Kung Fu Master From Guangdong

Reviewed by: spcnet

November 05, 2003

Rating: two

"Kung Fu Master From Guangdong" is a TV series from either a Taiwanese company, TVB, or a collaboration of both, starring Felix Wong Yut Wah, Leung Jay, and Lau Kam Ling. Felix Wong plays legendary hero, Wong Kei Ying, the father of the notorious Wong Fei Hong while Leung Jay plays Tin Wai Nam, his lover. Lau Kam Ling plays the daughter, Sung Yee Man, of a wealthy father, and is also in love with Wong Kei Ying. "Kung" is a series that suffers not only from a one-dimensional script that is now outdated, but also the dubbing of everyone's voices is quite a downside for those who are used to the original voices of the actors.

"Kung's" story is cliche of old martial arts series where the main character usually holds morally and ideally rigid notions against corrupt government officials. Perhaps because there has been too many of those films recounting these stories, especially of Wong Fei Hong's and Wong Kei Ying's lives, out there that in order for "Kung" to succeed, it must provide fresh material--namely, tell the story in a different light. Instead, it chose a well-travelled path that sheds no viewieng value--a plot about one hero who has good martial skills and naturally uses it to do heroic deeds (without ever asking, "why do heroic deeds?" -- from Jin Yong in "Heavenly Sword"), to fend for the common people, fight off an evil cult (remember Jet Li's films?), and somehow attracts the interest of all the main female characters. The villains are also dramatically so bad that they deserve to die. Aside from plot failures, the impression one gets from the characters are not too ideal. While Felix Wong is a great actor, the role of the young Wong Kei Ying definitely does not fit him as it is strainingly obvious to the sight that Felix is getting old. His father, at most times, looks like he could be his older brother. Performances by Leung Jay and Lau Kam Ling are passable but seemed strained at times.

The fighting choreography though, is not bad and one might be appeased by some fight scenes. However, the ending of "Kung" is a gag. "Kung", at best, should have been a movie that should last only a few hours because the story was dragged out for the long run when it was certainly meant for the short, in terms of attention span.

Screenshots (TVB Copyrighted).

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