The Green Dragon Conspiracy


Reviewed by: sukting

May 16, 2004

Rating: three-point-five


The Green Dragon Conspiracy (Fu Bak Ching Lung)

How long/Year produced
20 episodes done in year 1979 (can't remember the year clearly - will appreciate if someone can enlighten me)

Cast
Chiu Xun - Chiang Da Wai(sometimes act in atv serials)
Tsui Yuk- Ng Wai Kok (now acting in China and is Liu Xiaoqing's boyfriend)
Tsui Que - Kuan Wai Lun (still with ATV)
Tsui Ao - Cheng Su Fung (the cop in The Date I Have With The vampire)
Sheung Gun Pien Pien - Chan Sau Mun (the lawyer Michelle in FOJ)

Story: (Spoilers)
A very sad story on seeking revenge. Chiu and Tsui are both rival families. Both are reputed to be skilful in making arms. The Tsui family is more successful in making explosives. Since then, the Chiu clan is often overshadowed. Master Chiu has an only son, Chiu Xun who is a womaniser. He has trouble dealing with him as he is always not at home. He is often with his beautiful companion, either playing with the zither or doing sword practices together.

Pien Pien is Chiu's housekeeper, Sheung Gun Tai's only daughter. She has been away from Chiu family since young to learn skills from an abbess. The first time she comes home, she sees Chiu Xun hugging Ning in his arms. The way that she chides him for being a good-for-nothing really makes me laugh. Chiu Xun is amused and says that he has not seen a spitfire like her before and jokingly says that he will woo her when time comes.

On the other hand, the Tsui family has 3 capable sons. The eldest, Tsui Que is mild-mannered. The second, Tsui Ao has a fiery temper. The third, Tsui Yuk is the most intelligent, skilful in martial arts and evil of all. In fact, the family dotes on him and he is in charge. Strangely, his two brothers are not jealous and are even willing to be his followers.

One day, Master Chiu is found dead. Tai brings his head to see the Tsui family. Mistress Tsui is delighted and gives him an important post. However, Tsui Yuk still suspects his loyalty and does not involve him in making the weapons. Actually, the family success is due to Tsui Yuk's brother-in-law, Lui Kong. He has done so much till his right hand is poisoned as a weapon. But Yuk's sister, Kuen Kuen is sick of doing bad deeds for the family. Both decide to retreat in the woods and they disappear for a few years. Tsui Yuk is enraged and orders his men to seek them out but to no avail.

Pien Pien learns about it and is shocked. She does not believe that he will do such a thing. She bades her master, Abbess Mieu Ching, farewell to find out the truth. In the meantime, Chiu Xun grieves for his father's death. He decides to train on his skills and not doing anything else. And indeed, his skills reaches a higher stage where he can make use of lighted candles to form the Chinese character, revenge. Ning is very disappointed and meets Tsui Yuk. She falls for him, only to find that he only wishes to hurt Chiu Xun by having her. She is very remorseful and later leaves without seeing anyone.

Chiu Xun is sad over the news. He is further angered when seeing Pien Pien. He accuses her father of being a traitor and a killer. Pien Pien is very upset and goes to the Tsui family to meet her father. Tsui Que is attracted by her beauty and tries to impress her. She has zero interest in him and tries to pretend to be a willful woman to scare him off. To her dismay, she still fails.

Her father observes this and persuades her to stay in the Tsui residence. He also tells Pien Pien the true story. Master Chiu kills himself and wants Tai to bring his head to stay as a spy in the Tsui family. He wants Tai to help him groom Chiu Xun in the future after stealing the Tsui family's secret in making arms. Pien Pien is sad that the 2 old men are so scheming to get success to ruin their own lives and reputation.

Somehow, she still agrees to her father's plan to be nice to Tsui Que. Tai is even prepared to marry her off to get the secret. Pien Pien is sick of entertaining Tsui Ao per day. And also tired when Tsui Yuk is also checking on her to find out whether she is true to his brother. She manages to find Chiu Xun to tell him about Tai's stand. Chiu Xun finally clears the misunderstanding with Tai.

Lui Kong is ill and needs to see a physician. Somehow, Tsui Yuk's men manage to find him and he is ambushed. Chiu Xun saves him and manages to persuade him to make weapons for him. Kuen Kuen does not like this but retaliates when Chiu Xun promises to let them leave after the completion. Pien Pien fears for their safety and asks for her master's help. But somehow, Tsui Yuk finds out the truth and kills Lui Kong. He even captures Abbess Miu Ching.

He brings her home and the two Sheung Gun are shocked. Pien Pien pretends not to know her master. Tsui Yuk, upon seeing that the abbess doesn't talk at all, crushes her shoulder bones. She is in pain and Tai kills her secretly. Pien Pien is shocked to see this. Tai says that he has no choice but to kill her because Tsui Yuk has caused a lot of pain to her to let her die slowly and painfully. There is no cure to it so he is actually helping her. Now Pien Pien is starting to wonder whether it is worth the trouble and effort and ending up sending so many people to their graves.

