Devil's Disciples

Reviewed by: irrationally adept

October 22, 2007

Rating: three

Plot overview
Shing Fung, his brother Shing Kung and his mother has been performing aerobics for a living. Once, Fung took part in a competition that required him to climb up some formation to snatch the longevity bun to win some money. He met his master, Tong Fung, and his master taught him some kungfu and helped him get into Sacred Sword Sect. Sacred Sword Sect was the most prestigious, good sect at that time lead by Pak Tong Ngo. Fung found out that his mother was not his true flesh and blood mother but he was picked up in the temple years ago. After he got into Sacred Sword Sect, he knew King Lui, Chi Long who is Pak Tong Ngo's daughter and the students. He built a strong relationship with King Lui after helping him out a few times. He and Chi Lung later fall in love soon.

It was revealed that King Lui came to Sacred Sword Sect to look for his mother. Later he trailed Mok Man because Mok Man knew the tranquility chant which was very uncommon. Mok Man gave him a poisoned wine on condition that she will tell him about his mother after he drunk the poisoned wine. Mok Man told him that she was poisoned at that time and when she went to sacred sword sect three years ago to check out the surroundings, she had a relapse and her poison were acting out. She met King Lui's mother (Red Zither fairy) and she taught Mok Man the tranquility chant. When Mok Man offered to save her, she refused and told Mok Man to tell King Lui that his mother is dead. King Lui's poison acted within his body and he passed out. Mok Man saved him on account of his mother's help. At this point of time, Tong Fung stole a magic tablet that can help boast one's inner power for Fung. Fung gave it to King Lui instead to save him. Later on, the both of them became best buddies.

Pak Tong Ngo wants to practice Big Dipper Array but was one person short so he held a competition among the students so that the best can practice the array with him. Shing Fung won King Lui because the magic tablet that King Lui took has some side effects. Luckily Shui Ling who is a doctor in unity clan treated him. Shing Fung was thus chosen to practice with the six (Pak Tong Ngo, Chi Lung, Big senior Tin Ho and the three division head) big dipper array. Shing Fung promised to help King Lui look for his mother and promised Tong Fung to write to him. However when he reached there, Shing Fung couldn't coordinate with the others well so he had to spent more time practicing. Later he was replaced by King Lui. He took this chance to look for his mother. At last he found her, however, she is already dead. Before she died, she used sonic force to record her voice and mirror reflection to capture her image. "She" told him about her past and how Pak Tong Ngo was so cunning to keep her in captive.

While the six were practicing the Big Dipper Array, the Bloody Shadow Sect lead by Mok Man attacked the Sacred Sword Sect and killed many members of the eight good clans. Tin Ho who has always been Mok Man's spy deliberately loses concentration and caused the others to be seriously injured. Seeing that they are in a grave situation, Shing Fung fought with Mok Man. Mok Man actually has the chance to kill him, but she was distracted by the eagles. Mok Man felt uneasy at the though of killing Shing Fung and hence they retreated. After that, Shing Fung became a hero and was promoted to division head by Pak Tong Ngo.

King Lui was punished by Pak Tong Ngo for leaving without reason. Later when Pak Tong Ngo know that Red Zither Fairy is his mother, he schemed to kill him. Unfortunately, Shing Fung helped him and on the surface, Pak Tong Ngo let King Lui go but he hit King Lui with heartbreaking force, a force that will kill the person within hours. King Lui fainted and was saved by Mok Man. King Lui helped play the tranquility chant for Mok Man whenever she is injured and slowly, the two of them developed feelings for each other.

