The Duel


Reviewed by: sukting

December 26, 2008

Rating: two-point-five

How long
20 episodes

Foreword

It is about 2 swordsmen trying to get rid of a self-claimed righteous man who is evil to the core. Can they be successful in their attempt?

Story

The pugilistic world is chaotic as many heroes vie to be the leader. Chun is a retired swordsman’s son. He is indulged in learning martial arts since young. His aim in life is to defeat Zhen. Zhen forms ‘Tong Xin’ sect. On the outside, he claims to promote peace but in secret, he endangers the pugilistic world wants to seize control of it.

Chun befriends Shi who is the black swordsman from ‘Tong Xin’ sect. Both become sworn brothers after sparing with each other. Shi refuses to work with the evil people that Zhen ropes in. He soon discovers that he is controlled in many areas and can’t fulfill his ambition to be a successful man. Chun challenges Zhen to a duel and Zhen is about to kill him when a village woman saves Chun.

The woman accepts Chun as her disciple and his skills improve. Chun longs for a comeback. Wan Qing’s appearance causes Chun to fall out with Shi as both love her. Wan Qing knows that Chun is gullible so she uses fame and riches to lure him to join ‘Tong Xin’ clan. She also deliberately gets close to him. Chun starts to work for Zhen. He is indulged in fame and loses his will spirit to practice his skills.

Shi turns to like Qing, his neighbour. Feeling sorry for her when she is raped by Jie, he teaches her martial arts and both fall in love. Zhen suspects where Chun learns his skills. He discovers that the village woman is actually his junior whom he expels from the sect. He kills her and frames Chun for this. Chun gets locked up in the cell and Shi speaks up for him. He exposes Zhen to be in cahoots with Wan Qing to harm Chun. Chun learns the truth and patches up with Shi again.

He breaks ties with Wan Qing. Zhen is angered that both expposes his scheme so he tries to kill Shi. Zhen’s son-in-law, Jing Tian saves him on time but it is too late as Shi’s skills are destroyed. Although the other two men try hard to force their inner strength into his body, it still doesn’t work. Jing Tian is later accused of betraying ‘Tong Xin’ sect and Zhen tries killing him.

Shi tries in vain to help so both men and Qing get killed. Upset with Zhen’s doing, Chun loses his pals and challenges Zhen. He is initially beaten but Wan Qing sacrifices herself to injure Zhen. Chun seizes this chance to kill Zhen. He then seals his sword to go into retreat.

Introduction on characters

1. Xuan Yuan Zhen – Wong Wai
He looks kind but he is evil. He will not stop to get rid of anyone who hinders him. He never trusts anyone. Even to the extent of sacrificing his daughter.

2. Nan Men Shi – Lee Kong
Zhen engages him to help out in the sect but soon finds that this place isn’t as suitable as he thinks. He makes a wise decision to leave but Zhen will not let him off. He is only pleased when he is dead.

3. Li Chun – Yin Tin Chiu
He is simpleminded but ambitious. Upon knowing that he is being made use of, he becomes wise and forbids himself from making the same mistake again. He forgives Wan Qing when she repents.

4. Leng Wan Qing – Poon Sin Yee
She is a thief and is an evil woman. Nothing matters to her except money. But Chun moves her and she regrets working for Zhen. Knowing that he will not forgive her easily, she pays the price with her life.

5. Ye Qing – Ou Hoi Ling
She is Shi’s neighbour who is initially timid but becomes strong after her rape ordeal.

6. Hong Hai Tang – Fung Suk Bo
She conceals her past but her disciple, Chun who likes to show off causes her death. If she chooses Shi, she will not have such a sorry ending as he is more sensible.

7. Duan Jing Tian – Lo Lok Lum
He is Zhen’s son-in-law who disapproves of his ways. Unable to stop him from taking innocent lives, he has no choice but to go against him. But he proves to be too weak for him to get killed.

8. Xuan Yuan Yee Qin – Lok Wai Jing
She is Zhen’s willful but understanding daughter. She supports Jing Tian’s actions and help the three men to escape. Jie holds her hostage to force Zhen to give up his leader position. Zhen doesn’t hesistate to pierce his sword into their bodies. He is pained to lose his only daughter but he treasures his position more.

9. Jiang Jie – Lau Wan Fung
He has wanted to take over Zhen for long. His coup proves to be unsuccessful as he never expects him to be so cruel to give up his daughter’s life.

Conclusion

Knowing ATV’s declining standard in the late 80s, we can’t expect too much. This story is only average with appropriate pace but the sword fighting is worse. I can see wires dangling in the air and also the stuntsmen’s faces. The two actors do not have striking appeal. The actresses look as if that they have tasted bitter gourds to frown all the time. The acting is very stony. You may give it a try if you wish to see how Wong Wai acts as a villain. He makes the bloodthirsty Zhen come alive to capture my attention or I could have missed this poorly prepared production.

Sukting’s ratings :

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

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



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