Worth the Spark? Burning Flames Review

Hooked!!! Hooked!!! Hooked! From the very first 10 minutes of Burning Flames, I was Hooked. I jumped on this drama while waiting for new episodes of The Legend Of Shen Li and I just couldn’t stop watching it.

Burning Flames Chinese Drama Review
Our Score

Impressions

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As always the drama opened up with a brief introduction to the root of the storyline. The story of how Hei Long eliminated the ancient immortals and created a new immortal realm. This new immortal realm is evil, they don’t treat mortals as humans.

I found this interesting cos first, it’s rare seeing the immortal being evil. I mean, immortals are always hypocrites in most dramas and in Burning Flames, they just give us an image of how messy it can be if immortals were evil. It’s not the usual “immortals are helping mortals to get rid of demons”. This is something new, humans against evil immortals. Secondly, mortals are given a spotlight to showcase their powers.

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This can be seen when the King of Xin destroyed an edict from Hei Long (The King of Immortals) presented by XuanChai as he was tired of being a slave to the immortals. Then war between state of Xin and Immortals began. From this point, you might say “Oh, what’s the point of humans fighting immortals when we know who will win”. This is exactly what I thought but then the mortals surprised the immortals, I won’t tell you who won.

Remember, it’s all happening in the first three episodes. In these three episodes, they offered impressive scenes that we normally get at the end of the drama. The battle between Xin King and The King of Immortals Hei Long was something you’d expect at the end. Also with the immortals coming down to the mortal world as if it was an end game scene… I’m impressed!

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Then there’s the story of Wu Geng, the son of Xin King. I won’t say much about his mother because I might drop a spoiler. His story was unpredictable until the battle began and put all the puzzles together. So Wu Geng ended up losing his parents because of the battle and he had to take the identity of Gou to survive and possibly save the mortals. To do that, he has to pretend to be Gou and live his life. Gou had a friend called Bai Cai, who’s suspicious of this new Gou but she plays along.

Another interesting story is this one of the prophecy which is a ‘nightmare’ to Hei Long. It is said that there will a mortal who will be a God of war and defeat Hei Long. Hei Long is always on the lookout for this mortal.

God Of War? Not So Believable

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It’s no secret that this story is about a God of war from the human race who will unite all realms. I have witnessed the journeys Wu Geng took and challenges he faced along the way. I wanted more from this character because of the way they built him up.

They always say Wu Geng is the only one who can defeat Hei Long. I believed it first but I started doubting it when he got “stronger”. There’s nothing special about Wu Geng to be honest. They keep referring him as the child of the prophecy and the one to reunite all realms but they failed to prove it. Why am I saying there’s nothing special about him?

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Firstly, Wu Geng is weak to be Hei Long’s opponent. From the very first episode, Wu Geng was weak and protected. His entire journey was too smooth as if someone paved the way for him. He never met a real challenge that would make him fit to challenge Hei Long.

He fought most of the Immortals and he never managed to get a clean win on them. How is he fit to fight Hei Long who is 1000x more powerful than those immortals? One of the sages gave a clear comparison of Hei Long’s powers and Wu Geng’s power. He was right, and I expected to see Wu Geng improve but he never did.

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Secondly, Wu Geng only has two moves. The entire drama, I saw Wu Geng using two moves in his fights. All he does is throw a punch then dodge his opponents’ attacks and throws another punch when he sees an opening. Another move of his is the shield he uses to protect himself from attacks. This isn’t a good moveset for a God of war. 90% of the cast (fighters) had more moves than him. They were presented as a threat but as for Wu Geng… All he does is talk big but barely improve.

Thirdly, Wu Geng had colorless realm power which is said to be number one in the world but he struggled to fight other immortals. I’m not talking about sages, but immortals who had less power compared to sages. And you believe this guy will defeat Hei Long?

Colorless Realm Power Is No Power

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All the hype about colorless real was for nothing. Hei Long did show how powerful that power is but then Wu Geng achieved it and it lost its value. Wu Geng sees a mouse in the house, he uses colorless realm. I’m just kidding on this one but Wu Geng did indeed overuse colorless realm. What’s worse is he never presented that power as something that people fear.

