Master Swordsman Lu Xiao Feng II


Reviewed by: sukting

August 22, 2004

Rating: three-point-five

How long/Year produced
10 episodes /2001

Cast
Luk Siu Fung - Suen Yiu Wai (seldom sings now and acts in Taiwanese serials like Princess Huaiyu)
Sai Moon Chui Suet - Li Ming Shun (Yang Guo in TCS version of Return of Condor Heroes)
Far Moon Lau - Chen Tai Ming
Yip Gu Hung - Cheng Ho Nam (recently acts in Taiwanese series)
Yip Shuet - Lin Xiang Ping (Guo Xiang in TCS version of Return of Condor Heroes)
Hon Ling - Lai Chi
Suen Sau qing - Fang Ji Wei (Taiwanese actress/singer)
Others are unfamiliar faces of China actors

Introduction:
This is the first time that I wrote a review so fast -- 4 days after I watched a serial. There is an earlier version by Jimmy Lin Zhiying that caused so many complaints. When he has no time to film part 2, the producer looks for Suen to be the substitute. The negative feedback isn't that great but still the viewership only wins the rival's station "Man's Best Friend" by a margin. Actually, the serial is not that bad. It is sad that the producers decide to delay the showing of the two other stories "The Devil Swordsman" and "Phoenix Dancing For 9 Days". I've actually craved for more after watching the first story. But the station has ignored Li Mingshun's supporters' and marital arts fans (like me) in their protests. I wish I can watch them soon so that my review will be a more complete one.

Story: (Spoilers!)
The beginning is exactly the same as the novel. Sai Moon goes around killing the evil people who betrayed their friends/families or killed honourable/innocent people. These scenes are very tastefully done with lots of computer effects and near sharp shots. The one I like most is the scene where the merry widow is killed with a beautiful straight bloodline on her forehead. The second is how the Baishan swordsman, who killed his Wudang senior, battles with Sai Moon at an inn. Marvelous actions done with after each killing, the leaves fall to the ground.

Later, Sai Moon holds a reception at his Man Mui mansion to retire from the pugilistic word as his wife, Sau Qing, is pregnant with his child. His good friends, Far Moon Lau, Monk Bittergourd, Tong clan's Tong Yee and thief See Hong Chap Sing are around to witness the affair. They are wondering why Luk Siu Fung hasn't arrived and they are alarmed to see him drunk when coming in. In fact, so drunk that he calls Sai Moon his nickname, the living zombie, in front of the other guests. Sai Moon tells Sau Qing to bring Luk to the guestroom for a rest.

When Sai Moon is about to wash his hands in the golden basin, he suddenly hears screams from the guestroom. His maid rushes in the hall and tells him that Luk tried to get fresh with his wife. Sai Moon hurries in and is enraged to see both of them in bed. At this time, Luk is awakened from liquor and has no chance to explain to Sai Moon. He has no choice but to spring out of the window for escape. And true enough, Sai Moon goes after him even before Sau Qing can say anything too.

The fighting scenes here are fantastic. It shows how desperate Luk is. Most of the time, he doesn't strike back but tries hard to avoid Sai Moon. And because he's drunk, Sai Moon's sword leaves a wound in his chest. In fact, he has no choice but to seek refuge in the forest. Here, he meets a traitor who is equally desperate in running away from Sai Moon because he raped his friend's wife and killed her. This man has a bottle of wine and we know that Luk is a drunkard. Now he is yearning for a drink and he begs the man to give it to him. Unfortunately, he is poisoned by the wine and he feels weak. It is sad that he can't even deal with a small, pathetic fry! It is even more shameful when he needs a woman, Yip Shuet, to rescue him when he faints later. The traitor escapes.

When he wakes up, he is at a mansion. Luk is wondering where he is. When he opens the door of his room, he has a shock of his life when he sees Sai Moon right outside! Heaving a sigh, he says that there is no end to it and he will resign to fate. Both of them have a spar in the garden. The usual mischievous grin that one sees on Luk's face is gone. He becomes very serious-looking when dealing with Sai Moon's moves. Strangely, he defeats Sai Moon but he is not surprised. He says that his opponent can't be compared to Sai Moon although he tries hard, as there is not enough 'killing spirit' in him. And indeed the person is Yip Gu Hung, Yip Gu Shing's cousin. His sister, Shuet, has rescued him earlier. Luk finally knows that he is in Bak Wan mansion.

They have a chat and Luk finds out from Hung that he is looking for the luminous sword. Hung tells him about the history. This is the funniest part as I have ever seen after so many period dramas. A long time ago, his ancestor has a duel with the Wudang leader. Their duel is so appealing and shaken both heaven and earth that....even ALIENS came in their flying saucers to observe them!!!!

