The Hawk


Reviewed by: sukting

December 23, 2007

Rating: three


How long
20 episodes/10 VCDs

Foreword
Are you a big fan of Chan Yuk Lin, Dong Wai, Cheng Siu Chau and Chiu Ngai Chi? This serial will be able to satisfy your craving. Please forgive me as I can't remember many facts well as I watched this drama many years ago.

Story

The Dings make their living for generations through claiming rewards by capturing criminals. Ling impersonates as Lan to catch one. Amused, he brings her to a brothel. Lo Sum steals a jade from the district governor for a prostitute. Ling informs Lan of the news but he dislikes her for interrupting his session of enjoying zither music played by a prostitute.

He discloses that Lo Sam is his friend and is a righteous thief. So he refuses to catch him. Ling wants to be his disciple but Lan says no. He will not accept a female – he steals her hairpin to see through her disguise. Lan plays chess with the monk and meets King Lun. He is impressed by King Lun's skills. Both spar with each other by the lake. It is an elegant sight. King Lun grips his sword under his zither and attacks Lan.

Lan fights back using his double metal sticks. King Lun pays him handsomely in advance to check on the Moon Sect. Lan asks his friend, Monk Rock to know the past. The evil moon sect has members from India. The leader is missing and his best henchmen died because of an internal dispute. All sects want to eliminate them. The members have a moon mark on their left arm.

Lo Sam wants him to catch someone to get 5000 taels of gold from Marquis Lee's home. Lan senses danger when he is attacked and tied up in the forest. His mother, Mrs Ding is only testing his skills. He doesn't wish to return home but has no choice. He mistakens that her 60th birthday is approaching but it is found to be 3 months later. So what is the occasion?

He hasn't been home for 5 years so Mrs Ding decides that it is time for him to settle down. Lan doesn't want someone to control him. His elder brother died young so Mrs Ding pins all hopes on him. She decides to lock him up till the wedding day – she knows him too well to want to escape. Lan meets his nephew, Siu Bak in the dungeon. Lan has been locked here since 7 so he knows the place well.

How could he not know about the hole that Siu Bak discovers? He refuses to leave with Siu Bak and sure enough, Siu Bak gets caught again. Hor Yee has checked out Lan's personality so she is willing to marry him. Her grandmother, Mdm Lam knows that Hor Yee is headstrong. She only wants her and Mou Sam to bury her if she is dead. Just take that she asks for it as the whole pugilistic world is against them. They will be pursued day and night if she doesn't listen.

Siu Bak helps Lan to escape. The Chengs are unhappy that the marriage ceremony is postponed and Hor Yee leaves home in search for Lan. Mrs Ding allows Hung and Siu Pak to search for Lan. Siu Pak manages to shake Hung off along the way. Lan is surprised that King Lun knows his hideout and is more surprised that he is the housekeeper of Broke Sword Mansion.

Lan tries to find out from the weapon maker on who makes the curved sabre but he keeps mum. The weapon maker is later silenced to death by a silk shop merchant, Li. Lan initially has the chance to save him but Siu Pak ruins it. Lan trains Siu Pak as he is too reckless. This youngster can just hit anyone without finding out what weapon his enemy is holding. How can it be easy to be the hawk?

Li is killed in the brothel and Lan finds a moon mark on his arm. He wonders why they make a crescent sabre. Ling visits Lan – she impersonates him for fun the last time. Ling steals the head scarf from Lan and spars with Siu Pak. Siu Pak finds her too fierce. Ling is sore that Lan steals her hairpin so she must do the same to him. Lan shows that he has taken her pendant. She should be careful of herself before attacking someone else. She sulks and leaves.

Siu Pak is captivated by Yan's beauty and pretends to be drunk. Knowing that he has ill designs on his sister, Dei puts him on a hot stove, lying to dry his clothes. Siu Pak yells upon feeling the heat. They are Lo Sam's children. Lo Sam has a good impression of Siu Pak and wants him to bring his favourite wine for him so that he will help him to woo her.

