The Heavenly Sword and Dragon Saber


Reviewed by: nauti_ger

December 09, 2004

Rating: four

Cast:
Zhang Cuishan/Zhang Wuji - Alec Su You Peng
Zhao Min - Alyssa Chia
Zhou Zhiruo - Gao Yuan Yuan
Xiao Zhao - Florence Tan
Yin Su Su - Phyllis Quek

Storyline:
As usual I will not go through the plot of the story since its been reviewed so many times. However, if I'm not wrong, the ending does differ from the original story so I suppose by right, Zhang Wuji was not meant to end up with Zhao Min.

Characters:
Zhang Cuishan/Zhang Wuji - Alec Su You Peng
Personally I like the actor, but frankly speaking he looks far too young to portray both roles, especially the role of Zhang Cuishan. Alec Su has a very boyish face so he is not able to portray the maturity that is supposed to be present in the role of Zhang Cuishan.

However, I think the failure of the actor to look convincing as a sect leader should lie in his outfit and overall appearance. I feel that his hairstyle should have changed and so should his outfit. In the case of Zhou Zhiruo, when she became sect leader or ErMei, her outfit and hairstyle changed and thus she looked more convincing as a sect leader.

His acting is not bad I must say, especially when he quarrels with Zhao Min, making very cute couple. He manages to bring out the chemistry between them that is obviously lacking between the character of Zhou Zhiruo and Zhang Wuji.

However, I must remind viewers not to pull your hair out watching his indecisiveness over which girl he loves, he'll only be sure in episode 19.

Zhao Min - Alyssa Chia
I really like the character of Zhao Min, she is so loveable. Alyssa does a great job in portraying her. Watching her is entertaining. Even my dad, who usually has no interest in such Wuxia shows, actually sat down to watch her bicker with Zhang Wuji. Alysssa is pretty and she is very cute, thus she's most suitable for this role. She also manages to portray the emotional aspect of Zhao Min convincingly, and does manages to win viewers' sympathy in the end. Though she may not be as pretty as Zhou Zhiruo or as lady-like and gentle, but viewers are touched by her sacrifices (she gets misunderstood by Zhang Wuji MANY MANY times) and her love for him. They are indeed a very cute couple and watching them bicker and fall in love is, in my opinion, a big highlight of the show.

Zhou Zhiruo - Gao Yuan Yuan
She is very pretty and fits perfectly into this role of a gentle and kind person. Gao Yuan Yuan is able to show the change in Zhiruo, though sometimes her expressions are very forced and do not look natural. Though she does not make as many sacrifices as Zhao Min, viewers feel sad for the sacrifices she has to make to fulfill her duty. But as I said earlier, there is not much chemistry between her character and Wuji so I think that is mainly the reason why the lovey-dovey scenes between Zhiruo and Wuji are cold and unemotional compared to those between Zhao Min and Wuji.

Yin Su Su - Phyllis Quek
Phyllis is another pretty actress. Her character is also quite sploit and is almost similar to that of Zhao Min, you will tend to see great similarities between them. However, in terms of chemistry, there was absolutely none between Phyllis and Alec. The scene where she gave birth to Wuji was hilarious too because they were in a middle of a fight and then suddenly, 'pop' comes out the baby.

Overall, her acting was not bad, definitely quite a good display of what Singaporean talent is like.

Xiao Zhao - Florence Tan
I think this was Florence Tan before she lost weight, so that's why her face is so round. I think she is rather pretty, unlike what another reviewer mentioned, and also quite sweet looking. Her acting is natural enough, it does show the viewer the position she is in, loving Wuji yet unable to fight for him since it is obvious that she cannot compare with Zhao Min and Zhiruo.

Other characters whose names of the actors/actresses I do not know:

Yang Xiao
If I'm not wrong, the actor is the same one who acted as the Emperor is "Huan Zhu Ge Ge". I must say that the exaggerated looks that he gives are suitable for an emperor but certainly not suitable here, it is just too unnatural. But you will like his character here as he is a loving father and husband (though he does not marry the girl) and also an upright person.

Ji Xiao Fu
This is the girl that Yang Xiao falls in love. The actress is not bad-looking, but her character is a bit irritating. She's indecisive but you must admire her love for Yang Xiao.

Bu Hui
She is the daughter of Yang Xiao and Ji Xiao Fu and later falls in love with the man that her mother was originally meant to marry. What a mess, but oh well, it makes the love relationship more appealing to the viewers. Her love for Yin Swordsman is strong and unfailing despite potential disapproval from her father. Moreover, her character changes from a very spoilt brat to someone who grows up and even manages to teach Wuji a thing or two about love. she makes a lot of sense, and I think viewers who are indecisive in love should learn a lesson or two from her.

Ding Ming Jun
She is the eldest disciple in ErMei and was suppose to have taken over the post of sect leader of ErMei. She is one mean girl, she makes use of Ji Xiao Fu and later on causes the whole ErMei sect to almost kill Zhiruo in a bid to get hold of the post. Her character is very unforgiving and does not appreciate kindness, the kind that pays good with evil. The actress is herself not very pretty and has very small eyes, so she is able to portray the look of being evil and mean quite, you really do hate her character quite abit.

Comments:
Personally, I wouldn't rate this show as a 5-star series, but I think one reason to watch is definitely for the scenes between Zhao Min and Wuji. Those are really well-acted and you can really sense the chemistry between both characters. The plot is one that is familiar to all who have watched other versions but the setting and the costumes are rather nice and well-done. The fight scenes are not bad, though I think that the producers should not have used CGI for some of the fighting scenes because it tends to spoil the effect.
Overall, I recommend this series for those who just want to watch a light-hearted series with lovable characters, just don't expect a great plot.


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