Against the Blade of Honor


Reviewed by: nath

December 31, 2007

Rating: three-point-five

Starring :

* Louis Koo Tin Lok as Ding Pang
* Vivian/Noel Leung Siu Bing as Ching Ching
* Irene Wan Bic Ha as Tuern Ho Qing
* Eddie Cheung Siu Fai as Liao Yuerk Chong

Warning! Spoiler Review!
Louis Koo plays a cold-hearted swordsman, Ding Pang. To prove that his sword techniques, and he himself, is the best, he goes everywhere to challenge famed persons of the Mo Lam World. However, his sword techniques contain only a few powerful strokes that his father has found on a little piece of paper.

A few weeks before his duel against the Mo Lam Leader, Liao Yuerk Chong (Eddie Cheung), Louis rescued Irene Wan who is on the edge of being sold into a brothel. Louis brought her back to his place and his cold heart started to melt for Irene. Finally, the day of his duel arrives, however, when he arrives at Eddie's place, Eddie accused Louis to have stolen his sword techniques. Then, Eddie shows to everyone present to witness that Louis' sword techniques are engraved on his kung fu room walls. Louis is confused, not knowing how Eddie knew his kung fu. It is at this exact moment that Eddie's wife appears : Irene.

It turns out Irene is Eddie's wife. Whenever Eddie has a duel, she goes to his opponent, seduces him and brings back the secret of the opponent's kung fu to Eddie. She did the same thing this time ; however, she has true feelings for Louis.

Louis felt betrayed and now that Eddie knows Louis' weak points, he is no match against Eddie. Pursued by Eddie and other well-known characters of the Mo Lam World, Louis is gravely injured and fell from a cliff. When he wakes up, Louis found himself on an island and is captured by the island habitants. However, the chief daughter, Vivian, pities Louis and releases him, but the habitants soon find out and chase after Louis. Louis runs into a cave and to defend himself, he takes out from the cave's rock face a strange blade that no habitants on the island could take out. From there on, the habitants respect Louis.

From the blade, Louis learns a very powerful kung fu, even more powerful than his ancient sword techniques. Soon after, Louis and Vivian develop a good relationship and they get wedded. However, Louis still dreams of going back to China. To please her husband, Vivian follows him to China.

In the Mo Lam World, the leader of every sect and union disappear one by one. Eddie, being the leader, has to find them back, but is unable. It turns out that Louis wants to create Eddie's downfall and succeeds. Afterwards, Louis is the one who becomes the Mo Lam leader. From then, Louis is torn between Vivian, who he loves, and Irene who he can't forget. Because she can't have Louis, Irene jumps down a cliff and Louis arrived too late.

Now Louis is the leader, the most powerful man in the Mo Lam World, but there is still a powerful opponent. Louis wants to defeat this man, but is unable. He tries many tricks to fight against this man, but still can't. His last solution is to use the man's daughter. He gains her heart and then marries her.

In an incident, Vivian has lost her sight and doesn't believe that her husband would leave her behind. But on Louis' wedding day, Louis declares that he doesn't love Vivian anymore. Vivian leaves, heart-broken. One friend, and also Eddie, helps her out to continue to live.

Louis learns a secret concerning his father-in-law and the origins of the blade. This is the reason why he left Vivian. However, Louis finally manages to defeat his opponent but meets another one, Irene. By jumping down the cliff, Irene didn't die and also learned a very powerful kung fu. She forces Louis to choose between her, his new wife and Vivian. Since his new wedding, Louis misses Vivian a lot and then realizes that his one true love is Vivian. However, her father has come back to China and starts to create conflicts. Louis has no control over him and in one night he kills all the chiefs and leaders of the sects and unions. Vivian, who always loved Louis, tries to tell him to stop, but it's too late. Louis and Vivian then decides to run away together.

SPOILERS ENDING :

I know that many people like to know the ending before renting the series. So here it is. Vivian's father have been searching for his daughter and son-in-law for 10 years, but no news. Finally, he found them and sent a letter to challenge Louis.