Indeed, they are so impressed that they give the two a luminous sword and a sword manual. Like real -- I broke into laughter while watching this scene. How on earth has E.T. got to do with this????? The two men decide to bury the sword at the duel location and keep the manual somehow as they predict that disaster will befall if any villain controls both of them. Till now, no one has found the two treasures. Hung is looking for the sword to restore his family glory.

Yip Shuet attends to him and somehow, Luk feels uneasy wearing the clothes that she gives him. He jumps when knowing that they belong to Yip Gu Shing, who died in a duel with Sai Moon in Luk Siu Fung 1. He is frantic to remove them but his own clothes are not dry yet. He has no choice. Finding Bak Wan mansion a bit sneaky, he decides to try on Shuet's skills. To his dismay, he can't hold her nose with his Lingxi finger. He later tries with chopsticks but is puzzled to know that his skills are still intact, showing that he has recovered from the poison. He decides to spar with her the next day.

Alas, he fails again. He doesn't understand why this happens as Shuet refuses to tell him. Shuet sees that he is moody and deliberately lets him win her. But she feigns to be hurt by his strokes. Luk is alarmed and tries to pacify her by singing a song to her. And indeed his singing is so terrible that she smiles!

Sai Moon captures the traitor who tells him Luk's whereabouts. He comes to Hung and demands for Luk. Hung says that he should not have trusted an unworthy man and maintains that Luk isn't there. Suddenly, the traitor dies in front of them. He is poisoned by Shuet to death secretly and Sai Moon leaves quietly. Hung blames Shuet as this shows that Luk is indeed in Bak Wan mansion and he is no match to Sai Moon as yet. He knows that Sai Moon is still suspicious and tells her to bring Luk to the Phantom Mansion.

Luk has heard of it before. But he does not know why a person must be dead before entering it. And Shuet shows that she knows the way well which makes him wary of the place. The whole place looks spooky to him and when Shuet says that he has to jump down a cliff to get into the mansion, he hesitates. Upon hearing her telling him that Sai Moon is coming, he quickly leaps. This part is amusing when he jumps quickly without any hesitation -- which is a sharp contrast to his initial reaction. He reaches there and is alarmed to find that those people who are killed by Sai Moon earlier are still alive. They have been staying there using hidden identities - the merry widow, the cousin, the housekeeper, the hungry ghost and the flirt .

In the meantime, Luk's 4 friends are worried for his safety. They feign to be Luk at different places to throw Sai Moon off his tracks. Far goes gambling while the rest go to the brothels/wine shops/inns where he often visits. However, their attempts fail miserably as they ask the people there to know that they are Luk. Since Luk is running for his own life, he should not be in the mood for leisure and deliberately tell everyone of his whereabouts.

The 4 decide to look for Luk in secret. They find Shuet and demand to know the way to the Phantom mansion. She refuses to tell them and they exchange blows. The 4 are dismayed that they lose to her and are wondering how the pugilistic world will take this if they know about it. They discuss among themselves and decide that even Luk will not get to know about this. But too bad, Sai Moon gets wind of the news of Luk's whereabouts and comes with them.

They reach the Phantom Mansion and are surprised to find Luk standing right in front of it!!! He even has the same grin on his face. Sai Moon is about to strike his sword at him when suddenly he changes to his dead mother! Sai Moon is speechless and although he is cool on the surface, he actually misses her and he hurries over to talk to her. The others are baffled by the change too.

Far is the only one who can't see and he senses an evil air around. He hits the person and indeed she is the housekeeper. She has made used of Sai Moon's weakness and attempts to kill him. She escapes into the mansion and tells the owner. The owner sets many traps outside it. The 5 are stunned to see Luk's grave. But when uncovering the coffin, bats fly out and they have a hard time fending for themselves. Sheut comes to their rescue and they decide to stay at the inn instead.

Luk has a hard time staying with the lunatics in the Phantom mansion. They leave him no peace while he tries to sleep at night. The reason partly is that they are angry with him for doing the wrong thing at the wrong time! They chide him for not letting Sai Moon wash his hands in the golden basin first so that they can return to the pugilistic world as Sai Moon has no more right to kill them.

Luk has to blame himself for being too famous for his Lingxi finger too. These people are also shocked to know that he is inferior to Sai Moon and is desperate to seek refuge here. That is why they are so curious to test his skills. One day, he is in the garden and a sedan passes by. The lady in it drops one of her shoes and he picks it. Luk has not seen her but somehow he feels a closeness towards her and keeps the shoe.