At the beginning, this power was feared by people because only Hei Long had it and he used it to defeated Wu Geng’s father who had the power of a Phoenix (undying bird), which is second to Hei Long in terms of power. Then the power got to Wu Geng and other immortals were like “oh, he’s got that power. Now we are no match for him.” Two episodes later they’re beating him like no body’s business even with that power.

Blah blah, “I’ll use my colorless realm power” to do this and that. That line is so irritating and I would cringe every time he says that. I don’t even know how many times he said that line and nothing big happened. This power’s reputation was ruined even Hei Long didn’t use it in the last battle.

Bai Cai The Burden

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I don’t know about others’ opinion of Bai Cai but I saw her as a burden. She cried in all episodes (except when she went to the immortal clan), if you don’t believe me check it out. At first, I didn’t have a problem with her and I admired her love and loyalty for Gou.

Then she became a burden after the mine plot. She was everywhere you know and she does nothing beneficial. All she does is appear in every scene crying and shouting Gou’s name a hundred times. She reminded me of these characters of female students who fall for their teachers, they always shouting “master”. It is so annoying!

Was Allen Ren Fit For The Roles?

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I actually began to ask myself if Allen Ren was fit to play Wu Geng / Gou, when this Wu Geng character started training. It’s not like I’m hating on Allen Ren. I’m just not fully satisfied with his performance, it felt like something was missing. The way he tried to look serious and determined wasn’t convincing. For me, it’s a 50/50 thing regarding my satisfaction with Allen Ren’s performance.

Xu Zhengxi Has It

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Favoritism aside, Retirement aside. Xu Zhengxi nailed the Hei Long character. I don’t see any problem with his character, he made Hei Long convincing. Another thing that made this character realistic, is his appearance. Hei Long only appeared in three or four episodes and you could feel his presence. You can sense other characters’ fear whenever Hei Long appears. This is why I say Xu Zhengxi has it. He’s great as a villain, he’s great as a hero.

Burning Flames Ending

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Burning Flames has an open ending. I expected this kind of ending when I watched the drama. This is the overused ending in the Chinese drama world. They always take a character off screen and then the remaining characters will question their absence. This is no spoiler, it’s how every drama ends nowadays even the one you just watched ended the same way. What do I have to say about the ending?

The ending sucks and Hei Long lost because the ml was protected by the storyline. Nothing can make me believe Wu Geng stood a chance against Hei Long. Wu Geng wouldn’t even beat the Grand Elder if they fought, so how could he defeat Hei Long?

They ruined Wu Geng’s character by getting him help whenever he fought someone. Even in the last battle, he didn’t defeat any of the sages alone. He had help, then you expect him to beat the king of immortals? What a joke! Like I said in the beginning, Hei Long’s battle with Xin King is the one that should’ve been the final battle.

Conclusion on Burning Flames Review

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This review is one of the longest reviews I ever wrote. There are characters who were fantastic but I would be extending the review if I talked about each one of them. My favorite character has to be Gui Mu, he always cracks me up. I’m so happy to see Bambi Zhu in action again. I loved the drama, no lie. I enjoyed every minute of it and found it very suitable for people who are into gaming because of the battle scenes and costumes.

Even the story itself feels like you’re playing a game where you have to fight your way up to challenge the final boss. I highly recommend it. If you loved Wu Geng, there’s no crime in admitting he wasn’t powerful enough to defeat Hei Long. What do you think about this drama?

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4 Comments

  1. In reality, there is no way Wu Geng can defeat Hei Long which is an immortal and simply the most powerful immortal in existence. Do you remember how the Great Sage describe how different is their power? Between the Great Sages and the 6 Great Immortals are like a baby and a strong man while between the Great Sages and Hei Long is like an ant and a giant. Their power, is just so vastly different in magnitude.

