The Bastard Swordsman


Reviewed by: sukting

May 28, 2008

Rating: three


How long
1.5h

Foreword
With no nice swordfighting dramas to watch on television, what can we do? I can only rent movie DVDs. Are you interested in watching the movie version of Reincarnated? It is memorable because it has the two Swordsmen Wan acting together.

Story

Wan Fei Yeung (Tsui Siu Keung) is often bullied by his seniors at Mou Dong sect. Lun Yuen Yee (Lau Suet Wah) tries to speak up for him in vain. Their first senior, Bak Shek (Gu Goon Chung) tries in vain to prevent Mou Dik Sect's Gong Sun Wang (Lo Mong) from entering Mou Dong with his sword. Yuen Yee wants to test Wang's skills but she is defeated by him.

Mou Dik (Man Tse Leung) sends a woman's undergarment to humiliate Ching Chong. Ching Chong is angered that Wang ignored Mou Dong's law of leaving the sword at the gate that he snatches his sword.

Ching Chong (Wang Yong) was defeated by Duk Gu Mou Dik twice in the past. Although he has improved his skills, he isn't confident of winning though he has mastered his skills for 10 years. Yim Chong Tien (Tong Wai Chung) assures him that as long as Mou Dik has not mastered the 6th level of Mou Dik skill, he still stands a chance of winning.

This is the day of the duel. Ching Chong loses when sparring barehanded. He uses his sword while Mou Dik uses his spear. Mou Dik's spear is broken into two and he uses his Mou Dik skill to injure Ching Chong seriously. He has mastered the 8h level and gives him two years to defeat him. If he still can't win him, he will kill all Mou Dong members.

Mou Dik returns to his sect to master the last level. His daughter, Fung (Yeung Ching Ching) wonders why they don't abolish Mou Dong sect. Mou Dik is wary of Chong Tien – who is mastering 'Tien Can' skill. The other Mou Dik members (Wind, Thunder, Lightning and Rain) are not happy so they run after Ching Chong's life.

Fu Yuk Shu (Lau Wing) saves him but loses his family in the process. Ching Chong feels bad for implicating him so he makes an exception of accepting him as a disciple. Fei Feung wants to return Yuen Yee's sachet and encloses a love letter to her. Alas, Bak Shek humiliates him by forcing him to read the letter in front of all. Yuen Yee refuses to accept his gift and that shames him even more.

Fei Yeung has been in Mou Dong for a few years. He doesn't have the chance to learn any martial arts and the other seniors always call him a bastard as he doesn't know who his father is and he uses his mother's surname. Sooner or later, he will lose his life. He complains to Ching Chong but he can do nothing about it. Fei Yeung is angered and practices his skills at night. His masked master trains him at night. Fei Yeung vows to prove that he is competent. He forms the word 'endurance' to remind himself of this incident.

Yuen Yee is attracted to Yuk Shu and plays the zither for him. Yuk Shu also likes her and listens to her attentively. Yuen Yee treats Fei Yeung badly as she doesn't reciprocate his feelings and refuses to eat the food he cooks. Chong Tien shows Tien Can skill to Ching Chong but suddenly he loses his skills. He doesn't know how this happens. Ching Chong discourages him from continuing as it is not working. Chong Tien tells him and Yuen Yee not to tell the others. Yuk Shu overhears their conversation.

Ching Chong's hass only 40% left of his skills now and even if he recovers 2 years later, he can only have 70% of his skills back. Chong Tien sighs – is this the end of their sect? Yuen Yee suggests getting 6 disciples to practice the star formation – she suggests getting Yuk Shu to be the last person to be in. So each person will master a skill separately but they will be invincible when they combine their efforts together. Yuk Shu is pleased with the result. The person with the highest skill will be the next ruler of Mou Dong.

Yuk Shek (Tong Chun Chung, Tong Chun Yip's elder brother) will be trained using the spear. Bak Shek will use a pole while the others with sword, flying spears or the fists. Well, what they are unaware of is Fei Yeung's masked master trains him ALL the six skills. Yuk Shu discovers his secret and tails the masked him – to find out that he is Ching Chong.

Wang is angry that someone impersonates their sect members to run after Ching Chong's life. He gets his men to check out at the inn that Ching Chong once stays. The three men and a woman are released by Yuk Shu. Wang has never heard of Yuk Shu's name before so Fung suggests checking on his background. They do not get anything on him but they discover that his 'mother' and 'sister' are from a brothel. Wang senses something amiss as the women are not dead. Both confess that they are bribed by him to appear at the inn.

Feng deduces that all people are Yuk Shu's accomplices and Wang agrees that Yuk Shu must be having a motive for doing that. They do not report this to Mou Dik but they decide to go to Mou Dong sect to get Yuk Shu. Mou Doing sect refuses to hand him out so both parties get into a fight. The seven star formation traps the two and they can't get out. Fei Yeung rescues them under Ching Chong's command. Fung manages to know his identity by unmasking him before he leaves.

Yuk Shu men find out that Fei Yeung is Ching Chong's illegitimate son. No wonder he showers so much attention on him. He then gets them to kill his all seniors one by one. Ching Chong also dies in his hands but he only manages to tell Fei Yeung to pass a jade pendant to Sum Mun Kwan from Mou Dik Sect. Fei Yeung finds the black clothes in the drawer too and realizes that he is his teacher.