The owner of the mansion is Old Knife leader who wears a mask. Luk is very curious to know more about him. The next day, the owner challenges him to a duel. The owner loses and Luk requests to bring the merry widow along with him to leave the mansion. She is very touched and reveals why she kills her own husband. He ill-treated her and even encouraged her to go to bed with his friends. But when they are out of the mansion, Luk senses an air of killing and knows that Sai Moon is around. He decides to retreat. The owner is happy to see him back. Actually, he has used the merry widow to see how desperate Luk is. If Luk decides to leave in the end, the merry widow will still stop him and bring him back.

Later the owner tells the cousin to test Luk again. The cousin feigns to be a spy from Wudang to be an undercover at the mansion. He asks Luk to spy on the owner. Luk is witty to see through the plot and refuses to help him. He even wants to silence him but is stopped by the owner. The owner is finally pleased that Luk is one of them and accepts him. In actual fact, the cousin is the spy for the owner in Wudang. Luk is angry for going through so many tests and wants to protest against this.

But before he can do this, he is being pressed to marry a woman that he has not seen before! Before he can protest, they have already dressed him up in his bridegroom gown. He is now worried that he may have to marry an ugly woman. But when he sees his bride, he is stunned to see a beauty, Hon Ling. Seeing her frightened look, he pacifies her and puts on the shoe on her foot which fits perfectly.

Luk falls in love with this gentle woman almost immediately. He decides to spend the night crouching over the table. Seeing that he is a gentleman, Hon Ling shares the bed with him but Luk still restrains himself while lying beside her. But it is a torture for him as he is a well-known flirt.

But when he wakes up, he is alarmed to see that she is not there. Knowing that she is caught by the merry widow, he rushes to save her. The merry widow is jealous when seeing this as she likes him. She confesses that she will still bring Luk away as she longs to be with him. Hon Ling suddenly stabs her from the back and kills her. Luk is very upset as he has treated the merry widow as a friend but Ling says that she killed her because she is afraid that the merry widow will harm him.

Ling says that she is abducted when she is at a lake by masked men and is forced to stay here. Luk tells her that he actually came here to save her under her father, Hon Mun's, request. Upon knowing that only desperate/dead people can reach the mansion, he has no choice but to offend Sai Moon. Actually, he has not done anything to Sau Qing at all.

The owner takes Hon Ling hostage and demands Luk to work for him. He is going to work with the rest to steal Wudang leader's Shek Yin's headcrown. Luk suggests that the 4 should disguise as his 4 friends as they can walk freely in Wudang. Luk is shocked when seeing Shuet handing them the masks for disguise. He tries to find out more from her but she refuses to reveal anything.

The 4 finally appear as Luk's 4 friends and they reach the town together. But their personalities don't match at all. The imposter Far is the flirt and goes around flirting with woman, pinching their faces and their buns. The very refined Tong Yee suddenly becomes very dirty. As for Monk Bittergourd, he even starts gambling. On other occasions, Luk would have laughed at the mistakes that they make but this time, he has no mood for it. He is very worried for Ling's safety. Shuet declares her love for Luk but he rejects her. She is very upset and cries when he says that he has treated her like a younger sister and love cannot be forced.

Luk finally succeeds in his task. Shuet is there putting off the candles in the hall so that he gets close to the Wudang leader from the ceiling. Actually, this is not easy as Sai Moon is also at Wudang -- right at the entrance and he has a hard time running away from him. The other 4 pretend to stay at Wudang to search for the headcrown. Although Sai Moon is the greatest suspect as he refused to remove his sword upon entering the hall, the Wudang leader trusts him and lets him go.

Luk brings the headcrown back and asks for Ling's release. The owner wants to kill him and Luk wants him to reveal why he needs the headcrown before he dies. He replies that the sword manual that he has always wanted is right inside the headcrown. The owner takes off the mask and Luk is surprised to know that Hung is the mastermind. He orders the 4 to kill Luk but the 4 do not listen to him. They still stand around Luk in a circle -- not to kill him but to help him. They are actually the real friends of Luk! Luk has lured the imposters out at night in the Phantom mansion and gets his friends to kill them before they set off.

Hung then realises that no wonder he finds them acting so naturally. Who can act as well as the real ones???? It is hilarious that the 4 say that they can't believe that they can be coaxed by Luk to help him to carry out this mad plan. Far laments that his clean reputation of being a gentleman is being tarnished for being a flirt. Tong Yee replies that it is worse for him as he has always liked cleanliness. Monk Bittergourd protests that he is the worst to break his rules for being a monk. Hung knows that there is no escape for him so he takes Ling as a hostage and leaves.

