Taiji Master II

Reviewed by: sukting

May 26, 2004

Rating: four

Taiji Master 2 (Yau Hup Cheung Sam Fung)

How long/Year produced:
20 episodes done in year 1984

Cheung Sam Fung - Man Tse Leung(now a businessman)
Fok Du - Yeung Chak Lam (still in ATV)
Chu Yuen Cheung - Lo Lok Lum (still acting with TVB)
Sheung Yu Chun - Choi Kok Heng (still acting with TVB)
Sam Sheung Shueng - Chan Sau Mun (as Mok Guai Ying)
Far Man Zhi - Li Ying (last seen as a suffering mother of 5 children in a mother's love)
Chu Yi Mun - Leslie Cheung Kok Wing
Chu Yin Wong - Lam Kok Hung (Chan's reallife husband)
Chu Kok Hin - Mok Siu Chung

This is a continuation of the story in Taiji Master. Kuan Bo has changed his name to Sam Fung. He is still travelling around the world. Now, he is middle-aged and starts keeping a beard. In his travels, he befriends a very willful woman, Sheung Sheung who leaves him no peace. Sheung Sheung is attracted to him and tries hard to get his attention.

Later, she did as she is poisoned by Fok Du's darts. Sam Fung has no choice but to suck out the poisons for her. Fok Du comes and attacks the both of them. Sam Fung is weak and gets poisoned instead. Fok Du still can't accept the fact that Choi Sam (Mai Shuet) doesn't like him. Although she is dead, he still takes it out on Sam Fung. Sheung Sheung is very weak in her skills and both are in danger. Luckily, Man Zhi saves them and she too falls for Sam Fung. I find it unbelievable as Sam Fung is now an unattractive man to me with a beard! How could the two women be so blind to fall in love with him when he shows no warmth or interest to them at all!

Knowing that Man Zhi is interested in him, he insists on leaving and sends Sheung Sheung home. On the way, they meet Yi Mun. Yi Mun is attracted to Sheung Sheung's beauty and straight-forwardness. Unknown to them, Yi Mun is the first prince and also son of Chu Yuen Cheung. In fact, Sam Fung likes him so much that he makes him his disciple. He is a very kind and faithful man in love.

Knowing that Sheung Sheung's birthday is approaching, both men set to get presents for her. Yi Mun buys her a golden bracelet while Sam Fung gets her a doll. Sheung Sheung is rich and thus anything expensive will not interest her since she has lots more. She likes Sam Fung's present and ignores Yi Mun. Sam Fung senses that he likes her and decides to bring them together.

At this time, the court officials claim that Marquis Sam has harboured a Mongolian refugee. He remembers that there is one person familiar to him among the guests despite his disguise as an old man who is now missing. Sam Fung's face changes immediately when he recalls Fok Du. He asks Sheung Sheung who has been staying in her home lately. She replies that her father has got her a new teacher to help her in writing. Sam Fung hurries there and there in store gives him a shock of his life!

Fok Du has pretended to be a scholar and stays here all along to overthrow the Ming government. Although Sheung Shueng is nice to him, he still attacks her earlier and shows no gratitude at all. Knowing that his plan may fail after failing to hurt them, he escapes. What Sam Fung sees in Fok Du's room is Choi Sam's portrait! Sheung Sheung and Yi Mun are shocked and alarmed to see the ever brave and strong Sam Fung now in tears. Later he even vomits blood and faints as the blow is too severe for him and he has not fully recovered from the poison. Seeing Sam Fung's reaction and he calls for Choi Sam's name in his sleep, Sheung Sheung is upset and later falls for Yi Mun after realising how much he cares for her. Sam Fung recovers and vows never to let Fok Du off. Now, Yuen Cheung is eyeing Sam's wealth. He finds a reason and confiscates his property. Sheung Sheung's father finds it a torture to be poor overnight and kills himself. Sheung Sheung has now mixed feelings towards Yi Mun and she hides herself. Yi Mun quarrels with his father over this and leaves home in search for her.

Man Zhi still misses Sam Fung after his disappearance. She is drugged one night by Fok Du and is raped by him. Fok Du is attracted to her beauty and decides to make use of her to produce a heir. The next day, she wakes up and thinks that Sam Fung is the culprit. Sam Fung denies it and both have a fight. The portrait of Choi Sam falls to the ground during the duel. He stops immediately to pick it up, even at the risk of being hit by her twin swords. Seeing that the portrait is old and Sam Fung misses Choi Sam so much, Man zhi is upset to know that he isn't responsible for her plight. That night, Fok Du sneaks in to see her and confesses that he is the one. Man Zhi is so ashamed and furious to know about it. She drives him away.

Yin Wong has been eyeing the throne and tries to get into his good books. But all along, he doesn't like this scheming son. Yin Wong ropes in Kok Hin to help him. Kok Hin helps him willingly and all along, he has disliked his eldest brother. They frame Yi Mun of grabbing the throne and he is thrown into jail.

Sam Fung learns about this and goes to see his sworn brother, Yu Chun. Yu Chun is now a general working under Yuen Cheung. He is equally helpless as he is now a subordinate and realises that the emperor is no longer the kind-hearted person that he knows in his younger days. Yuen Cheung becomes an overly-suspicious man and is jealous over his successes in battles. He knows that Yu Chun has a poisonous tumour on his back and cannot eat geese. But he still sends him one. Yi Chun is very upset that Yuen Cheung wants to send him to his grave. He quietly eats it after wearing his soldier armour. Sam fung arrives in vain to save him and sees him dead before his very own eyes.

