Chor Lau Heung


Reviewed by: sukting

December 30, 2004

Rating: one


35 episodes

Cast
The males
Chor Lau Heung - Ren Xian Qi
Lee Cam Foon - Cheng Ekin
Hu Tiet Far - Lai Yiu Cheung
Suet Sam Yan - Cheng Ho Nam
Suet Cheung Hung - Hoi Chun Kit
The Emperor - Chan Hiu Dong
Mou Chan - Cheung Wai Kin
Lok Mou Ching - Suen Yiu Wai
Wan Liang Yu - Chen Zhan Peng
Si Hong Chap Sing - Ng Man Tat
Suet Siu Yan - Tsui Siu Keung


The females
Si Hong Sing Yee - Lin Xin Ru
Su Yung Yung - Lai Chi
Lee Hong Chau - Zhang Qian
Song Tiem Yee - Yang Rui
Fong Nam Yan - Chan Fat Yung
Princess Wan Lo - Man Yee Mun
See Fong Wong - Cheung Wai Yee
Suet Hor Yan - Yeung Kung Yu
Song Sai Hu - Yuen Weng Yee
Princess Ming Chu - Lin Xi Lei

Story

1) The jade statue :

Twenty years ago, Lee Cam Foon became the first among the list of weapons because of his flying dagger. He goes into retreat and this restores peace in the pugilistic world. No one knows the result of his deal with the Korean pugilist, Duk Gu Yat Long, as both went missing.

Chor sneaks in the palace, impersonates the Emperor to get the jade goddess. The Emperor isn't furious but is impressed instead with his good skills. The notorious thief, Si Hong Chap Sing, and his daughter, Sing Yee, are caught in the process by the well-known number one sword, Suet Sam Yan instead. Suet wants Si Hong's foster daughter, Yung Yung, to get the statue in exchange for Lee's help to save them. Yung Yung then pesters Chor at Sai Hu's inn for it. He gives her a replica. It is said that Lee will grant a wish to whoever shows him the jade goddess. Sai Hu warns Chor not to ask Lee to teach him the dagger skill as this will bring him ill luck. However, later she changes her mind.

Lee is staying right at her inn. Chor is amazed to see how young he is. Lee sees the statue and breaks it. There is another smaller statue in it. He has made several replicas of it and this is the best one. Chor can see that Lee loves the woman very much from the way he looks at it fondly. Lee then answers in a sad tone that she is already dead. Chor feels remorseful of reminding him of his sad memories. Surprisingly, he agrees to Chor's request to impart his skills although he isn't from his clan. Lee has taught Chor 'qinggong' through a manual when he was young. Seeing that Chor has potential and doesn't seek revenge, he is willing to do it but he warns him of the side effects of his skill. Lee shows the dagger but coughs later as he is unwell.

Yung Yung returns later to demand for the real statue. He refuses and she attacks him. He can see that she is poisoned but she hurts herself to save him. Lee cures her and teaches her a skill to curb the evil in the dagger skill. He can see that Yung Yung likes Chor and will be the best person to help him. Sam Yan finds Lee's whereabouts and Lee agrees to spar with him in 3 days' time instead of 7 days. He is worried that his injury will not last him to live longer. He then decides to show his skills in the duel for the last time so that Chor will get to know the importance of the skill in a short time. Lee might die after this.

But alas, assassins come in the night and Chor is poisoned. In order to save him, Lee appears and shows his skill for the last time. His dagger hits one of them. Later he vomits blood and asks Chor whether he has realises the importance. Chor nods his head. Lee finally gives with a hearted laugh, saying that he can finally retire from the pugilistic world and gives Chor his flying dagger. He leaves after looking at the statue in his hand. They try in vain to look for him.

Yung Yung runs out and sees Sai Hu dying. She then realises that she is one of the assassins. She is Duk Gu's daughter and is forced to help her brother. The duel between Lee and Duk Gu was a draw. Lee is actually touched when Duk Gu uses a new sabre which is unstained with blood to show his importance to him. Both were seriously injured after the duel and yet both smile even when they vomit blood.

On their way back, the Duk Gu family was ambushed by the so-called righteous top pugilists. Duk Gu died and they jumped into the river to escape from them. Her brother blamed Lee for it. But Sai Hu still thinks of him as the only worthy opponent who fulfilled her father's wish to spar with the chivalrous swordsman.