Shing Fung, on the other hand, developed a relationship with Chi Long. Mok Man realizes that he is her brother and told him to soy Pak Tong Ngo for her. Shing Fung kept refusing her. Mok Man's assistant tried to kill Shing Fung but Tong Fung helped him to fight her off and was poisoned instead. Shui Ling saved Tong Fung Mo Ngai by using the medicine Shing Fung got from Mok Man. Although Tong Fung Mo Ngai recovered, but he has only 20% of his power left. Shing Fung tried to runaway from everything but was discovered by Mok Man. They had a talk and Pak Tong Ngo overheard their conversation. He made use of Shing Fung to lure Mok Man to a trap set up by him. At this point, Shing Fung realizes that as advised by everybody, Pak Tong Ngo is indeed an evil guy. King Lui pretends to hold Chi Lung as hostage and escaped with the others. Mok Man was seriously injured and Shui Ling offered to bring them to unity clan to receive treatment there. Shing Fung is now wanted by the good side and Pak Tong Ngo used his mother and brother to lure him out. Actually they were saved by Chi Lung already but they do not know how to inform Shing Fung about this. Tong Fung Mo Ngai though of an idea, conveying their message through cloths that will be threw all a high spot of the city. Shing Fung indeed fell for the trap and even though he saw the cloths, he threw it away before he even see the message inside. Eager to save him, Tong Fung Mo Ngai used up his 20% strength and saved Shing Fung but he died.

The unity clan refuses to save Mok Man because the rules stated that they can only save insiders. Hence, Shui Ling slept with Shing Fung and since she belonged to Unity clan, Mok Man is considered insiders too. The four elders helped saved Mok Man but to no avail. The chief of the unity clan then suggested to King Lui the last resort. At last, Mok Man is saved and she wants to lead a simple life with King Lui.

However, Pak Tong Ngo still wants to kill Mok Man and gang. So he killed Chi Lung's godfather in front of her and pretend to lose control when Chi Lung exposed him in front of the eight clans. He then pretends to be remorseful and hand over the post of supreme lead to Chi Lung, urging her to seek peace with the shadow sect.

Since Chi lung has everybody's trust, naturally nobody suspected the plot behind. After luring them out of Unity clan, Pak Tong Ngo appeared and killed Mok Man. Chi Lung appeared and stopped Pak Tong Ngo from killing Shing Fung and King Lui. Even though Shing Fung and King Lui didn't die but Pak Tong Ngo cut away unity clan's water resources and force Shing Fung and King Lui to appear.

Just as they were in a despair, they found out that Unity clan had many martial manual but it is just that the people doesn't cherish it. Hence, the two of them used two days to master skills from different books and use it against Pak Tong Ngo. Their motive is not to win him but to force him to use the seventh step of Big Dipper Array. Pak Tong Ngo finally uses the seventh step and he exploded and died.

A few years later, Shing Fung is hailed as a hero and he married Shui Ling with a son. The ending is a bit ambiguous as he told Shing Kong that he will be meeting Chi Lung for supper which leaves audience to wonder whether he has married both or Shirley only.

Cast Analysis
Shing Fung
He is a happy-go-lucky, "clever and talented" guy who is unclear about his identity. He has a good relationship with his mother and Shing Kong. He is always doing things for his family and never asks for anything for return. Later when he got into Sacred Sword Sect, he is still very righteous and loyal. He helped King Lui out many times and even dismissed anyone's advice of staying away from Pak Tong Ngo. He believed Pak Tong Ngo and even scolded his master for saying badly about him. Despite advice from his close friend, sister and master, he chooses to believe Pak Tong Ngo. Later, he indirectly caused the death of his sister and master. He had a relationship with Chi Lung and I am quite certain he really love Chi Lung. But later he slept with Shui Ling and married her later even though I don't know whether he really like her.

Seriously I really hate him in this show. He is like so dumb. At the beginning he was still ok, funny at times. But he became just an irritating pest later on, kept on defending Pak Tong Ngo like he is his father. Gosh! How could anyone believe Pak Tong Ngo when he said he will get rid of Mok Man's hatred and help convert her to be good. That is so rubbish man. Moreover, his master is the one who has been helping him and yet he rather listen to Pak Tong Ngo. I hate it when he gives the all-knowing look to his master when his master is criticizing Pak Tong Ngo. I was thinking he trust Pak Tong Ngo so much is because Pak Tong Ngo kept praising him that is why he let down his guard against him. Also, I don't get it when many people kept saying that Shing Fung is a talent. I cannot see the talent within him. Only that he learnt things very much, his fighting skills were not up to par. Moreover, how can someone who hasn't learn martial arts for 20 years can suddenly have so strong inner strength? I remember watching a TVB serial that showed that even though the main lead is talented but since he never learn martial arts before, he cannot have strong inner force. Someone else injected inner force in the main lead's body. I mean perhaps he can be good, but to the extent of winning King Lui and able to take 2 strikes from Mok Man is definitely exaggerating. Also, I hate it when everybody just keeps treating him as a hero, forever saving people. I mean his character is very repetitive and I seriously really hate his parts.