The brothel has a new courtesan, Suk Suk and business prospers. Both men are curious so they go to the rooftop. Lan has no patience to wait and leaves while Lo Sam is totally captivated by her. Lo Sam wants Lan to send a letter to her. She plays the zither and Lan throws it to her. He knows that it is rude but will make a formal appearance before her the next time.

Soon he meets her again and gets attracted. Knowing that she only meets knowledgeable swordsmen, he drives another suitor away. Monk Rock shakes his head, knowing that he is heading for trouble. Lan dresses handsomely (this outfit is worn by Tong Chun Yip in 82 Demi Gods Semi Devils) and turns up at the brothel. Hor Yee's maid, See Kum tests his skills. Satisfied, Hor Yee wants to take a look at the emperor's painting. He sneaks into the palace.

When he is about to get hold of it, another intruder foils his plans and he falls into the pond. He returns to the brothel, dripping wet. Little does he know that the person who spars with him is Hor Yee. When he is taking his bath, the palace guards arrest him for the theft. Despite the guards' protests that he steals the painting, the magistrate insists that Lan is only borrowing it. How can the hawk be a thief?

He is released and is surprised to see Ling waiting for him. So it is Hung Yik who gets him out. He follows Ling home. Hung Yik likes quietness so King Lun manages the mansion. When Lan reaches the cottage, Hung Yik's henchmen spar with him. He doesn't need 50 strokes to defeat them – he only uses 5 and gets to see Hung Yik. Hung Yik shows him the sword room.

His master only allows him to kill 12 men and break their swords. Once a sword is stained with blood, he will not use again. Now, he doesn't want to break any more swords so he goes into retreat. Lan comments that he must have only killed evil men and Hung Yik frowns. He obtains the 7th sword from his most respected elder brother. He discovers that he is in cahoots with the evils from the western lands to rebel against China. He has no choice and regrets following him to the west lands then.

Thus he stays here from then on. Lan regrets reminding him of his sad past. Hung Yik's second wife, Yu Yin comes to serve them tea. The tea leaves are obtained at midnight to preserve their freshness. King Lun doesn't wish Lan to tell anyone about him checking on the evil sect. Ling wants to look at the stars with Lan on the 7th day of the 7th month. (To the Chinese, this is the same as valentine's day.)

Lo Sam steals Lan's wine to drink again. See Kum arrives and feigns to have nothing to do with Lan's arrest. She is here to invite Lan to meet Hor Yee on the same day that Ling is meeting him. Overjoyed, Lan forgets his other date completely. Ling prays to the gods, hoping that Lan will love her while waiting for him. Lan visits Hor Yee instead to see how she wants to make fun of men.

Ling is annoyed that Lan doesn't turn up. Lan is ambushed and he sees Hor Yee's face before he faints. When he wakes up, he is tied to a tree. Siu Bak, Tien and Lo Sam try in vain to get him down. Then someone rescues him and runs away. Len knocks into Hor Yee's sedan and learns from Mou Sam that hor Yee is his fiancée. Lan is overjoyed.

Lo Sam wants to steal a pearl. Hor Yee wants See Kum to throw away the clothes that she has worn to see Lan. See Kum can detect that Lan cares for her now. Lan returns home with Siu Bak to propose the marriage. Ling cries and tells Yu Yin that she will not see Lan again. She gathers that Ling likes Lan. Lo Sum wants to steal the pearl but it is missing before he can do it. He is locked in the cell as a suspect. He wonders who can steal as well as him and wants Lan to seek him out in 7 days.

Mou Sam is distracted after seeing Yu Yin. Lan discovers that he is tricked by another thief, Hung Hung Yee. He gets busy for this case for 2 days so he hasn't visited Hor Yee. Monk Rock teases Hor Yee on making herself miserable. Wai Lun lures Lan to seek the culprit out at the gambling den.