During these 10 years, Louis and Vivian had opened an inn. This inn is a place with no hatred, once you entered the inn, you have to forget all the conflicts of the outside. No one can't enter the inn to seek revenge or anything. They also had a son.

Vivian's friend during these 10 years had learnt medicine in the hope that he could heal Vivian's eyes and make her able to see again. He succeeds, but her father's letter arrives, making the happiness disappear. In Louis' garden, there's many pieces of wood. Each piece represents a person that Louis has killed in his last night in the Mo Lam World. So he was in his garden and suddenly, he got attacked. He of course protected himself and actually, thought that it was his father-in-law so killed the person. But it turns out his opponent was...Vivian (Which is surprising, because in the whole series, you never see Vivian fight.) Louis immediately brings her back to the inn and asks their friend to save her, but he is unable to do so. So Vivian dies in his arm. At the same time, her father comes in the inn to challenge Louis. Louis and him affronts each other but no one knows who wins or loses because they both disappear. As for their friend, Louis has asked him to take care of his son.

COMMENTS

That are the main events that have happened. It's been a long time since I've watched this series, so of course, there's some parts I have forgotten. So I'm sorry, but mainly, this is what happens.

I heard that this series was an adaptation of one of Gu Long's novel ; however, I've never read it so couldn't give comments on the faithfulness. I think the plot is very good, refreshing and the ending unexpected. I remember liking it very much, not only because of the story, but also because of the cast.

Louis had done a great job. This series was his second mo hap series, after 'The Return of the Condor Heroes' and I think he was great. Maybe sometimes, he over acted, but still his performance was really good, because his character was totally different from the others. Today, if I have to compare his character to another one he had played, I would choose Tsui Fei. They are both very cold, seemed to care for nobody, but when they meet love, they change. In the series, you really wonder if Louis becomes evil, because of his actions and you hope no... You also wonder who he is going to choose among the 3 women, but Louis's character doesn't disappointed anyone, because at the end, he regrets his actions and changes, recluses himself with Vivian and his child. You can see that he really loves Vivian. And Louis is very convincing in his acting and of course, there's improvement from his previous role.

As for Vivian, she also did a great job as usual. She is the gentle, nice and understandable wife that loves her husband dearly and is ready to forget all his faults, but never goes in the wrong way. She is very nice to everyone, even to the enemy. I love her in this character, because she portrayed it very well. Also, she has the look to fit this character. My only complaint is that she had to go through many obstacles to be with Louis and he has to do his way to realize he really loves her. She is torn between her husband and father. Anyway, like I said, Vivian has done a great job.

**I think that Louis and Vivian has a lot of chemistry together and from the outside, they made a very nice couple. Back then, Louis was still white, so maybe now, if they were again together, it would be different, but I believe that they would still make a nice couple. Based on the characters, Vivian is the understandable wife who wasn't wrong. She wasn't wrong in choosing Louis as her husband, even if he did many things wrong towards her, he still came back to her, repentant.

Eddie as usual is wonderful in his character, between good and evil. He makes the viewers wonder if he is good or evil and this is perfectly what he is supposed to do. He never hints at his real intentions. Again, WOW !

Ok, maybe my opinion is a little bit biased, but I don't like Irene's performance. Her facial expression never changes... I really have nothing to say about her.

** I don't think that Irene and Louis made a nice couple, even on the outside. Louis in the series is a little thin while Irene's face is very round, so it's a mismatch. Based on the characters, Irene isn't the woman that Louis needs... You never know when she is sincere and when she isn't.

There are two more characters, the friend and Louis' other wife. Again, the friend has a lack of emotions in his facial expressions. You rarely see him smile, though it isn't needed. There's nothing special about him, he doesn't attract the viewers attention, besides the fact that he is taking good care of Vivian.

Finally, Louis' other wife... She was still new back then, so needs a lot of improvement. Her acting is plain boring, she looks too innocent and young, though it was exactly what she was supposed to be. Also, she and Louis don't have any chemistry together, maybe this is the worst part to watch.

In brief, this series is very good, a pure mo hap series with no comedy in it.


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