Yuen Yee walks in to discover that Ching Chong is dead. Yuk Shu deliberately tests Fei Yeung's skills on the spot. She also notices that he knows martial arts so he must have killed him. Fei Yeung can't explain himself and flees from the crowd. Chong Tien laments that history repeats itself after 20 years. Tien Dai pretends to be a servant. He tries stealing their sect's skills in the past and is locked till death by Chong Tien. Chong Tien asks Yuk Shu if he is willing to become a Taoist priest to be the ruler of their sect. Yuk Shu agrees, much to Yuen Yee's disappointment.

She plays the zither in frustration and tears. She decides to stay single all her life. Bak Shek discovers Fei Yeung at an inn and attacks him. Fung comes to his aid to return his favour for saving her the last time. She makes matters worse by revealing this. Bak Shek accuses him of being Mou Dik's spy to kill the others. Fung protects him – if they want to hurt him, they have to ask her first. She brings him back to Mou Dik sect as she pities his parentage. It is best to have a place to stay than to hide all his life.

Fei Yeung decides to clear his name and is reminded of Ching Chong's last words. So he follows Fung to Mou Dik sect. Man Kuan is drawing Mou Dik's portrait and Fung wonders why her father prevents her from visiting her mother. Man Kuan has wept earlier over Ching Chong's death. After knowing that Ching Chong is killed by him, she demands to know why he kills his father.

Fei Yeung is shocked to know his identity but passes the pendant to her. She holds the pendant and thinks of the past. Mou Dik comes to slap Man Kuan and reveals the past. 20 years ago, Ching Chong is seriously injured by Mou Dik and comes to Man Kuan. She deliberately wants to save the man Mou Dik injures as he became impotent after practicing the Mou Dik skill. The two stay together but do not did anything indiscreet. Mok Dik never visits her and still wants to conquer the world.

Man Kuan got drunk due to disappointment and was pregnant with Fung after that. Mou Dik never forgot this humiliation and strips Fei Yeung of his skills. Man Kuan and Fung rescue him. Man Kuan decides to pass her skills to him to save his life. Yuk Shu tries in vain to practice Tien Can skill but he discovers another secret manual in it. It says '13 snake and crane strokes.'

Chong Tien is killed in the ambush and all realize that Yuk Shu is the mastermind of all the killings. Yuen Yee and all try to kill him in vain. Many have to submit to him but Bak Shek chooses to kill himself. Yuk Shu prevents Yuen Yee from killing herself and she runs away, yelling that he will regret his choice. She comes to a temple and finds the women with Fei Yeung. Fei Yeung wakes up but Man Kuan loses all her skills.

Yuen Yee tells Fei Yeung of everything and he nearly wants to court his own death. Man Kuan has a copy of Tien Can manual with her as Ching Chong wants to help her in learning her family skills. She gets Fung and Yuen Yee to practice the skills together. They pass their inner strength to him to make sure that his acupoints are cleared.

Fei Yeung is in a cocoon for 3 days. He breaks out from there and finally masters Tien Can skill but his hair turns white. He plans to get rid of the scoundrels in Mou Dong. Fung and Man Kuan decide to stay in the wilds for good as they prefer a quiet life.

Yuk Shu's subordinates are impatient with him for not restoring their Siu Yiu Valley glory. They know that he is still missing Yuen Yee to tell them to look for yuen Yee. He says that this needs time. Fei Yeung and Yuen Yee return and have an attack with all.

Fei Yeung kills the men and now it is the final of their duel. Yuen Yee goes to rescue the rest. Fei Yeung and Yuk Shu push a long bamboo towards each other and spar using their bare fists. Yuk Shu knows that he is not match for Fei Yeung and hides in the hall. They press their palms towards each other and he wields a sword. Fei Yeung pulls a cloth couplet and uses it as a sword.

Yuk Shu finally sees the power of Tien Can skill but he still gets his sword to protect himself. Fei Yeung suddenly has silk on his palms and pulls him. He traps him using his silk. He then turns into a cocoon but pierces him with his palm. It traps both together in the cocoon. It rolls around and he hits him repeatedly in it. He starts turning it around and Yuk Shu is blown to pieces.

He gives Yuen Yee the sachet and decide the roam the wilds alone. Yuen Yee accepts it now and asks if he will feel lonely. She decides to keep him company.

Conclusion

Unlike another reviewer who is impressed by this production, I am not that impressed. Normally, I dislike watching kungfu movies and prefer watching dramas as they only touch the cover of the real novel. Maybe the producer doesn't want a tragedy to let all the women survive and Fung not to fall for Fei Yeung at all.

The fighting scenes are unconvincing – I don't really like the way on how the cocoon is formed in the final showdown. Fei Yeung is like playing with thread to keep pushing the cocoon. Is he learning to knit or turn the spindle?! I definitely moaned when I watch it. The television version is more eye-catchy. AND it isn't explained why Fei Yeung's hair turns white!

How fast a woman changes her feelings to love another man! But we can't blame Yuen Yee as they don't have enough time to cultivate love within 1.5 hours. Still, I must commend that the cast is well chosen. The actors inject enough feelings into their characters. Suet Wah matches both actors well and Lau Wing gives a memorable performance. Tsui maintains the standard he shows in this version. Those who have no patience to go through the 60 episode television version may go for this one.


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