Ding Cheung tries in vain to get Hor Yee home. She refuses as they are not officially married. Ling pesters Lan and he can't shake her off. Both of them fall into a hole while trying to seek the hideout. She sprains her ankle and leans against him. She claims to have the pearl to lure the evil men away. The other thief, Chap Sing goes to the chamber to check things out so Lan grabs the pearl from him. Hor Yee kills the men after Lan leaves to help them.

She ties Chap Sing and there is a letter to Lan on his body. She wants to make sure that heartless people will not repeat their mistake. Chap Sing escapes from prison. King Lun sends betrothed gifts to the Dings. Hung Lek wishes to have Lan as his son-in-law but since this fails, he gets King Lun and Long to congratulate Lan. Lan and Siu Bak return home and Lan manages to persuade Hor Yee to marry him. The black eagles come to harass the Dings. They exchange the gold eagle statue with a black one.

Lan knows Chap Sing is behind this and vows to get it back in 5 days. Long asks Lan over his relationship with Hor Yee. Lan captures Chap Sing and his gang offers to exchange him with the golden eagle. Sure enough, it is back in 3 days with King Lun's help. Yu Yin kills Chap Sing as she doesn't want their secret to be leaked out. Mrs Ding urges Lan to pray to their ancestors for forgiveness but he prays, hoping to marry Hor Yee soon. Long wants Lan to return to the capital with her.

Lan has a hard time convincing her that he is only going to marry Hor Yee. In the midst of a argument with Hor Yee, Lan is shocked that she faints and needs an expensive cure. Actually she is only pretending to be sick and Lan admits his mistake. Long still doesn't believe that they are getting married till she sees the hall decorations. Yu Yin wants Long to give up but she vows not to give them any chance.

Lan apologises to Mdm Lam. She tells him to choose two boxes. One contains poisonous snakes while the other is empty. Lan chooses the right one. Hor Yee doesn't know why her family is so rich. Her parents are killed in the western lands 20 years ago so her martial arts are taught by Mou Sum and Mdm Lam. He gives her a bracelet – she asks if it is stolen. Yes, from his mother.

Ling sends a white lantern to them on the wedding day as she hates Lan for deceiving her. She believes that he loves her from what he has done to her from the gambling den. He shakes his head – she is too willful. Kill him as she wishes but he only loves Hor Yee. He will not blame her. Hung Yik comes too as he learns of Ling's doing. Dei speaks up for Ling as he feels sorry for her.

Siu Bak think Hung Yik looks like a hero…but he recalls Monk Rock's words. Fro a person who behaves abnormally, he might either be evil or benevolent. Both go through the ceremony by taking off their shoes for fun. But it is interrupted midway when Mdm Lam is stabbed on the back by a knife. The Dings send her back after 3 days. Mdm Lam senses that an enemy is near and forbids anyone to help them.

Ling still stays with them to help out. When all run after assassins in the forest, Mdm Lam is attacked by the sedan carriers. Hor Yee is angry with Ling's negligence and injures her. Lan carries her back to her home before catching up with them. All the Cheng family servants are killed in their home and it is surrounded by enemies. They do not reveal who they are. Lan gets worried when he can't find them.

Mdm Lam reveals Hor Yee's parentage. Her father is the right guard of the moon sect while Hung Yik is the left guard. Hung Yik betrays them by revealing their whereabouts to the righteous sects and feigns death when are attacked. Yu Yin is also a member but she doesn't know why she becomes his wife.

Hor Yee decides to learn the ruthless skill to seek revenge but is unsuccessful. Mou Sum only wants her to learn the first 2 strokes. Lan is running after a thief but lets him go when he thinks of Hor Yee. Siu Pak finds it fishy that the Break Sword mansion knows their whereabouts. He doesn't like Dei to think so highly of Hung Yik. Lan has dinner with Hung Yik. Hung Yik worries that a storm will come and even the mansion can't control it.