    The question on whether is he really that special, I thought it is shown pretty well in the drama in every arc. What I like about Ren Jialun’s script in general is how something is shown from action in the storyline instead of someone else tell us what is the special thing about his character (telling but not showing). The first arc, it is shown how immature but full of courage he is. In the 2nd arc which is the Mine Arc, it shows how clever he is using his wits in defeating the enemies and ended up becoming a leader, respected and his policy ended up producing more blood crystal despite everyone having more rest at the mine. In the same time, you can see how he win the the heart of the blue giant despite everyone treating him like a monster. Then comes the Shenyin Arc which we see how he struggled against even the normal immortal but due from training for a few months, he quickly become excellent and by the time the arcs finished, he already can fight the 6 immortal despite losing. Then comes the King City Arc where he learnt the Qi power from his uncle and you can see how he can master it in just one night showing how naturally talented he is when his uncle practicing the Qi power his whole life. Then, those combination — his divine power and qi power lead to him defeating Shi Xing easily. Then comes to Demon World Arc, here, it is shown how he is just natural leader at heart with the way he treated the demon race — he sees them just as he sees the Xin people, the people he needs to protect, he also helped united the demon race which have been disarray since their leader die. And again, he won the heart of all demon and start recruiting the team for his anti-immortal team. Then comes the Xinyue Kui Scheme arc. This is where it is shown how intelligent as he is in fooling the enemy while also by this time, his power already exceeded all the 6 Great Immortals as shown with how Xinyue Kui is already at the verge of dying before being saved. Then you know how it goes after that. IMO, Wu Geng’s character development is like one of the best as he is shown to have talent not only in having superior divine power but he also has the brain, wisdom and compassion that can win the heart of many people be it human, immortals, demon, monsters or even mystical beasts. It is shown smoothly, naturally but effectively telling us why Wu Geng is indeed the person they told in prophecy — you can see in the way he inspire people as well as giving hope to all the 3 realms which have been living in the dark for 100k years under Hei Long.

    And I thought the best part is the ending. It is shown that from his training in Illusion Island, his power already exceeded the Great Sages that is why is it very easy for him to defeat the White Lotus Sage. It wasnt realistic for him to defeat Hei Long since he is only half immortal (who only train for like 1 or 2 years) while Hei Long has lived 100k years and known as the greatest immortal who has practiced his colorless realm for more than 100k years. That is why, they comes back to the analogy how he said ‘thousand ants can defeat a giant’ and that is exactly what he we got in the end. It wasnt Wu Geng alone who defeat Hei Long but it is a collective efforts on everyone — him combining with Erxing’s demon power & Phoenix power & everyone literally giving him power to defeat Hei Long. It is realistic and after all showing that you cant do things on your own and you can only achieve things when you work together as a team, a unit — which is one of the theme of the drama. The prophecy said he has the power to defeat Hei Long and you can see how he is indeed the ‘hope’ that makes that impossible thing happened — it is more figurative in meaning not actually he has this super power than is even greater than Hei Long’s.

    And it wasnt an Open Ending to me since the passing of times (Spring, Summer, Autumn & Winter), the house that they shared together at human world, the snowman (the exact snowman that Bai Cai did at the mine), and Wu Geng’s expression (smile with tears) when the door is opened is all indicated that he reunited with Bai Cai in the end.

    • Great view, but Wu Geng didn’t defeat the White Lotus Sage easily, he had help from Chen Jing who sacrificed his life. Wu Geng was indeed smart and the mine arc did build his character as someone who can lead different clans, that one is undeniable. What I don’t like is how they portrayed his level of power. Like you said, he surpassed the 6 great immortals and it was stated but there was no change to prove what they said. Sure, he was able to sense the immortals spying on him and he could block them from doing that, but he still lacked. He has the brains but he lacked in battles.

  2. I think Allen ren nailed the character Wu geng before you write you should watch the anime first in anime his character can’t fight with anyone alone he need helps in every fight but in drama he’s better he did fight alone but always want a help bcz his character is like that in anime also so i think Allen do a great job

    • our views won’t be the same 🙂 Someone said Wu Geng in the anime was better than Wu Geng in the drama and you are saying the opposite. This is what I love about watching dramas and discussing them, everyone comes with their opinion and we debate around it…lol. Thing is, everytime I write a review on a drama I only focus on the drama not the novel, manga or anything it is adapted from… just what I see in the drama, but I get your point.

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