Luk is very worried over Ling. His 4 friends are alarmed to see him so impatient in pacing up and down as he is never so deeply involved in a relationship. They keep quiet. Luk also senses that there's something wrong with them. Somehow, he forces the truth out of them to know that they have been defeated by Shuet. He is stunned when knowing this and they confess that even Sai Moon is not her match! He then tells them that he is a loser too and after much discussion, they find it strange that the Yip siblings do not master the same skills. The most puzzling part is they have not seen the strokes before and after much discussion, they still don't have the answer.

Sheut appears and agrees to help Luk to search for Ling. But at this time, Sai Moon arrives and duels with Luk. Shuet helps him to fend Sai Moon off by throwing explosives. Shuet wants to marry Luk and is even willing to be a concubine but he rejects her request. Luk finally knows that Shuet and Hung are not real siblings. Just as Luk is still missing Ling, he is overjoyed that Sai Moon saves her and brings her back to him. But his poor 4 friends have to do all the explaining to Sai Moon when Luk escapes with Ling to have some quiet moments together.

Ling's parents are overjoyed to see her home and pays Luk handsomely. Luk transfers the money to Sai Moon instead. He stays at Ling's home and asks Mun what he thinks of him and whether Ling is engaged to anyone. Mun thinks very highly of Luk and says that Ling is still available. Luk mistakens that he has the chance to be his son-in-law. He then decides to ask Far to be his matchmaker and he tells Ling to wait for him. Ling is worried that Sai Moon will make life difficult for Luk since he has not done any explaining to him. Seeing that she is frowning, he jokes that his strong point does not lie with the Lingxi finger but the Lingxi kick instead. Sai Moon will never be his match if he uses this skill.

In the meantime, Sau Qing tells Sai Moon the truth and he is puzzled why Luk does not discuss with him before carrying out his plan. He is angered that Luk does not clear the air to maintain his and Sau Qing's innocence as the whole affair is spread around. When he sees the money from Luk, he gets angrier and even pays the messenger handsomely to buy a coffin for Luk.

Far sees Mun the next day but is alarmed that Ling is engaged to a Marquis. Mun has always been a money-digger and dreams to get an official post. Far, who is desperate to help Luk, lies to Mun that the two already had an intimate relationship at the Phantom mansion. So Ling is already Luk's wife in reality. Mun is furious when knowing this and chases him away. Luk is very upset when knowing that he can't marry Ling. His friends comfort him and try hard to cheer him up.

On Ling's wedding day, Luk suddenly kills the bridgegroom and gets away. Later the whole Hon family is killed and Ling is abducted. The pugilistic experts know about this and the leader asks him out for a talk. But Luk kills him at a meeting at the brothel. Soon the news spread around. In actual fact, Luk has not even stepped out of Far's house. All these days, he has been drinking wine and playing chess at Far's home. When hearing about the news, he rushes to the Hon mansion...without wearing his shoes!! Poor him to be caught there and gets tested at a trial. Although his friends testify for him, their statements are not accepted and Luk is sentenced to death. Sai Moon says that he will kill Luk for the magistrate 3 days later.

His 4 friends worry for his safety but thief See Hong is more worried about the gambling result. He gambles that Luk will lose although Luk asks him to have more faith in him. Actually, it is easy for Luk to escape from the prison cell but he still stays there to think over the matter with a quiet mind. Luk suspects that Hung is behind this to frame him since he is a master of disguise. He predicts that Hung will not let him die. Luk guesses that Sai Moon is not so heartless to prevent him from escaping once he's out of the cell but See Hong warns him about the archers. However, Luk brushes it aside, saying that the higher the level of difficulty, the more interesting the game goes.

Indeed, Sai Moon shows up 3 days later and all are surprised that he unties the ropes around Luk. Only Luk is not affected. They have a duel on the rooftop. There are even archers stationed there. But they suddenly go missing after defeating all of them and Sai Moon agrees to give him more time to prove his innocence. Actually, this person is Hung. Sai Moon is very angry when he arrives and sees that Luk is not there. He even blames his 4 friends for believing the imposter. The 4 are actually pleased that Luk escapes but they try not to show their relief on their faces. Only See Hong is upset because he loses a lot of money in the gambling.

Luk knows that Hung is the one framing him and he goes to the Phantom Mansion in search of more clues. He also suspects that the sword is right there as Hung spends a lot of time here. And indeed this is the very same place both the top opponents had their duel here. He is astonished to find E.T.'s corpse in a coffin. He uses a small knife and wants to dissect its body but is stopped by someone. The next exciting discovery is that Shuet is the person. Shuet uncovers the story. When she was young, she got to know E.T. and it taught her the martial arts. It even gave her a protection vest as a gift. During the first meeting, they touched each other's fingers to show closeness. What does this all remind us of?????