Bosco Wong on Shing Fung
Bosco has always been one of my favorite actors in TVB but his acting here is hmmm, ok la, nothing spectacular. Even though he is the male lead, I feel that he is overshadowed by Kelvin. Bosco looks more compatible with Shirley. Bernice is too big size for him and they look more like siblings than lovers. Moreover after this show, I realize that Bosco's acting is almost the same in every show I watched. Although I think he is good looking but his acting skills is not very good compared to other xiao sheng like Lam Fung and Kelvin Cheng. His expression is wooden and I cannot feel for the character when his master died. I think I feel sadder than him. Perhaps the character itself is damn annoying, that is why I really dislike him in this show. If I were to rate his performance in all his shows I watched, Dicey business will be his best piece, followed by wars-in-laws and triumph in the skies. Anyway, here is his rating.
Rating- 3/5

King Lui
At the beginning, I though he was really boring furthermore his story doesn't interest me at all. But later I really like him. He has his own style and character. He is loyal to friends and filial to his mother. He is definitely not afraid of death and is willing to die for Mok Man and his mother. Moreover, he is very strong in his martial arts. Unlike Shing Fung, he is very independent. He doesn't like to seek the help of others. I admire and pity his character. I don't know when he fell in love with Mok Man; I guess they fell in love when he was treating her. Those parts were good, even though there were few dialogues but those scenes were nicely done. Of course it was Sharon and Kelvin's credit. Anyway, I really like King Lui as a character, at least much better than Shing Fung.

Kelvin Cheng on King Lui
Kelvin did a good job portraying the cool on the outside but warm in the inside King Lui. I have always thought that he is damn cool and handsome and I still think that way. He is really good in this show, perhaps because he is so much better than Bosco. His expression is so real, especially his eyes. I remember there were parts where he was treating Sharon by playing the zither. They didn't have much dialogue but I can really feel their intense emotions. I didn't even forward these parts but I forwarded most of Bernice and Bosco's parts because they were so boring. Anyway, I really enjoyed Kelvin's performance; they were very real and good. I guess being an actor for so long, this kind of role is quite easy for him to handle. He is definitely capable of taking up more challenging roles. I have always like Bosco more than Kelvin but it is the reverse now. Lol. I like him not only because he is handsome but his acting skills are so real that it touched me a lot.

Tong Fung Mo Ngai
Tong Fung Mo Ngai is the first to spot Shing Fung's "talent" and groom him to a skilled fighter. He taught him basic skills and learns to spot others' weakness and attack it. He helped Shing Fung get into sacred sword sect and try all means to help him to survive in sacred sword sect. It turns out that he wants Fung to find more about Big Dipper Array is because his sect has tried before and they were killed. He vowed to destroy the array but Pak Tong Ngo beat him to it and steals the manual. Actually, even though he has selfish motives for treating Fung so good at the beginning but it is obvious that he is really good to fung after some time. He saved Fung so many times, becoming his scapegoat. Even after he got poisoned, he forbids Shui Ling to tell Fung. He won't need to die if not for Fung. Sigh. I maybe biased but I think it is not worth it to do it for Fung. But I guess it is his responsibility to take care of Fung. In my opinion, his death has struck a blow to Fung, it is good that he finally realises his master is always right. If not for his foolishness, his master will not die. Anyway, Tong Fung Mo Ngai is always so funny and witty; he is like my favourite character in the show.