She can't play time anymore when Tsui Que presses her to marry him. She goes to Chiu Xun and asks him for help. At this time, Chiu Xun is grateful to her for helping him and both are in love. Both are very troubled and Tai decides that the day of the wedding is the best time to launch an attack.

Unluckily, Chiu Xun is held up by some killers. Both father and daughter are very anxious that they might be killed by the explosives that they have placed in the living room. Pien Pien feels so disgusted to go through the wedding ceremony with Tsui Que. Chiu Xun has not arrived and she has no choice but to strike the explosive at Mistress Tsui, killing her when offering her tea.

Tsui Yuk has suspected her all along and is fast in bringing his elder brother to safety. The three brothers are enraged with the two Sheung Guns. They have a big fight. Tai kills Tsui Ao but he is killed by Tsui Yuk. Tsui Yuk and Tsui Que injure Pien Pien but Tsui Que has no heart to kill her.

Chiu Xun finally arrives and kills Tsui Que. Tsui Yuk proves to be at the upper hand when fighting with Pien Pien and Chiu Xun. In the end, Chiu Xun sits on him and pins him to the ground. He then pierces him with his sword. And my, to make sure that he is really dead, he even uses Tsui Yuk's iron fan to strike at his throat! The poor man dies with his eyes opened after lying still. I enjoy this scene very much as this move is unexpected. This is the first time I have seen Chiu Xun using such a deadly skill to kill someone.

Chiu Xun and Pien Pien restore the Chiu clan's glory. But in their hearts, they think that they have owed the others too much as they are being sacrificed in the process.

Review:
I really count myself lucky to be able to watch the 3 works that Chiang Da Wai has done for ATV in the 80s. But personally, I will prefer "Dynasty" more than this as "Dynasty" has a more gripping story line. In this serial, it seems too fast that he turns into a matured and serious person. There should be room for development for the change. Maybe the producer finds that he can't act 'cute' characters and prefer him to be cool so they change his personality quickly.

But the bonding between him and Chan Sau Mun is very strong. Little wonder they act together again in "Zoi Kin Yik See Lou Por" in the 90s. But still, I like them in their period costumes. Chan is very pretty looking and is convincing as the innocent and yet wise/self-sacrificing Pien Pien. She is the best substitute for Chiang besides Mai Shuet.

She is very good in displaying filial piety too. Although she knows that she is no match for Tsui Yuk, she tries to block him with her small twin swords to avoid him from getting close to her father who has a tough time dealing with Yuk's 2 older brothers. Tsui Yuk gets so mad with her for preventing him from finishing Tai's life quickly. The determination is so clearly shown on her face although she vomits blood.

When watching this scene, I suddenly find Ng and Chan compatible too. Looks like Linghu Cong and Yue Lingshan practising swordsplay in 'The Swordsman' - too bad the producer is blind to arrange her to pair up with an average-looking actor! Sigh -- if the script turns out that she is supposed to trick Tsui Yuk for his love, then viewers may be more convinced. I think viewers will like it more if Yuk and Xun fight in the end not only for the honour of their families but also for her love...

Chiang is good but not as perfect as Tsang Ching in "Dynasty". Most of the time, he looks bored. Maybe this 20 part serial has not given him enough time to warm up. But the fighting scenes are very well-done. Same as the loving feelings that he portrays towards Pien Pien. One flaw though, will be that his costume is not elaborate. Is it because Chiu Xun is always on the run from Tsui Yuk's attacks??

In contrast, Ng Wai Kok as Tsui Yuk outshines him in his white period costume. He really looks handsome here but too bad this is an evil role. But he really does it well. He does it even better than Chiang as a womaniser. I like the way he flirts with different women just to make use of them in their poison tactics in making weapons! Chiang looks a bit stiff but Ng is very natural. Although he is proud and arrogant to the extent of even scolding his brothers, he actually cares for them secretly.

What a contrast of him here from his role of Mou Qing in "The Four Constables". In there, he acts better in emotional scenes than fighting scenes. He is shy and is a reserved introvert. But in here, he displays his agility in fighting skills well. Also ambitious and vicious as well -- to fight for power and fame.

Many scenes of Ng being the top martial arts expert are beautifully done. Especially on the scene where he kills his brother-in-law, Lui Kong, while kicking the abbess in the face. The poor woman doesn't even have the chance to defend herself and is being hit repeatedly on the face. Even Tai who joins in at this time as the masked man to save Lui can only cause the 3 to match him evenly in the duel! Tai has to trick Tsui Yuk that he is being poisoned to save his own life! Another highlight is the duel with Chiu Xun.

No special effects here but still very watchable. I wonder why ATV doesn't produce better serials these days. But I must commend on the good acting from the stars, which make an unexciting story interesting to watch.

Sukting's Rating:
On acting: * * * 1/2 (Scale of 5)
On story: * * * 1/2 (Scale of 5)

Screenshots (http://www.amychan.cc/ Copyrighted)


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