More hilarious when he tells Shuet that his home is in the sky and he wants to go home. I can't stop laughing when watching this part. It is not amazing but crazy/mad/bizzard that the producer can cook up such a story. It is even funnier when E.T. says that the Phantom mansion is its home. Like real -- E.T. knows how to be traditional to have the right set of furniture???? It dies in the end because of old age. Somehow, Hung finds this place special to build his empire and recruits the killers to stay here. Shuet dislikes the idea of turning a peaceful place into a blood-thirsty place but still has to help him as she adores her brother.

Phew - finally back on the right track in searching for the sword. Shuet remembers the clues in the secret letter given by the Yip ancestors in finding the luminous sword. Luk uses his wits to decipher the facts and soon finds the sword stuck in a stone. He pulls it out and poisonous fumes come out from it. Later, Luk feels that his fingers itch and he starts feeling a bit giddy. He knows that he has been poisoned but he assures Shuet that he will be fine after a good rest. Shuet is unharmed as she wears the vest. He tries the sword and is amazed by the power it has. He gives it to Shuet and tells her to keep it in a safe place while he will try to lure Hung away. His sixth sense tells him that he is nearby and Sheut leaves reluctantly.

Sure enough, Hung appears and demands for the sword. Both have a great fight and Luk fails to kick the sword out of Hung's hand. Hung comments that his Lingxi kick is not formidable as it is heard. Luk's expression changes drastically after hearing it. I really like this part. At first, he is very attentive and is alert in dealing with Hung. But upon hearing this, he suddenly feels faint and falls from the tree! Maybe the shock is too much for him as he suddenly remembers the person whom he mentions the same words too. When Hung is about to kill him, Shuet arrives and tells Luk to leave. She is about to give Hung the sword to stop him from chasing Luk when she discovers that there is only a branch inside the cloth! She confronts Luk later and Luk replies that he has known that Hung will let her off since she's his sister. Shuet is upset that Luk makes use of her and returns home.

Ling suddenly appears and Luk is delighted. But he becomes stern when recalling Hung's words. He is very sure that he only told Ling about the joke of Lingxi kick but Ling maintains her innocence. She says that he may have told Shuet the same words. She tells him how she has suffered in Hung's hands and even loses one ear to him. Luk is heart-broken and forgets his suspicion when seeing this and he hugs her.

Unknowingly, he is drugged when drinking the wine with Ling and when he wakes up, he finds her and the sword missing. He is tied to a tree outside the Phantom mansion in a net. His 4 friends come to the mansion in search of him and are astonished to see this. But after being tricked so many times, they suspect that it is another trap and he is an imposter. Not until Luk starts revealing their ugly secrets do they start to release him.

Luk knows that the luminous sword and Ling are now in Hung's hands. He is very worried as he believes that Hung forced Ling to drug him. Shuet visits him and warns him not to believe Ling so much. She is not the simple person as she seems although she doesn't know martial arts. Sure enough, Ling is in cahoots with Hung. She persuaded Hung to capture the emperor and gain control of the Han dynasty. To gain Luk's trust, she cuts off her own ear. It pains Hung but she says that she does not regret her choice as there are things to be sacrificed to gain success.

Luk is saddened when knowing the news. He stays in Far's house to think of a solution. Shuet returns home and overhears that Ling and Hung have found the black pearl in the sword. It is a very powerful explosive that can cause much destruction. But the worst thing is Luk has 3 poisons in his body - from the fumes, the sword and the wine. Anyone who is close to him will rot to death with him soon. Shuet is alarmed and finds the medicine at E.T.'s home before rushing to Far's home. Both discover her trying to sneak away but they do not know that she has the cure. Ling tells Hung to kill Shuet as she is afraid that she might affect her plan. However, Hung has no heart to do it and lets her off.

Sure enough, the 5 guys are having spots on their bodies. They feel itchy and are alarmed when Ling sends them a letter, telling them that they can't bathe for days and they will die once they step out of the house.They point accusing fingers at each other for being the culprit. It's hilarious when they say that it must be Luk as he flirts with too many women. Luk replies that Far can be a suspect too as he grows too many flowers in his home. After a few days, Luk can't stand the boredom no more that he storms out before the others can stop him. He wears a veil and sees a physician but he cannot be cured. On his way home, he is upset to see Ling and Hung together in a sedan.

Shuet arrives at Far's home to deliver the medicine. The 4 practically grab the cream to apply on their bodies and face. When Luk returns and sees them doing this, he jokes that they need not put on a mud mask since no one will recognise them since they will rot to death without leaving any flesh. But he jumps when the 4 do not show any discomfort at all. When knowing that they leave no more medicine for him, he does not blame them but he chides himself for not treating Shuet well. Shuet softens and appears with another bottle. Both make up. Sai Moon arrives and Luk manages to persuade him to deal with Hung.