Because the evidence is there, Yuen Cheung sentences Yi Mun to death. Sheung Sheung comes to learn about this and visits him in jail. She still loves him and decides to leave him a heir. She bribes the jail guard and they spend a night together. Later, she gives birth to a son and Yi Mun manages to see him before his death.

Later, Man Zhi is pregnant and gives birth to a baby boy. Fok Du comes to grab the child but Sam Fung arrives in time to stop him. In the midst of the duel, Man Zhi grabs the child back but dies after the labour. Before her death, she requests Sam Fung to look for Sheung Sheung whom she believes will bring up the child well. Fok Du escapes and Sam Fung cannot go after him with Man Zhi dead in his arms. Sam fung helps Sheung Sheung look after the two babies.

Yuen Cheung later finds that Yi Mun is framed and he is very remorseful over the loss of his favourite son. After knowing the presence of his grandson, he is overjoyed and sends guards to look for them. Sheung shueng is now staying in a small village. One day, she is alarmed to see Man zhi's son missing. It turns out that Fok Du has taken the child away. Luckily, Sam Fung hunts him down. The two enemies have a tough duel and Sam Fung blinds him before carrying the child safely back home.

At this time, Sheung Sheung has trouble dealing with Yin Wong's guards who are trying to kill them. Later, Yuen Cheung's guards come to their rescue and bring them to the palace. Yuen Cheung has wanted to keep them there and make Yi Mun's son the heir to the throne. However, Sheung Sheung wants to lead a peaceful life instead. She leaves quietly with Sam Fung and they wander around with the two babies.

At first, I did not even wish to watch the serial. It has too many deliberate deaths. AND my favourite actress isn't in it so what's the point of following it? But the cast still attracts me. I have never seen Cheung Kok Wing and Chan Sau Mun acting together in any serial so I followed it. They make a perfect pair - not just in looks but also in acting. They are young and this makes them shine from the rest of the cast. Cheung Kok Wing has the looks of a refined prince. Too bad he doesn't have the built of Miu Kiu Wai to make it more perfect. The air of elegance and authority can be found through his gestures and eye contact. But this poor Yi Mun really doesn't know what to do with Sheung Sheung who doesn't appreciate his love. He tries all sorts of ways to make her happy. At first, he fails so miserably when Sheung Sheung only sets eyes on Sam Fung. I can feel the disappointment and desperation when Sheung Sheung doesn't even look at the birthday present that he chooses specially for her.

As Sheung Sheung, Chan Sau Mun is equally good. From the events in changing her from a willful and impetuous woman, she becomes mature and understanding. She is definitely pretty and cute with some baby fat on her face, although her acting and outlook isn't as stunning as Mai Shuet. I am astonished on how young she looks now - she looks about the same in the serial Mok Guai Ying!

However, I feel weird seeing Lam Kok Hung in it as her enemy and not her lover! Maybe it will turn out better if the producer arranges Yin Wong to be in love with Sheung Sheung and tries all evil ways to win her love with Yi Mun. This will be a nice attraction but too bad he forgoes this precious chance.

Li Ying is very pretty as Man Zhi. Those who are curious to find out how different she looks from today should not have missed this serial. She reminds me of Siu Long Nui when coming to the rape scene. And sure enough, she has the looks and I wonder why she isn't chosen for the role in the 70s ATV version of Return Of Condor Heroes?

Lam Kok Hung and Mok Siu Chung are the supporting cast here. They are too young and thus cannot portray the roles of villains very well. They pale in comparison with Yeung Chak Lam. But they have really placed in a lot of effort in speaking and walking with dignity.

Man Tse Leung is quite disappointing here. As a middle-aged man and with a beard, he looks old and haggard. How on earth can two beautiful women be in love with such a man???? I can't believe that they can be soooooo blind - it's unbelievable that they look at him with such a loving expression! And this man doesn't live up to his reputation of being a Yau Hap. He sees so many deaths in front of him helplessly!!! The worse thing is I've never seen him done anything special to make him a Dai Hup.

But I must say that Man is very good in portraying the scenes where Sam Fung misses Choi Sam. Actually, half the time, I have been wishing that the producer could just get Mai Shuet back so that he will not look so lonely here. They really have so much chemistry in Taiji Master. I can never forget the scene that Sam Fung looks at Choi Sam's portrait.

Frankly speaking, I have never seen any other more pained expression, except from Ng Wai Kok's face as Mou Qing when knowing that Yiu Far has deceived him of his love in The Four Constables. In here, there are so many expressions at one go. The anger, angish and sadness are totally shown here. People will find it strange to see a man shedding tears in a period serial. Man does not show it in the usual exaggerating way but presents it well in a quiet way. The scene where he can't contain his grief and vomits blood profusely with tears down his cheeks is well-done.

The theme song is sung by Yip Zhan Tong, one of my favourite singers. And as usual, he does it well again. Actually I like it better than the song in Taiji Master as it is more catchy. But it is a bit strange as it does not blend with the sad mood of all characters in here. I wonder why the EMI company is so blind not to place the 2 songs in one album together. All his compilation albums don't have this song at all!

This serial is still watchable, if you don't mind the sad and predictable ending. Besides, it is no chance to get the same cast to act together again. It will be a pity if you miss it.

sukting's Ratings:

On acting:* * * * * (Scale of 5)

On the story: * * * *(Scale of 5)

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

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