Master Swordsman Lu Xiao Feng


Reviewed by: sukting

August 22, 2004

Rating: one

Luk Siu Fung: The Duel Before and After

How long/Year produced
20 episodes /2000

Cast
Luk Siu Fung - Lin Zhi Ying(seldom sings now and acts in serials)
Sai Moon Chui Suet - Li Ming Shun (Yang Guo in TCS version of Return of Condor Heroes)
Far Moon Lau - Wang Tian Cai
Yip Gu Shing - Wu Xing Guo (always the villain in movies)
Monk Lou Sat - Mok Siu Chung
Ou Yong Ching - Tao Hong (a China actress)
Sheung Gun Fei Yin - Lee Yee Hung
The innkeeper's wife - Song Yifei
The Marqis Zi - Chiang Dai Wai
Sai Hong Chap Sing - Qi Yuwu
Kum Gau Ling - Lam Wai
Suen Sau Qing - Fang Ji Wei (Taiwanese actress/singer)
Others are unfamiliar faces of China actors

Introduction
At first, when we know that Lin is going to be the lead, our reaction is like -- argh??? Can he do it???? Judging by the shots, we are very doubtful. And the result is shown below.

Story: (Spoilers!)
I must say that it's so lousy that I don't even wish to talk about it. To cut a story short, Luk falls for a Marquis's daughter, Ou Yong Ching, but he is so used to a valiant life and makes her miserable. He doesn't even give her enough consolation after her father's death. So whenever he sees her, he gets a slap from her. He blames himself when finding her to be a prostitute later and tries to treat her better. In the end, they finally reconcile.

Far is not blind from the beginning. He is good in martial arts but his family is killed by Yip Gu Shing. So he can't take the pressure and becomes blind. Fei Yin is Ching's maid but works as an undercover to look for a treasure left by a king. Fei Yin is remorseful as she is partly responsible for it. She tries to make up to him by taking care of him. He finally accepts her love but their ending is fruitless. She discovers gold in the palace and tries to steal it. But she is caught by the top official, Kum who melts her together with the gold!

Lau Sat is a pathetic role and a killer. He loves Ching secretly but his love is not returned. He kills his master by accident and out of guilt, he becomes a monk. Luk sees that he is still very moody after this and he tries to make him happier. Both are great friends.

Sai Moon kills Sau Qing's senior and she seeks revenge. She loses repeatedly and in the end, falls for him and gets married to him. Although she is initially a spitfire, she tames down after marriage.

Yip Gu Shing is attempting to grab the throne. He captures the inn-keeper and forces him to make a mask for him. Although the inn-keeper's wife always flirts with Luk, she is actually just joking with him and loves her husband deeply. Anxious over his disappearance, she gets Far and Luk to search for him. But too bad the inn-keeper is silenced and is killed. Both are remorseful over this. Th evil plot is discovered by Sai Moon in the end. It is through a duel where Sai Moon finds that his opponent is an imposter. Luk and Sai Moon rush to save the Emperor in time. Sai Moon finally kills Shing at the top of the palace roof top.

Comments
A very short review but I have tons of complaints. This is the worst period drama that I've ever seen/watch in my entire life. People fly in and out in many fighting scenes, not allowing you to look at their faces. The scenes are so boring!!!! Talking about filming in China...a waste of the scenery with a lousy story! They try to throw in a lot of suspense but in the end, many of us switch the television off.

The most common scenes will be leaves and grass flying here and there. You will have to guess who are the ones standing in the midst of the mess. Have to judge from their heights and this is depressing!

Most of the time, they are talking and not fighting. Chiang makes a cameo appearance as Marquis Zi but he is an old man here. Hung Yan Yan also appears as his evil junior that appears and have a duel with him. Both die in the end. What a waste as they are known to be good actors!