Sai Moon challenges Hung to a duel. Hung leaves the palace and Ling sits on the throne. Luk suddenly appears in front of her. She is shocked to find him alright. Luk is very upset that she has cheated him time and again. Ling tells her sad story. Her ancestors are supposed to be the rightful owner of the throne and Mun killed her natural parents for the wealth. He takes her in and brings her up. However, he is still wary of her but pays Hung to finish her off. Hung is in need of money as Bak Wan mansion has lost its importance after his cousin, Shing's death. So he agrees to it. But Mun still fears that there'll be loopholes so he deliberately sends Luk to rescue her.

She manages to use her beauty to charm Hung who claims to be the Old Knife leader. She is enraged when revealing his mask to find his identity after sleeping with him for a night. She vows to seek revenge. And indeed Hung is a person with brawns and no brains and is easy to control him to achieve her goals. She comments that Hung took years to make out what his ancestors are writing and yet Luk is smart to know the message in a short time. So all along she has been making use of them. She is so eager to seek revenge that when she sees the merry widow who softened the other day, she is afraid that she will affect her plot and so she kills her. Luk pities her but is upset to know that she is such an ambitious person. He tries to talk to her about aborting her plan but to no avail.

In the meantime, Hung reaches the destination only to find the 4 guys there. They remark that the luminous sword is nothing to them. And of course, they are alarmed when he displays his skills. Shuet comes to rescue them and says that Hung is stupid not to find Luk with them. He must be with Ling. Hung hurries back to the palace. Shuet is pleased at first with herself for luring him away but is dismayed when knowing from the guys that Luk is really with Ling.

Hung and Luk have another duel again but this time, Shuet shields him from being killed. Luk is alarmed and tries to bring her back to the Phantom mansion to look for a cure. On the way, they are ambushed by many people everywhere and finally they reunited with the 4 guys. They persuade Luk to part with Shuet as his moustache is too obvious and the notices in every single place has their portraits drawn side by side. Both are definitely in danger when travelling together. Luk is hesitant but he gives in when Sai Moon offers to send her back.

Sai Moon accomplishes his task tactfully. On the way, many try to kill them but most of them upon hearing his name, escape and give up without a fight. Luk travels with his friends to the Phantom mansion. He is very concerned over Shuet's safety yet the killers keep on appearing to waste his time. He gets very agitated and loses his temper. So he also tries Sai Moon's method by shouting out his own name. But to his dismay, more and more people appear instead!!!! He demands to know why his tactic fails. They reply that he has no killing spirit in him and that makes him easier to deal with. His 4 friends know that he is very anxious and help him to fend them off. And my, he is very fast in his qinggong to rush to there!

Upon arriving at the mansion, Sai Moon finds her asleep and puts her on the bed gently. Shuet wakes and finds that he is not so cool after all. Luk takes care of her and she recovers. Far visits Sai Moon and Sai Moon is surprised to see him. Although they are friends, Far has found Man Mui mansion too cold to his liking. Far replies that he comes to wish him luck and also to try out Sau Qing's dishes. At this time, Hung's messenger arrives with the invitation to a duel and Sai Moon accepts it. Far has heard the footsteps of him walking near and tries to lure Sau Qing to the kitchen but Sau Qing overhears it. She is concerned but still supports Sai Moon's decision.

Knowing that Sai Moon will have a duel with Hung, Sheut gives him the vest. He looks at it for a while and later ignores it. Shuet is puzzled that Sau Qing doesn't persuade him. Sau Qing knows that Sai Moon has confidence in his own skills and she too, trusts that he will be around to take care of her and their unborn child after the duel.

Luk still tries to persuade Ling to change her mind and lead a quiet life with him. She ignores him and coaxes him to eat the snacks that she has prepared for him. Sigh -- Luk is so stupid to get drugged again by her!!!!!! Hello -- how can a man fall for the same trick...twice????? Now, it's worse as he can't move at all and has to lie in bed. He is so HELPLESS, although he yearns to watch the duel between Sai Moon and Hung. So stupid of him to ask her why she cheats him again?????? She replies that it is destined that she can't be an ordinary woman.

During the duel, Sai Moon finally resolves the final mystery of the luminous sword. It has another sword beneath it besides the black pearl. He finally kills Hung when an earthquake results and he falls into the endless hole. What happens to the sword -- Sai Moon throws it back to the sky to its rightful owner and he returns home. I guess an alien might have caught it with an unseen hand since it disappears.