Lee came to her inn 5 years ago and vomits blood in the midst of drinking wine. She then knows that he has never recovered from the wound. She tries to cure him but to no avail. Sai Hu is dying from the wound as no one can survive from Lee's dagger. She wants to find a quiet spot to die.

Sam Yan and Chor has a duel and Chor loses. Sam Yan knows that he is poisoned by the Jian Kun water and arranges another date for another duel as he doesn't want to win unfairly. Chor faints suddenly. The rest are upset that he is dying in 3 days' time. Although he is unwell, he still brings Yung Yung to the prison to save the Si Hong but they find them already missing from prison. Both are relieved to find them all right.

Sai Hu then appears to transfer Chor's poison into her own body and begs the rest to kill her as she feels painful. Chor can survive for 3 more months. The girls cannot bring themselves to do it but Chor kills her with his own hands. She thanks him for doing it and requests him to speak to her brother to stop seeking revenge. Before burning her corpse, he draws her eyebrows for the first and last time.

Yung Yung feels upset when knowing that Chor and Sai Hu are deeply in love. It pains him to have to finish her life for her. Sai Hu's maids, Hung Chau and Tiem Yee are placed under Chor's care.

2) The Jian Kun Water

Many pugilists die by the Jian Kun water poison. Chor is suspected to be the culprit but it turns out to be the beggar sect leader, Lok Mou Qing, and his brother Mou Chan instead. Although Mou Chan is a monk, he manages to coax a woman from Xuan Bing Palace to get it for him. Both men die and Chor seeks to look for Xuan Bing Princess to explain it. She is killed by her lover, who is the mastermind of Sky Web. and he ends up being cured by Fong Nam Yan. She gives him a fan for a memory as she knows this man can never stay by her side. Chor manages to change a killer from Sky Web, Suet Cheung Hung, to retire and Hung Chau goes into retreat with him as she loves him.

3) Chor Lau Hueng's birth identity

Yung Yung is injured by a villain and Chor has to give her a Tian Xiang Dou Kou. This saves her life but she'll be in a coma unless she takes the second one. Chor goes to search for it and is reunited with his half-brother and 2 mothers. His natural mother, Fong Wong, nearly kills him at birth unknowingly as she thinks he's Liang Yu. It's unknown to her that both babies are exchanged upon being birth on the same day. Lian Yu kills her to save his own mother. Chor is a prince but is willing to give up the throne to his brother. He matchmakes his brother, Liang Yu with Princess Yun Luo. Yun Luo falls for Chor but still marries Liang Yu. Both are killed on the wedding day. Sing Yee is injured by Fong Wong and she eats the Tian Xiang Dong Kou. Now Chor has to find 2 antidotes to save her and Yung Yung.

4) The mastermind of Sky Web

Sam Yan saves Sing Yee and she falls for him. On their day of marriage, Chor stops the process and claims that his retarded elder brother, Siu Yan, should marry first since his ex-wife, Shi Yin's reincarnation is here. She is Princess Ming Zhu, the Emperor's sister. Tiet Far falls for her and begs her not to marry an idiot. She has suspected the Shuet brothers of being the mastermind of the Sky Web - which kills all the people as mentioned in the other stories. She holds Sing Yee hostage on her wedding night with Sam Yan. Both brothers deny and later Siu Yan dies in Yung Yung's hands. She is under a spell and has lost her memory. Ming Zhu is killed by the Sky Web mastermind after knowing his identity.

Yung Yung is under the control of the real mastermind. She escapes to the desert and the rest follow suit.

Tiet Far goes into a trance under the same spell as Yung Yung. He kills Tiem Yee and Hung Chau by mistake. Yung Yung dies after protecting Chor from being killed.

Review on cast

a) Chor Lau Heung by Ren Xian Qi

Frankly speaking, Ren is NEVER on my list as Chor. Unlike Cheng Siu Chau or Miu Kiu Wai who have the agility, good looks, acting skills and grace, this man disappoints us in all these areas with none of these plus points. He appears more like a flirt and hooligan with small, beady eyes. He doesn't have the charm either - what a pity to get so many pretty women to crowd around him!

