Justice Bao II


Reviewed by: sukting

May 26, 2004

Rating: three-point-five

Zhan Zao on trial

How long/Year produced:
10 episodes done in year 1995

Cast
Zhao Zao - Lui Leung Wai
Bai Yu Tang - Jiao En Jun
Ling Xiaobing - Lau Yuk Ting
Ling Kun - Lo Lit
Madam Bai - Bao Hei Jing
Official Lu - Leung Tin
Lu Shao Tian - Long Gun Tin
Yan Shi Qi - Wai Lit

Story
A court official's son, Qi, is a bully and is disliked by all. He feigns to be highly skilled but is actually under the influence of drugs. The drugs are given to him by another official's son, Shao Tian. One day, Qi's father holds a rally to boost his son's powers. Yu Tang's master, Kun, and junior, Xiao Bing, wander around the world. They display martial arts skills to earn money. They do not want to trouble Yu Tang to take care of them although Yu Tang is rich.

Qi tries to get fresh with Xiao Bing and angers Kun. Despite his old age, he goes on the stage and beats him. On seeing that his friend is losing, Tian secretly throws a poisonous dart to injure Kun. The reverse happens and the poor old man gets badly injured. Xiao Bing is helpless and luckily Zhan Zao saves the old man. He pushes Qi aside and gives him a lecture.

Later, Qi dies and Zhan Zao is accused of killing him. Tian knows that Qi actually dies from the drug overdose. However, he still keeps quiet and Zhan Zao is thrown into jail and will be killed in a month's time. Out of desperation, Justice Bao invites Yu Tang to investigate the matter. Yu Tang visits Zhan Zao in jail and both discuss the details. Zhan Zao tells him that he is puzzled that a light blow delivered from him can kill Qi. Yu Tang decides to help him to find the truth but Qi's father refuses to let him check Qi's corpse and he is troubled by this.

Kun's condition worsens and Xiao Bing has no choice but to inform Yu Tang. Yu Tang is alarmed and quickly hires a physician to attend to Kun. He gets angry with Yu Tang for being a robber after he spends so much time training him. Kun is so angry that he faints. Xiao Bing says that she wishes to visit Yu Tang's wife. Yu Tang is puzzled and asks who Mrs. Bai is. When knowing that her senior is still single, Xiao Bing is very delighted but Yu Tang in turn, gets embarrassed.

Yu Tang is worried that his master might worsen his injury upon seeing him again and thus leaves. Xiao Bing has all along been secretly in love with Yu Tang. Kun knows that and has actually planned for them to get married but Yu Tang has all along treated her like a sister and tries to avoid the issue. Later a killer, Black Eagle, kills his master. His master leaves Xiao Bing in his care. Xiao Bing decides to search for the killer on her own. Yu Tang worries for her safety and refuses to let her go. She gets angry and accuses him of forgetting Kun's kindness and only remembering Justice Bao's instructions. She throws a bracelet, which he has given her, back to him.

A killer band is also out killing the innocent. Yu Tang has a hard time dealing both cases together. He has sparred with one of the killers and is amazed by his good skills. Xiao Bing is injured by a killer but she is saved by Yu Jie. She stays in his home. Yu Tang finds her and wants to bring her back. Both quarrel but he still gives her the bracelet back. Yu Jie's mother, Mrs. Bai, then recognises it as the token that she has given Yu Tang, who is her natural son before giving him away. But still she keeps quiet as she thinks Yu Tang's real identity will ruin his future.

Yu Tang is depressed over the quarrel and gets drunk. He is about to be assassinated by a woman killer but escapes with light injuries. He later spreads the news that he is severely injured. True enough, another male killer (Yu Jie) comes to try to kill him. Of course, the attempt fails and he has to escape with an injury on his left arm. Yu Tang gets worried when knowing that these highly-skilled killers are on the run.

Later, Yu Tang tries to catch him at his home. Madam Bai has no choice but to reveal the truth. Yu Tang reunites with her but he still wants to catch Yu Jie. Yu Tang was given away when young. The two brothers do not get along well with each other and they quarrel. When knowing that Yu Jie became a killer because they are too poor, Yu Tang feels remorseful and cannot bring himself to catch him. Madam Bai seizes this chance to let Yu Jie escape.