Lan has the best potential to handle matters – Ling is lazy while King Lun likes to show off. The mansion will help him in whatever he needs. Siu Pak still finds it fishy and it seems that Lan is without a mind after Hor Yee's death. Lan stays with Hung Yik. Ling is happy but King Lun isn't. See Kum wants to tell Lan that Hor Yee is fine but she is attacked on the way. Hor Yee rescues her, using her new skills.

The first stroke is to attack the enemy mercilessly. No empathy is shown to anyone. Siu Bak still doesn't trust Hung Yik although he gives clues to Lan to kill traitors who defect to the Japanese warlords. Siu Bak is defeated by a samurai, Fung See Long. Hung Yik spares with Feng See Long and Lan wants Siu Pak to observe how they fight. When he and King Lun lose, Lan spars with him.

Hung Yik wishes Lan to marry Ling. He only wants to seek Hor Yee out. Yu Yin makes use of her men to get rid of him and serve other sects. King Lun overhears this. Hung Yik slaps Yu Yin for causing Far Biet Lee to doubt him when carrying out their mission. He wants her to go to the Moon Palace with the map. She goes there, wanting to kill them but Hor Yee manages to persuade her to stay with them. She is Mou Sum's ex-fiancee who is forced to marry Hung Yik. She is under his bidding all this while.

Lo Sum does not manage to tell Lan Hor Yee's whereabouts before he dies of an attack. Hung Yik takes his children in and Dei has full trust towards him. Yan is wary of Hung Yik because of Siu Pak's reminder. Lan is saddened over Hor Yee's death but isn't prepared to accept Ling. Hor Yee manages to learn the first two skills and is upset to find the two together.

Angry with Hung Yik's choice of wanting Lan to be his son-in-law, King Lun plans to kill him but fails. He meets Hor Yee and both decide to join forces together. Hor Yee defeats Hung Yik, pushing him down a cliff. King Lun suddenly turns against her, accusing her to be from an evil sect to want to control the pugilistic world. She can't explain herself and is seriously injured by Lan. Lan can't bear to kill her and lets her go. Luckily Siu Pak and Yan save her.

Siu Pak masters the skills till the second level. Strangely, he has no thirst for revenge as he is half-hearted in his learning. Lan is discovered letting Hor Yee go and thus, King Lun finds excuses to kill his family. He captures Mrs Ding as a hostage. Monk Rock arrives too late to be able to save Lan. Lan gets so dejected that he goes to the desert. See Kum meets her fiancé and prince of Mongolia, Ha Yee. Both plan to get married but are killed by King Lun. Lan meets Hor Yee and both reconcile.

Mou Sum and Yu Yin decide to hide in Persia for good. They are tired of these killings. Ling is forced to marry King Lun and goes through the ceremony unwillingly because she is hit on the acupoint. She plans to kill him when they are in bed but is accidentally killed by his sword instead. Lan arrives too late and they can only injure him. Hung Lik also appears – he isn't dead but is waiting to eliminate him till this day to regain his power. And no, he will never allow his daughter's killer to remain by his side. Moreover, King Lun has betrayed him once. King Lun flees into the forest after getting injured the second time.

Siu Pak is there, waiting for him. He manages to avenge his mother's death but gets seriously injured. If not for Monk rock's help, they are unable to hide another hideout. Lan comes to Hung Yik, wishing for Mrs Ding's release. The whole family is reunited again. They discover that Hung Yik's skills are stronger than before. Lan gives excuses to visit him to play chess on a number of occasions to test him out but manage to slip although Hung Lik's men shadow him. Hung Yik even injures Lan once.

Dei is still faithful to Hung Lik but shakes his head upon seeing how Hung Yik distrusts others now. Hor Yee decides that there is no other way out except to learn the third stage of the skills. She leaves the rest to master on her own. Sure enough, she kills Hung Yik and pleads with Lan to kill her or she will create havoc in future. But Lan can't bring himself to do it. Monk Rock decides to take a risk – he destroys her skills and she becomes an ordinary woman. The couple is together again.

