The Blood Sword II


Reviewed by: sukting

September 16, 2009

Rating: three-point-five

Foreword
It tells of the legendary martial arts master, Wah Ying Hong’s experience in America. It still preserved the essence of the plot in the comic. Could ATV scale to greater heights in comparison to the pre-sequel?

Story

Ying Hung misses his China hometown and brings his family back. In the midst of returning, he is being ambushed by Sa Dan’s men. His wife and daughter are dead. He gets so mad that he leaves his son, Kiem Hung with his servants to return to America to seek his revenge. He is successful with the help of Lo Hon, Kuai Pu and Kiem Shing. He kills Sa Dan and retreats into Chung Wah Place.

15 years later, Kiem Hung comes to America to look for Ying Hung. Because of his reckless nature, Ying Hung is forced to offend 5 colours Sect’s leader, Yin Yeung Messenger. Yuen Mou comes too and befriends Hon and Ying Hung. The three join forces to break Liet Yeung trap to save a mysterious woman, Mok Chi.

The Black Dragon Clan wants the Chinese society to break up so they get the Japanese samurai, Mou Dik to kill the innocent Chinese. It also forces many to become mine labourers. Ying Hung is forced to break the stone lion to retrieve his blood sword to make a comeback. Ying Hung challenges Mok Dik to a duel but also combines forces with Mou and Hon to attack the iron bull valley. Unfortunately, Hon dies in the process but his heroic act moves all Chinese.

They decide to set up the Chinese Society. They vow to pit against Black Dragon Clan and choose Mou to be their chairman. The Japanese sect, Lo Sau Clan is awaiting for a chance to reap the benefits when the two clans clash. They choose a representative – Chin Mien to cause chaos in the Chinese Society. Kiem Hung is repeatedly harassed by Devil Sect’s messenger to fulfill the wish of their dead leader to take over his position. This harassing only stops when their white snake messenger dies mysteriously.

Ying Hung has a chance to spar with Black Dragon Sect’s Ming Sat. He learns that he is under the lone star and is destined to be alone. True enough, it does affect the later part of his life. There are disputes within Lo Sau Clan and Ying Hung is dragged into it. He spars with Tai Bo at the Dragon Chamber. He later rushes to save Kuai Pu and others from Black Dragon Clan.

Mou Dik helps him to defeat the Commander from Black Dragon Clan. He also helps to set up a treaty so that both clans will not probe into each other’s issues. The date of the duel gets closer so Ying Hung goes into retreat. He works too hard till his hair grows white overnight. The worst thing happens – he overexerts his inner strength till he faints on the day of the duel.

Mou Dik mistakens that he misses the duel without a valid reason. Thus he starts killing every Chinese he sees in Chinatown. Ying Hung returns on time and both have a duel on the statue of liberty. Ying Hung turns totally ruthless in his attacks while Mok Dik still saves him on the nick of time to lose to him. All can’t believe their eyes when Mou Dik kills his own son and later duels with Ying Hung again. Ying Hung loses this time and falls into the sea.

Mou Dik feels lonely without a match and thus kills himself. Actually, Ying Hung isn’t dead. He only fakes his own death, recalling what Ming Sat has told him. He is afraid of implicating his friends and relatives after so many unpleasant deaths. Thus he decides to create another form of life for himself by leaving them.

Introduction on characters

1. Wah Ying Hung – Ho Kar King
He is an impulsive teenager at first. However, he learns the harsh reality of life through the hard way after losing his loved ones. After 15 years, he is no longer the reckless person but thinks very far ahead. He is chivalrous and regards others above himself. Refusing to let Chinese being belittled in another country, he fights for their rights and is very wary of danger.

Kar King proves that he is a competent actor. He shows maturity in his acting again. Within a year, he has improved so much in the same role. He must have done a lot of preparation for it.

2. Wah Kiem Hung – Lo Chung Wah
He is Ying Hung’s son who is very immature. By letting others know that he is Ying Hung’s son puts his own life at risk. Luckily, he is repentant over his mistakes and becomes Ying Hung’s filial son. He is in anguish upon knowing his father’s ‘death’ but is able to get over it in order to help him to manage the Chinese society.

Unlike Ying Hung in part 1, the Ying Hung here is even more rebellious and trouble-seeking. It is like turning the clock backwards. That puts Chung Wah into the test but he is a good actor who can make the adjustments immediately. Thumbs up for his acting!

3. Ming Sat – Yuen King Dan
She is the fortune teller of Black Dragon Sect. Her prediction always comes true. Initially, Ying Hung doesn’t believe her words. After recalling his wife’s death and also witnesses how his close ones die miserably, he starts to question his existence and chooses to obey her.

4. Yin Yeung Messenger – Yu Chan Shun
He is a petty person. His outlook is exactly the same as his name – his face is half dark and half pale. He is always appearing in the dark. No one knows when he will come as he is very mysterious.

5. Mok Chi – Mak Lai Hung
She is part of Lo Sau Clan. She is kind at heart. However, she is touched when the three men come to rescue her as she pretends to be the bait. Thus, she often gives them hints so that they will not fall into her clan’s trap easily.