Wayne Lai on Tong Fung Mo Ngai
I love him!!! Lol. He is very funny and he has good chemistry with Bosco. He looks damn suave when he fights. My immediate reaction was he is damn handsome, much more than Bosco and Kelvin. Lol. Although he don't like the build and the height, but he really stands out much more than the two leads. It is not just my own opinion, so far out of so many forums I went to, all of them like Wayne the best. I just feel that he is being so underrated. TVB should give him a good leading role to further affirm his capability. I love all his parts especially when he fights. The part where he used up all his inner strength to save Shing Fung was really good. Like I said, he didn't have to die, he didn't have to save Fung but he did it and that's what made me like him so much.

Mok Man
She stays in a brothel and so everyone assumes that she is just a prostitute. But she is actually the chief of bloody shadow sect. Everyone though she was evil, but she is not, her existence is purely to avenge for her parents and kill Pak Tong Ngo. Death is nothing to her; she is willing to die if she can avenge her parents' death. King Lui kept pestering her for his mother's news and this sort of brought them together. Later when King Lui was saved by her, he realised she wasn't as bad as he though. He helped treat her with his zither and they entered a relationship. By now, Mok Man has changed to be soft-hearted. She is willing to put down everything after Pak Tong Ngo is killed. Although she wants to put use of Shing Fung on the pretext of acknowledging him, it is apparent that she cares a lot for her brother. After she was injured and saved by King Lui, she became a changed person. She did not want to seek revenge anymore. To her, she just wants to spend her life with King Lui. But she was killed by Pak Tong Ngo and the scriptwriter just cut her scene like that, without any last words. That is like a total turnoff. Mok Man is my favourite female character in the show. She is not hypocritical and always shows her true self. Moreover, despite being in an evil sect, she still values kinship a lot. Moreover moreover, she is really clever with her plans and schemes. It is just a pity that Pak Tong Ngo is even more scheming and made use of Chi Long whom everybody trusts.

Sharon Chan on Mok Man
Wow, I was so amazed by her performance here. She is really so good, whether she is playing innocent, evil, aggressive or passionate. I was so impressed by her versatility. She could take on so many characters yet there is a clear distinction between each character. I have always like Sharon, she is so talented and I can say that she has really acted this role out very well. Although she is not the first lead, (imo Bernice is because of her screen time and mainly because TVB love promoting pageant queens such as Linda Chung and Bernice), she surpasses Bernice here and it is clear whose acting skills are better. Sharon has amazing chemistry with Kelvin. They looked like real passionate couple and both of them can communicate using their eyes. Their no-dialogue scenes are really good especially the zither scenes. They were good. Also, her fighting scenes are real professional. I think she really trained hard for it. So I definitely think she has improved since dream of colours and she definitely deserved a leading role.

Pak Tong Chi Long
Chi Long is Pak Tong Ngo's daughter and she is the big sis senior in the sect. She has high martial arts and is well-respected in the sect. She fell in love with Shing Fung and both of them developed a relationship and were even in the midst of marriage preparation. However, Fung realised the connection between him and Bloody Shadow Sect and tries to avoid her. Later, Fung has to save Mok Man so the both of them lost contact. When they reunite again, Shui Ling and Shing Fung were in the midst of getting married. However, she was calm and settled important matters first. She trusted her father a lot and hence her father was able to make use of her. She helped save King Lui and Shing Fung later and was injured by her father. Later when Pak Tong Ngo was injured, she took over the reins and went around restoring peace in the world.

Bernice Liu on Pak Tong Chi Long
Hmmm, I am generally ok towards her but she is very boring in this show. At the beginning, she was refreshing to watch and she is really stunning even in ancient constumes. i liked hers and Shing Fung's relationship too. But she doesn't have much expression on her face. Her expression was still very wooden and her acting reminds me of her acting in Virtues of Harmony. I was so bored by hers and Fung's parts that I forwarded them. I do not like forwarding especially if I rent it because it is a waste of money. But it is too much for me to bear. Her acting did improve since Survivor's Law but it is not very significant. Perhaps it is due to the character of Chi Long but I think she could have handled it much better. But her fighting stunts were good; I think she trained hard for it too. Actually I do like her, she is pretty and hardworking, and I do see her improving little by little on each series. I think she will be one of the top fadans 5 years down the road but she definitely needs to improve much more and have a breakthrough in her role.

