Wind and Cloud: The Storm Riders

Reviewed by: Dagger Lee

December 01, 2006

Rating: two-point-five

Once again, Tai Seng offers another movie condensation of a Chinese series. This time, it is for the Taiwanese series "Wind and Cloud 2". Tai Seng tries to market this as a sequel to the successful 1998 Hong Kong movie "The Storm Riders" but it is a little hard to connect the two. Why? Because "Wind and Cloud 2" is actually a sequel to "Wind and Cloud Conquer The World"! Five minutes into the film will already confuse audiences who have never seen the previous series or have no knowledge of the comics. Now on to the review.

Twelve years have passed since the great duel Wind and Cloud fought. Wind now lives as a drunkard mourning over his dead wife while Cloud is still a loner. A new enemy by the name of Dai Sik Tien appears and tries to create chaos in the martial arts world. This person resurrects Mung and turns Wind to the dark side with the Demonic Pill, which results in a fight with Cloud. Can Wind and Cloud unite to fight this evil?

As with many of Tai Seng's movie condensations, this film removes much of the story and tries to keep as many action scenes as possible. Though it may sound rewarding to some fans, it apparently is not. Without the storyline told properly, some scenes do not make any sense or feel very rushed. For instance, characters just come out of nowhere and disappear. Not to mention that certain things happen without reason. One worthy mention would be that there is more screen time of Wind than there is for Cloud. Personally, the screen time should have been even for the two main characters. It's not called Wind and Cloud for no reason. Whether or not this also happened in the full series is unknown (I bought this movie version just to save myself money).

The action scenes were done by Ching Siu Tung ("Hero" and "House of Flying Daggers") and it doesn't disappoint. Fights are fun and furious. The only complaint would be that the special efects overshadow the actors. It is understandable for this kind of series to utilize special effects but it is nice to see the actors do real fights once in a while. Overall, impressive (by television standards) action scenes and neat special effects.

The only actors to return from the first series are Vincent Zhao (Wind) and Peter Ho (Cloud). Zhao does exceptionally well as Wind and fights rather well. Not much can be said for Peter Ho's role as his role is rather small. But if there was one word to describe him, it would be PLAIN. Cloud is suppose to be a dark and lonesome person yet Peter does not show any of this. Huang Yi is very nice in the role as Mung and looks very pretty. The only complaint would be her hairstyle but her acting compensates for it.

This film is recommended only if one cannot obtain the full series. While it may give a quick tale of the long series, it will cause much confusion. It definetly would have been nicer if Tai Seng just released the full series with English subtitles or cut the series down to three hours instead of 109 minutes. Audiences can only hope for that to happen. Overall, a decent effort with flaws.

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