Introduction on characters

1. Ding Lan – Cheng Siu Chau
He is playful, careful and carefree but his family ordeal changes him overnight. He becomes wise and also tactful. Playing this role is the same as Chor Lau Heung although Chor steals while Lan captures people for rewards. There is no breakthrough for him here although he still has a lot of chemistry with Ngai Chi.

2. Ding Siu Bak – Dong Wai
He behaves like his uncle except that he is very reckless and careless. That is why Lan takes special care to groom him s his successor. Still, we must praise him for his good foresight to know that Hung Yik is evil as he has taken in every word that Monk Rock tells him! A pity to waste Dong Wai's fighting skills as these are reduced to a minimal as he is supposedly to be poorly skilled.

3. Wai King Lun – Lee Dou Hung
He is the ambitious and capable housekeeper but Hung Yik treats him like dirt. We can't blame him for being jealous of Lan to get all the attention he wants to get from the Chius. Even Ling looks down on him so that is why he plots to rebel against his master. But alas, his master is always a step ahead of him.

Lee is so good in this role. You will pity him when Ling often rejects him. And he wields the sword well – I like the scenes where he fights with Cheng. Both look so elegant! I get to know why my elder cousin was a faithful fan of his after watching it.

4. Tien Dei – Chan Kok Kuen
He is Lo Sum's simple-minded son who isn't aware of the cruel world. He keeps scolding Yan for siding Siu Pak and doesn't believe that Hung Yik is evil. Still, he treats his sister well.Luckily his nature doesn't cause him to get killed like King Lun because Hung Yik trusts him.

5. Monk Rock – Chun Wong
He is a pugilistic expert and often exchanges pointers with Lan. He is the first person to save Lan's family when they get into trouble.

6. Tien Lo Sum - Lau Dan
He is a thief but Lan doesn't capture him. He often feels his fingers getting itchy upon seeing something valuable and must get it. They are great friends and Lan takes care of his children well after his death.

7. Chiu Hung Yik – Kwan Hoi San
He is righteous on the exterior but does many evil deeds secretly. The wise way is to make his wife, Yu Yin the scapegoat and mastermind to do everything for him. He also plans to use others as tools for success. It is strange that only Siu Bak can see his true colours although he is the youngest! However, he truly dotes on Ling and keeps all his dark secrets from her.

I don't find this evil role a surprise since Kwan is only reprising his evil role in 'Luk Siu Fung'. The coincidental part is Ling as his daughter is equally as willful as his daughter in there too!

8. Ding Hung - Cheung Lui
He is the faithful servant of the Ding family, protecting Siu Bak whenever he is out. Many will feel sorry for him when he dies to protect his masters.

9. Yam Mou Sum – Kwok Fung
He is the Chengs' faithful servant. He looks cold but he is actually weak when coming to love. Seeing how he tries to win Yu Yin to return to him makes you view him from another point.

10. See Kum – Lau Ngar Lei
She is Hor Yee's maid but is considered to be her younger sister as both are very close. She is an orphan but never expects to be a princess. It is sad that she is taken hostage on her wedding day to threaten Hor Yee. King Lun's men even dig a hole to bury her body vertically to face the sun. She bit her tongue to kill herself. Siu Bak and Mou Sum arrive too late to save her.

11. Cheng Hor Yee – Chiu Ngai Chi
She is gentle looking but is strong-willed. Regarding the marriage rejection a humiliation, she sets all out to mock at Lan. She even makes things difficult for him when he comes to propose to her again. But both are still a loving couple despite all this quarrelling. Ngai Chi is as beautiful as always and you will laugh at the episodes when how Hor Yee makes fun of Lan.

12. Chiu Ling – Chan Yuk Lin
She is a spitfire like Hor Yee but is overly confident and unreasonable, thinking that Lan loves her. That is why she does all those horrendous deeds on Lan's wedding day. She can be revengeful, wanting to kill Hor Yee for killing her father. She doesn't keep her feelings from Lan ,wishing him to love her one day. This is the second time Yuk Lin acts as a willful person. I still feel that her performance in 'The Wild Bunch' is better.