Ling is now at the palace wearing the crown. At this time, Luk comes in with the emperor. He does not fall for her trick this time -- just pretending to be drugged. He wants to disperse Ling's suspicion so that Ling leaves him alone and he can sneak around the palace to look for the emperor when she is away. As much as he wishes to watch the duel, he is more concerned over the well-being of the country. Ling is enraged that her plan fails so she throws the black pearl to the candle. Fearing that it will explode in the fire, Luk tries to catch it. Shuet suddenly appears and stops him. Both have a fight and she swallows it!!! Luk is alarmed when she cries in pain although she is protected by the vest.

Ling kills herself in desperation. Before she dies, she confesses to Luk that her only happy moments are with Luk together. She pleads for his forgiveness and dies peacefully. Luk is very upset over her death. Later, he brings the dying Shuet back to the mansion as this is her last wish to be with E.T. Luk is devastated that even the vest will not save her this time. Shuet replies that E.T. has promised to take her away when she dies so that she will not feel lonely. She asks Luk to sing her the song that he uses to pacify her and he does it. She dies in his arms and he is in tears. My, the two dubbing artists did a very terrible job and this sad scene turns into a comical one. It really spoils the mood!

Shuet is laid in a coffin of flowers. Sai Moon says that after so much killing, actually Shuet is the one who should rule the world since she surpasses all of them in her skills. Luk agrees with him and how does Shuet leave? A space saucer appears and that's the end!!! I want to scream - what kind of ending is this???

Comments
On the whole, it is not as bad as it seems...if it is without the alien addition. I mean , how can this appear in a period drama. It's absolute nonsense!!!! I nearly threw the remote at the television when the 3 aliens hand the sword and manual to the duel experts. I'm not amazed but shocked/amused. Yes, it shakens indeed heaven and earth that I fell off my chair and nearly dropped my jaw.

The alien looks exactly like E.T. in the movie! Worse when Shuet clicks her finger with E.T. -- exactly in the same way as in the movie! E.T. phone home in a period drama???? And also the ending where aliens take Shuet away. I couldn't torture myself anymore that I switch the television off for the next 5 minutes. Who can accept such a mad arrangement?

And the plot that Ling controls the enemy instead is the same as James Bond's movie -- the world is not enough. Let's call this the period drama version. Certain parts may be boring as the experts fight in the dark and you can see nothing! The happenings at the Phantom mansion can be boring as well as they talk a lot and Suen Yiu Wai doesn't appear much here. The unfamiliar China cast also makes it uninteresting.

I like the dialogues between the friends. They are hilarious yet bring out the close friendship. The part where they find Luk storming out of Far's home to rush to Han's home is well-done. Knowing that Luk will be startled by the bad news, See Hong deliberately talks slowly so that he can take the shock. Luk leaves his shoes behind but they do nothing. They don't go after him but kick his shoes aside instead!

The final scene where Ling dies can be more touching. But when Ling is saying her last words, Shuet makes so much noise by the side screaming in pain. I feel like telling her to shut up and stop being a nuisance! It is soooooo irritating! By right, Luk should be more upset with Ling's death since he loves her so much but why is it that he only sheds tears for Shuet instead? Another point ignored by the producers.

I don't really like the way the producer makes out Luk Siu Fung. I mean -- is he so stupid to be tricked by a defenseless woman so many times. Not once, twice, but MANY! He is supposed to be witty and also highly-skilled. But in here, how many times did Shuet save him too???? Is Luk Siu Fung that easy/gullible to be tricked?

The way that Ling recounts her sad story is equally draggy too. A whole precious 15 minutes to tell a long-winded story. Yawn...even the interested face shown by Luk doesn't help at all since all of us can predict what kind of story she is going to say.

But I must say that this production is so much better than the previous TCS productions of the Jin Yong stories. The fighting scenes are fabulous. The beginning where Sai Moon causes numerous ripples in the river is a classic. Also shots of Luk showing off his Lingxi skill. However, my complaint is on the fighting scenes between Luk and Hung -- numerous but too short!!!! The final duels between Sai Moon and Hung or Luk are spectacular though.

The make-up and dressing are more appropriate than the first version. All look thinner and the colours are attractive for the leads. Finally a sensible move made after the flop in Luk Siu Fung 1.

Acting:
Who's the star -- who else but Suen Yiu Wai? I've not seen him in the serial "Princess Huaiyu" but in here, he has proven himself to be a very good actor. He has indeed improved heaps and bounds in his acting skills. He looks more convincing than Lin Zhiying with the moustache. At least he is not as childish as Lin. His dressing is much better too that makes him thin, tall and attractive. Many emotional scenes are well-produced. Some have complained that he looks too young but the negative comments are not as adverse as Lin. He looks much younger than the rest with his slightly childish outlook. But his good acting makes me forget this completely. I've read the comic version and find that he fits the comic image perfectly. So I can still accept him as the new Luk Siu Fung.

