The Flying Fox of Snowy Mountain

Reviewed by: spcnet

November 02, 2003

Rating: two

The remake that even Jin Yong, the original author himself, could not watch because of the drastic alterations TVB has made to the characters and story, "Flying Fox of Snow Mountain" is in truth one of the worst nightmares for Jin Yong novel lovers. The cast picks for the main roles include Sunny Chan Kam Hong, Charmaine She Si Man, Joyce Tang Lai Ming, Ngai Cheun Kit, Lau Hu Tong, and Cheung Siu Fai. Felix Wong Yut Wah plays the short role of Wu Fei's father, Wu Yi Dao, while Maggie Siu Mei Kei takes on the role of mother. Undisputably, many viewers would agree that the few episodes with Felix and Maggie in the beginning are the most memorable. Felix has perhaps been in the most Jin Yong series and in "Flying", he portrays the "dai-hup" (hero) with ease.

ffwu1"Flying" can be considered a sequel to Jin Yong's "The Book and the Sword" because the characters of the Red Flower Sect, such as Chan Ka Lok, appear in it but, it is a separate story that could stand on its on. The story follows Wu Fei, in a quest to find the real culprit(s) to the death of his parents and is trapped in generations of misunderstandings and revenge between four familys (Wu, Mui, Tin, and Fon). Wu Fei is played by Sunny Chan, the role that TVB had once contemplated assigning to Louis Koo Tin Lok. His character was doomed to ruin when the producers merged the characters of Ma Chuen Fa and Yuen Chi Yee into a newly created character called Lip Song Ting (Joyce Tang). In the original story, Yuen Chi Yee is Wu Fei's first love who loved him back mutually but, because of an oath, became a nun. Ma Chuen Fa, on the other hand, was more like a big sister to Wu Fei and who loved the Manchu official, Fok Hong On. TVB's "Frankenstein", Lip Song Ting, took on some background of both characters which created a big plot mess. The biggest flaw was that she did not love Wu Fei back, making him look like a lovesick and useless fool.

ffyut1Another change to the female cast involves the original character of Qin Ling So transformed to Yue Yut Yut (Lau Hu Tong). Other than some badly executed comic relief, Yue's character is one of the most annoying aspects of the series. Her role has almost no significance to the story because she's not even adept in using poison. The only thing that is not changed is the fact that Yue saves Wu Fei in the end.

Charmaine Sheh plays Mui Yurk Lan in "Flying" and was given a considerably large role. Mui Yurk Lan is the woman that Wu Fei loves at the very end and their scenes together are supposed to be very few. TVB altered the story again so that they would meet each other very early on in the story. Perhaps this would be more acceptable to viewers who haven't read the novel or seen the older TVB version that their love goes through a trial before they are finally together because Jin Yong had penned down their relationship to be almost love at first sight. Mui's controversial rape scene in "Flying" has many in fury because it is so outrageously unfaithful to the original story. It is even almost a copycat from Yeung Gor and Sui Lung Lui's situation in "Return of the Condor Heroes".

Aside from these frusterations, Sunny Chan just could not bring across the playful, young hero that Wu Fei is supposed to be. The fighting styles in TVB ancient series are now too reliant on computer graphics and overdosed with colorful special effects. Done right, it can be a bonus to the film but instead, it looks quite fake. If you haven't read the novel or seen the older TVB series then maybe you won't find the new "Flying" so bad!

Screenshots (TVB Copyrighted)

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