Shui Ling
Looking at how few I mentioned her name, it is obvious how important she is in this role. Basically she is just a healer from unity clan and she has a crush on Shing Fung. Shui Ling is a kind-hearted girl who always likes to help others. She befriended Shing Fung when he came to her stall to drink tea. After that, she even helped to save King Lui and Tong Fung Mo Ngai. When she realises that her father's reluctance to save Mok Man is due to their status as outsiders, she slept with Shing Fung. She and Shing Fung got married later and even had a son.

Shirley Yeung on Shui Ling
Shirley only appeared on episode 6 or 7 and even so her screen time was minimal. I though she was demoted from leading role to supporting role. Her acting skills were the same, less annoying I guess but it is still raw and wooden. There was nothing impressive about her acting skills except for her healing skills. The way she coordinated the strings and dip into the medicine were cool. I cannot fault her entirely because her character itself has little development and breakthrough but she definitely can do better than this.
Rating 3/5

Pak Tong Ngo/Eddie Lee
I don't understand why Eddie lee kept playing evil roles, Lofty water verdant bow, spilt second and this. Give him a good role for once! But I must admit he is rather good in this role.
Rating 3.5/5

Shing Kong and Madam Shing
They were VERY irritating and boring in this show, I forwarded almost all of their scenes. No doubt Johnson lee and the veteran actress were good but their characters are just too irritating for me to bear.

The whole 19 episodes were so nice and episode 20 has to spoil it. The first 20 to 30 minutes was still okay, kind of interesting when they were hunting for the manual. The showdown between Pak Tong Ngo and the two of them were also cool but the last 10 minutes were absolutely rubbish. What's with that story-telling session at their restaurant? It was so Shing Fung-difed. I just felt so disgusted watching that scene. Shing Kong was persistently praising Shing Fung as the hero and the people there were listening with awe. It was so freaking stupid. The ending song was also so stupid. It doesn't link at all. I am just so disappointed at the ending.

Best moments of the shows
-Any Mok Man and King Lui's parts. The chemistry between them was sizzling hot!
-Any Tong Fung Mo Ngai's parts especially his fighting parts. They are a must watch!
-The part where Shing Fung and King Lui were punished to stay in the icey water for a night. That part was damn funny.
-Mok Man's attack on Scared Sword Sect
-Their training by the three division teachers and the tests. They were very interesting.

Bad elements about the show
-Shing Fung. Seriously, the character sucks. It is too dumb, too naïve and too heroic to be true.
-Shing Kung and his mother. They were plain irritating
-Tse Tin Ho, a villain again. He is evil and irriating.
-Limited screen time for the five other disciples and the three division head. They should develop a relationship between Nam Nam and Shadowly legs. They were so cute together. The sonic force teacher and hidden weapon teacher were always bickering, I thought they will end up together, but no, there were no development of it at all.
-Shui Ling, this character is redundant and honestly I don't know whether to think she is selfish or noble.
-Development of Shing Fung' story, how he transformed from a street performer to a martial arts expert. It is just so unrealistic
-Mok Man's death, it is just so sudden. Come on producer, just cut out the last song and give Mok Man some last words.
-The character shui ling has little character development. It just exists to be the third party between Chi Lung and Shing Fung.
-The ending, it is just so cheap.

Comments about this show
Generally, this show is really not bad despite complaints from many people. However, there were major flaws in the main character particularly Shing Fung. If Shing Fung were just a minor or supporting character, I can just accept it. However, I see him all the time so I have to pick on him. Kelvin Cheng, Sharon Chan and Wayne Lai's acting and Bernice's looks are enough to make up for the flaws. The ending sucks, which is one bad point about the show. Skip the ending 10 minutes if you want for it has no significance to the whole show. I would have given it 4 stars if not for the character Shing Fung.

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