13 . Sui Yu Yin - Yiu Wai
She is Hung Yik's wife and is Ling's stepmother. Still, she treats her as her own daughter and both get along well. But she married Hung Yik against her will and longs for a quiet life. So she retreats after finding her true love. At first, I have the wrong impression upon seeing this actress, thinking that she is here again for another lustful role. Alas, she proves that she can be formidable if given a proper role.

14. Mrs Ding – So Hung Yin
She rules the household with an iron hand because her son and grandson are irresponsible. Luckily, they become better people after the ordeal. She has no questions over Hor Yee's past because she knows that she is a perfect match for Lan.

15. Mdm Lam – Leung San
She is Hor Yee's grandmother. She plans to marry her into an influential family so that she will get a peaceful life. Unfortunately, their enemies find out their identities to ruin this chance on their wedding day.

16. Ha Yee - Miu Kiu Wai
He is a prince who is in search of his beloved cousin for a long time, wanting to marry her. Siu Bak and Lan help him to deal with rebels so he is grateful to them. It doesn't do justice to him to get killed on his wedding day. It is amusing to see Miu making a cameo appearance to find out how he first started out.

17. Far Biet Lei – Lo Ho Koi
He is Yu Yin's henchman in doing the evil deeds. When she leaves, he turns to work for King Lun. That proves to be a wrong choice as he is silenced by him after seeking Lan out.

18. Tien Yan – Wong Man Ning
Unlike her older brother, she does a lot of thinking although she knows no martial arts. She loves Siu Bak and takes care of Mrs Ding when she is captured by the Chius. She has no regrets to be with him – even if this means going against Dei's wishes.

Most favourite character
Lan – he is loyal to friends and is also devoted to love. Although Ling treats him well and is also a lavishing beauty as Hor Yee, he will not change his stand to like another woman even if she is dead.

Most hated character
King Lun – he is too sneaky. He will get rid of others when they have outlived their usefulness. Even if he is genuine to Ling, he has used the wrong approach to cause her death indirectly.

Song
It is sung by Cheng Siu Chau. As usual, it is well sung as in others. So sorry that I don't have the title.


Conclusion

Although it promises an A class list of actors, the slow and predictable storyline fail to impress me. Many can see that my interest in writing dips along the way. I don't deny that they act well but something is still lacking. The actresses are pretty and do their part convincingly. There is a youthful Cheng and skilful Dong Wai who make fighting scenes impressive.

I don't know if this has to do with the vcds because some scenes are cut. There is no climax in the show as I only see them doing a lot of talking. The arrangement of Lan who keeps going back to Hung Yik looks stupid to me. Especially when he knows that he isn't his match. This is the same as arousing a snake to get alert by hitting the grass. (This is a direct translation from a Chinese saying.)

The fighting scenes are very basic and some lines are copied from 'God of sabre' – the amusing part was Ngai Chi was also the lead actress in that drama! Is the producer trying to eat on her popularity again from there? Although it isn't a complete tragic role, it is still a repetition to me. When I see her arming with the curved sabre, I shake my head. Even the background history is the same. How can this be?

The beginning is quite refreshing as we see Cheng and Chiu shedding their quiet images. Cheng is normally in serious or cool roles while Chiu is normally portrayed as gentle or quiet. I have never seen them so talkative or wild before. Frankly speaking, I had so much fun seeing that! But alas, the producer makes the delightful scenes into melodramatic ones from the middle part onwards.

This is the usual trend in the 80s dramas. Still, this drama relives all the 80s idols' glamour and I will encourage all 80s fans to give it a shot as the cast hardly (some not even) act now.

Sukting's ratings :

On acting : ***1/2 (Scale of 5)

On story : *** (Scale of 5)

On song : ****1/2 (Scale of 5)


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