The different expressions that shows the anxiety for his love, the concern towards his friends and also the fighting scenes really change on his face quickly. Suen Yiu Wai has done a wonderful job. Especially on several scenes where he shows his love for Ling when she's being held hostage by Hung. His 4 friends have wanted to kill Hung on the spot but he stops them to let him get away with her. And later, the anxiety he shows when he can't sleep and eat well. When he misses her and he overhears someone calling him, he thinks that it is Ling and is delighted. But seeing that Shuet is the one, the disappointed expression on his face is so real that you can't help feeling sorry for this pathetic man.

He has shown the cheeky and serious nature of Luk well too. We laugh when seeing how he tries to talk back at his assassins or his friends. We can see him smiling and cracking jokes every now and then. When it comes to having duels or discussion on serious topics, his whole face changes. He becomes very alert and solemn looking. No wonder he is so popular in Taiwan now.

Although I've never liked Li Ming Shun, I must say that he makes a good Sai Moon, fitting into it perfectly. There is a killing air around him whenever he appears. But he shows the soft side of Sai Moon well too in the scenes with Sau Qing and meeting his 'mother'. Chen Tai Ming is okay too as Far Moon Lau but I don't think that he is the same as the character in the novel. Somehow, I find it a bit difficult to accept such a talkative and cheeky Far Moon Lau. Anyway, his interpretation is much better than the previous Wang Tian Cai because his hairdo is more traditional.

Cheng Ho Nam is a let-down, though. He is still expressionless after so many years of acting! But he is very good in his moves. He does look like a martial arts expert. The way he handles the sword with ease and style impress me. It is probably due to acting in a few Taiwanese period dramas - for example - "The Bodyguards" - the Jade Dolls with Ho Kar King.

Sorry to offend Lai Chi's fans but the same can be said for Lai Chi. Most of the time she has been rolling her eyes as Ling and this shows that there's something up her sleeve. She looks so unnatural and yet how can Luk be so blind to ignore this???? She really can't act!!!!! And the main flaw is she looks too old for Suen! It's weird to hear her calling Suen 'Elder Brother Luk'. The plaits on her hair don't help in making her look younger. This is certainly a mismatch! With Cheng, there's no chemistry even though they have more intimate scenes.

Worse with Suen where he puts in so much emotion but what she does is to stare at him all the time! The last scene when Ling dies should be the part where she can act well. However, the wooden expression that she shows puts you off! She has wasted all of Suen's efforts here. I believe an artist should have improved through the years of acting but I don't see any progress at all in her.

Most of the help in making her villain role work goes credit to the make-up artist who has succeeded in making her look fierce. She has done a terrible job in acting. Most of the time, she is playing with her hair. She should have maintained better eye contact with her co-stars instead. Yuck -- still so overly concerned over her beauty image. How can a person act well when she cares more about her looks?

The scene that Ling dies is so fake! It comes too smoothly down her face. I've a feeling that the tear drop does not come from her own but by the eye drops/medical oil that extras use for acting! Is she scared that crying will damage her mascara or face powder? How can she survive in HK showbiz for so long since she has so many limitations? To me, she doesn't sing or act well. More to do with looks???

She doesn't even look pitiful when she shows Luk her broken ear. The way she delivers the lines is so expressionless. Many will pity Shuet instead for trying in vain to win Luk's affection. Lin Xiang Ping has improved slightly in her acting. I personally feel that she has more chemistry with Suen than Lai, partly due to the fact that they look more compatible. But I don't like her to be in willful roles and acting young all the time. I'm getting a bit tired of her throwing tantrums on the screen and acting cute when she is already in her mid-20s. Fang Jiwei has a limited role here so we don't really feel that she is a long-suffering wife.

Songs:
It is puzzling that they don't find Suen to sing the theme song. Maybe he will do a good job like Lin Zhiying who sung the Luk Siu Fung 1's themes song well. But I admit that our homegrown talent singer group dreamboat does a good job. At first, I'm curious on how they're going to do it as they only sing pop songs. But I got a pleasant surprise from them. At least this is the sensible song that I would wish to hear with traditional musical instruments and it brings the heroism of the martial arts experts. The sub-theme is done by Li Min Shun. I still think that he should stick to acting alone. He is not cut out to be a singer.

Conclusion:
Still, this serial is worth your time. If you can ignore the part on aliens and the disappointing acting from Cheng and Lai, it is still acceptable as a period drama. There is a fair mixture of sad and joyful scenes which is very different from the normal sad Gu Long's novels. The fighting scenes are well made although the story line is very different from Gu Long's novel. Nowadays, many period dramas don't run in the usual way. What more can we ask since the producers don't make a mess of their hairdos and costumes?

sukting's Ratings:

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

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


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