The movie's characters would all be completely unmemorable if they were not frequently ridiculous. The villain is a monstrous, deceitful, child murdering fiend. The heroes, even though they have taken the wrong course in life, are, nonetheless, brave, loyal decent individuals, and their girlfriends are feisty and genuinely goodhearted. None of these persons is likely to make much of an impression on the viewer, except insofar as they amuse him with their exaggerated personalities.
Fortunately, the frequent action sequences included in Flaming Brothers are reasonably entertaining. Although a few are, admittedly, rather poorly done, most of the movie's fights are decently if not impressively choreographed. The final confrontation between the heroes and their enemies, for instance, consists of a surprisingly bloody gun battle in a stable which, despite its occasional misstep, is genuinely exhilarating. Regrettably, it does end with some of the worst portrayals of dying I have seen in any film.
Finally, I should add that several of the comic routines included in the movie are actually somewhat funny. While I cannot say that they are ever inspired, it is likely that a few of them will make the viewer laugh. For instance, one, in which Ka-Hsi, Chang, and one of Chang's henchmen perform for a group of elderly persons, though completely tangential to the movie's narrative, is genuinely amusing. Within the space of a couple of minutes, the viewer will have the opportunity to see Chang imitating Boy George, Chang and Ka-Hsi exchanging a fake moustache and, in the process, sharing a kiss, and the three performers, along with their audience, dancing with silly glee.
It is extremely unlikely that the viewer will be impressed by Flaming Brothers, but the film does have enough appeal for it to be enjoyable.
Review by Keith Allen
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