Xiao Bing discovers the killer clan hideout but she is trapped. Yu Tang comes to save her. In order to be loyal to his benefactor, Gao, Yu Jie claims to be the mastermind and is thrown into jail. Yu Tang becomes so miserable that he drinks in jail with Zhan Zao. Zhan Zao does not know how to console him and advises him to see how things go to save his brother from being sentenced to death. Actually, Gao is not the leader. The real mastermind is Wang. Wang pretends to be a humble housekeeper always standing beside Gao. But in real fact, he does this to give instructions secretly.

Yu Tang later finds Wang suspicious. And sure enough to save his own skin, he kills Gao and tries to flee with the riches. Xiao Bing and Yu Tang give chase and they catch him. Yu Jie is upset when knowing that Gao is dead and he agrees to testify against Wang. Justice Bao then sentences him to life imprisonment. But Yu Tang is still troubled on not being able to seek redress for Zhan Zao.

Official Lu gets suspicious of Tian, who is behaving strangely. When knowing that Qi is accidentally killed by him, he gets upset but tries to cover up the truth. Yu Tang gets a court order to open Qi's coffin. Qi's parents are horrified to know that their son is poisoned to death. They then know that Tian is the culprit as the two are always together. Yu Tang secretly hides outside Lu's residence to prevent Tian from leaving.

Lu begs Justice Bao to let Tian off but Justice Bao refuses. Lu knows that there is no escape for Tian as Yu Tang is so highly skilled. Lu is a proud man and in order to prevent Tian from being executed in court, he poisons Tian to death. Justice Bao is touched by Lu's act and can only console him repeatedly.

Yu Tang reconciles with his brother. Yu Jie tells him to take care of their mother. Later, Madam Bai acknowledges Xiao Bing as a foster daughter. Yu Tang heaves a sigh of relief. He does not want to marry his junior and he is happy that they will not be getting married. To his dismay, his mother says that they have no blood ties and this is still possible. Unable to meet their eyes of desire, he tells them that he needs to release Zhan Zao and flees.

The Kaifeng court does not get Zhan Zao back as he does not return immediately after his release. Yu Tang has wanted to spar with him at the beach. Zhan Zao is eager after being imprisoned for long and they have not had a proper duel. Sigh -- no one knows the ending as it stops right here!

Comments
At first, I thought this story will have more of Lui Leung Wai and Jiao En Jun together but I was proven wrong. But there is still a lot of chemistry between these two wonderful actors. Just when Justice Bao is going to summon Yu Tang to court, he turns up unexpectedly and says that he knows that Bao needs his help. He cheekily says that he is from the pugilistic world and there is nothing that can miss his eyes.

Later, when he visits him in jail, he is so sarcastic to Zhan Zao. Besides saying that Zhan Zao is helpless, he says that he is so desperate that he has to seek his help to find the culprit. Zhan Zao gets so worked up that he nearly throws the iron chain at him! But putting their differences aside, they finally get serious and discuss about the case.

I like this part when Zhan Zao's enemy, Lei Zhen, visits Zhan Zao in jail. Lei Zhen has been sent to jail for 1 year by Zhan Zao for stealing. Seeing that Lei Zhen sneaks into the jail at night and worrying that Zhan Zao may be harmed since he is unarmed, he hurries into the prison. He hurries in and what a surprise he has! Lei Zhen is actually grateful to Zhan Zao for sending him to jail in helping him to escape from his debt collectors. In fact, he is there to try to help him to escape from prison. Seeing that Yu Tang gets so worried about his safety, Zhan Zao is touched but still cheekily says that he got into a big fuss over nothing. Yu Tang doesn't know whether to get angry or happy with this man.

Lau Yuk Ting looks extremely pretty here. She is sweet-looking and gentle. How demure and helpless she looks after her father's death! But she turns strong when dealing with the enemy -- a drastic change is so clearly portrayed. Many will wonder why Yu Tang doesn't fall in love with this lovely maiden. It's a pity that both do not end up together in the end.

Conclusion:
As expected, Justice Bao's serials have been known to be slow-moving. As compared, this serial is okay and not really fantastic. If not for the superb acting from the 3 main casts, it could have been another ordinary predictable story. It is quite a pity that Lui Leung Wai becomes a side-sick in this story as he shows the cheeky side instead of the usual serious side of Zhan Zao. But if you are a crazy follower of Jiao En Jun, this serial is just for you. It is his one-man-show and till now, many fans have been asking when this story's vcd will be out. It starts to show his matureness in acting and his top form in being very agile in period dramas.

sukting's Ratings:

On acting:* * * 1/2 (Scale of 5)

On the story: * * * 1/2(Scale of 5)


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Justice Bao II

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