring is divided in half and one side takes revenge on the other. I don't want to give anything away by telling too much as there are some twists and some unexpected deaths. The movie is low budget, but it doesn't look that way. It has tons of great nonstop action (all of which is pretty believable) and tons of killing, all combined with good acting. I highly recommend this movie.


[Reviewed by Adam Scott Pritzker]

Reviewed by: spinali
Date: 12/08/1999
Summary: NULL

Frankie Chan and his band of martial arts professionals (including perky Yukari Oshima) boost a turncoat triad boss to absolute power, never once realizing the man's capacity for evil. Sped-up fight sequences add some oomph to an otherwise sober drama full of internecine intrigue, but only modest tension.


[Reviewed by Steve Spinali]

Reviewer Score: 5