6. Mou Dik – Yeung Chat Lam
He is a top martial arts expert but he is also neglecting his own family due to this. All on his mind is only to spar with Ying Hung. He will do everything in order to lure him out of retreat. Human lives don’t worth much to him. What he regards important in life is to find a top exponent.

7. See Ao – Pang Chau Yin
As said in Part 1, she is pampered from young and is a spitfire. Being born in America and brought up there, her thinking isn’t as traditional as other women so Kiem Hung can’t stomach her actions. She is very interested in Kiem Hung but he can’t wait to get away from her.

I was unused to this change of actress in here. I found that the effect was not that good as compared to Chun Nai. It was not that Chun Nai was exceptionally outstanding. It was that Chau Yin did not have a Eurasian face. That was lacking from the comic. Moreover, she made it no different from her other dramas. She had a few years of acting experience and it was not the first time she acted as a willful woman. Thus the refreshing element was out and she wasn’t as wild as Chun Nai.

8. Yuen Mou – Lien Wai Kin
He is known as the China king of weapon making. He comes to America to look for his uncle and is delighted to know new friends who share the same thoughts as him. As he is very resourceful, all have no reservation to choose him as the chairman of the Chinese Society.

9. Kuai Pu – Hung Chi Shing
He is a loyal servant and takes the task of bringing up Kiem Hung. He has wished that he can be his son-in-law but he can see that there is no hope of him to be with See Ao so he gives up.

10. Lo Hon – Yeung Kar Lok
He is Ying Hung’s close buddy. He goes through thick and thin with him after Ying Hung’s wife’s death. He has no regrets losing his life so that the Chinese can finally wake up to combine forces together so that they will not be looked down by other races.

11. Kiem Sing (Sword Supreme) – Cheung Jing
He is also Ying Hung’s other buddy. Like Ying Hung, he is also an expert with the sword. He knows that he can never surpass Ying Hung but he doesn’t mind it.

12. Sui Chin Mien (many faces) – Yuen Kit Yee
She is a master of disguise. She can impersonate as a man convincingly. That is why she makes the members of the Chinese Society confused as she keeps turning up with different faces. She springs surprise attacks frequently and they find it tough to guard against her.

13. General Sa Dan – Ko Hung
He is the one who causes Ying Hung’s family to break up. Thus Ying Hung runs after his blood. Ying Hung is never satisfied till he is dead as this man is too vicious.

14. Kam Tai Bo – Cheng Pak Lam
He is the head of Lo Sau Clan. Cunning, revengeful and also mighty, Ying Hung finds it hard to match up to his standard. If not for his wits, he might not have won.

Favourite character

Ying Hung, he is the hero of the drama. But really a sad one as being a hero needs to pay a high price.

Most hated character

Mou Dik, he resorts to killing just to lure Ying Hung out.

Interesting facts

After the success of ‘The blood sword’, ATV came up with Part 2. As this story happened before ‘The Blood Sword’, that meant that Kiem Hung did not get to know Tat Shuet yet. Thus Dong Mui was not involved in here. Many also grumbled the change of actress in acting out as See Ao and Kuai Pu as they found the link broken.

Their biggest complain was actually Chat Lam for Mou Dik. He acted as a righteous role in part 1 but why did he end up acting as a villain in part 2 as a different role? They found a lot of confusion involved. Despite grumbling, they still followed the drama faithfully.

The movie version by Ekin is also close to the comic but all felt that Ekin and Tse Fung don’t have that much chemistry to act as father and son. Ekin seemed to be expressionless in most scenes while Tse Fung had overdone in some crying scenes. However, they marveled at Mou Dik’s duel with Ying Hung when having the duel in the rain. The computer effects were terrific.

Conclusion

At first, I do not have high hopes for this drama as most sequels can’t do as well as Part 1. Acting wise, it does falter slightly as some of the roles are not reprised in here. I personally feel that this story should come before Part 1 as it is kind of weird to see how Ying Hung pinning over his dead daughter who is supposed to be alive. But I believe that ATV had utilized all the resources that it could use or find. If Part 1 is a flop, it will not consider making this drama.

This drama tells the growth of Ying Hung. It also relates how he gets his scar and why he still insists of wearing his traditional Chinese clothes even though he stays in a foreign land for a long time. The love for his country has never died and he will never betray it.

It is not easy to make an adaptation of a comic. Moreover, this is a popular comic with many twists and turns. There are many characters involved – just the power struggle between the three clans can turn you giddy. Furthermore, there are so many people in them who cause so much trouble!

That is why Ying Hung is so weary after each encounter with them. He has to settle so many affairs. The part on how his black hair turns completely white overnight is the shocking effect. If not for so much worrying to be done, he would not have aged so much. Unlike other heroes who are happy, this hero is destined to be lonely and he has to accept his painful fate without telling the others.

ATV has done a good job in the story writing. I will recommend others to read the comic before watching this drama so that they will not feel lost. But there is one scene that I can never accept although it was truthful to the novel. The duel at the statue of liberty is imagination stretched too far.

Even the movie version looked lousy as it produced the comic effect instead. I still had no idea why Ma wrote it. It was definitely a poor choice as no one can see a Chinese and Japanese fighting over there although they fight for freedom for their clans.

Sukting’s ratings :

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

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


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