You will never believe that this story happens in China -- all their costumes are so Japanese. This sends viewers grumbling. Guys looks like Samurais while women look like geisha in kimonos. The poor actresses are actually very slim and pretty looking. But alas, they look bloated and overweight with so many layers of clothes. Especially ex-Miss HK 2nd runner-up Lee Yee Hung, she has a chubby looking face and the costume makes her look worse.

As for Lin, many will laugh at his outlook. He looks like a youngster Luk Siu Fung, with his punk hairstyle. The dubbed mature voice doesn't match his face. The small moustache does not help him. Whenever he touches it, he looks very lecherous!!!! When he stands beside Wang and Li, he really looks like a little brother to them. The other two do not just look older than him -- they are the well-known giants as well -- reaching about 180 cm in height. So you may visualise how pathetic and pale Lin will look when he is with them!

Whenever I compare him with Suen Yiu Wai's version of "Luk Siu Fung 2", I wonder why Suen can do it with ease and maturity but he can't? Suen proves to be a much better substitute. Suen is very attractive there and is very careful in delivering his lines and in the way he walks, but Lin looks sloppy here even in the way that he walks. I think he doesn't put in enough effort in his role. Maybe it's a blessing in disguise that he can't find time to act in Luk Siu Fung 2. It's a torture to the viewers' eyes to see him again anyway.

I am dumbfounded when knowing that the producer is Chiu Chi Kin -- the very same person who's in charge of the 80s version of "Return of the Condor Heroes". He has really stretched his imagination too far.

Acting:
Very poor acting from all of them. TCS chose the wrong people for the wrong roles. You may think that Chiang will act well in here but you're wrong. He looks so restless and tired here and his hair has plaits too - can you believe this! Same as Hung -- come on -- old people have to be forced to look young too? They are really very unbearable to look at.

Very bad acting from Lin. He claims that he has acted as an old man in the Taiwanese version of the Proud Twins. But when we see him here, we don't like him at all!! He is too childish and tries too hard to be mature. Most of the time, he blinks or narrows his eyes. We hate that -- this makes him look like a hooligan, more when it comes to the smoking scenes and going to the brothel.

The matching of him with Tao Hong is a disaster. She looks so much older than him. If you can't accept Suen with Lai Chi, then it's 100% that you'll reject this combination immediately. Her acting is actually okay and she looks like Cho Chung. But her face is too round and makes her look plump.

Li Ming Shun tries too hard being Sai Moon. Why -- most of the time, he doesn't have any expression at all! Trying to act too cool makes his plan backfire. I don't call it cold but wooden. The treatment that he gives Sau Qing doesn't have any warmth at all although he saves her.

Wang Tian Cai has proven that he can't act in period dramas. His face is too modern. The plan to suit him into the role backfires too as his hairstyle is terrible looking. Same as Mok who shares the same hairstyle with him. Who will not feel restless with the hair falling over the cheeks all the time.

The most pitiful person will be Wu Xing Guo. Throughout the serial, he has very long hair like a woman. And it's not like the normal hair commercials. The models in them have silky and wavy hair. In contrast, his hair looks as if it's not washed - oily and not dried! Normally, he stands out being a villain in other works but in here, the result is equally disappointing. His eyes looks beady and doesn't really portray the role well. In comparison, Lam Wai makes a better villain as his clothing and hairstyle is more traditional. Even Tsang Kong who has very few scenes is better than Wu too.

None of the actresses does a good job. All of them have their hair hanging over their faces and they don't speak their lines with emotions. You will not feel any affection between them and the actors.

Song:
Lin doesn't act well in here but I must say that he sings the theme song "I Don't Regret" well. The song is well-written too. But still, I like the song in Luk Siu Fung 2 better.

Conclusion:
Don't watch it! It's a waste of time. No plot, subplot, or artist can make you smile. The whole atmosphere here is gloomy at all times. I will advise you to watch Luk Siu Fung 2. It has a better cast and the artists are better dressed. But most important of all, the acting is tons better!

sukting's Ratings:

On acting:* * (Scale of 5)

On the story: * (Scale of 5)


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