I still wonder why Jiao En Jun or Ekin isn't chosen for the role instead? Either one of them will make a marvelous fragrant thief! Why???? I don't understand why Taiwan producers must choose Ren in every period drama - as Linghu Chong and Yang Guo was bad enough. He doesn't have the ancient look. The presence of Ren damages every single dream and hope that I ever had of the famous Chor!

And so many flaws that I find it heartbreaking to tell. Firstly, his skills are so lousy. He loses to Suet Sam Yan. And later to Sai Hu and her brother. Both occasions, his poor master, Lee Cam Foon, has to shorten his life to save him!!!! Is this man worthy to learn his flying dagger skill? And to depend on a woman to sacrifice herself to save him - what a disgrace! In the original novel, I don't remember him losing any duel to anyone and needing anyone for help to this extent!!!!

Secondly, Chor is well-known for not killing anyone. But here, he KILLS Sai Hu, the woman he loves most, breaking his rule. Can you believe this? I HATE the script-writer. He has turned Chor into a person unworthy of us to like anymore. Can't he preserve Chor's personality and make other changes somewhere? This television version is so different from other versions!

This man is so wishy-washy in love. He can't decide whether he likes Yung Yung, Sing Yee, Wan Lou or Hor Yan. Luckily, Sai Hu dies early so she doesn't get to see how fickle-minded he is. To the extent of hiding in Shaolin to escape from reality - I really DESPISE this character.

Thirdly, Chor is known to be very cheerful and calm when handling difficult situations. But the man here always frowns and wallows in self-pity all the time. He leaves Hung Chau and the other women to do all the thinking and analyzing. No brawns, no brains and no good looks - this man can be considered a good for nothing! Our poor hero's image is completely tarnished beyond repair!!!!!

b) Lee Cam Foon by Cheng Ekin

Who steals the show? Undoubtedly, it's Ekin!!!! Don't miss it if you're a fan of Ekin. The first 3 episodes draw everyone's attention from Ren to him. In the first scene when he appears in the duel with Duk Gu, I can't stop admiring how good he looks. Ekin is really at his top and best form, especially in the skilful and graceful way he handles the small flying dagger. He is so youthful and handsome looking too. Unlike the tired look that he usually has in TVB dramas, he looks so charming, bright and energetic here. Although he is dressed in a simple white gown, he is so cool and stands out from the rest.

Well, I also marvel how this Lee Cam Foon looks 20 years later. With no beard or moustache, he is still the same young man. I like this arrangement although it is unbelievable. It is a pity to hide Ekin's clean-cut looks anyway. Even Ren pales in comparison in looks when standing beside him. I can't help sighing - why isn't Ekin chosen to be Chor Lau Heung instead? He'll make another good choice. Probably he is too busy to take up the role or is he not offered the role at all? What a waste!

I can see that his acting has improved heaps and bounds too. The way that he treats Chor and Su is so different. Although he looks as young as them, there is an air of seniority that none can deny. Especially in the way he talks to Su. At first, I find it weird as both have acted as lovers in the 'Young and Dangerous' movies before. But the way that he questions her about her feelings for Chor and asking her what she is waiting for (He wants her to greet her as master), he has this commanding tone with a stern expression and acts like a senior. This convinces me in the end.

He normally looks unfeeling but upon seeing the jade statue, there is a soft expression in his eyes. He doesn't say much but the pain is noticeable. At first, he looks so merciless when breaking it. And I thought this statue brought him unbearable memories that he broke it in anger. It came as a surprise indeed. I like the tender way he looks at the inner replica hidden beneath. His stern expression which suddenly turns soft really moves me. The yearning and missing of his love, Lin Shi Yin, is very endearing. Especially the sadness that he shows when telling Chor that Lin is dead, I can feel the sorrow.

After that, he always has the statue in his hand and looks at it at all times - even when talking to his disciples! This shows how much he loves and misses her. Perhaps the reason he always coughs and does not recover is due to him missing her and ignoring his own health??? Maybe the producers should arrange on how Lin Shi Yin dies to create so much misery to Lee. But probably the producers can't find a suitable actress to pair him up and thus spare us the agony of looking at someone who can look worse than Ren?

I am also attracted by the way he handles the flying dagger. Although it is small in size, it shines when it moves in circles in his hand due to the special effects. And yet he isn't outshone by the weapon. The way he throws it for the last time, he does in a merciless way in order to save his disciple - which is different from the gentle way that he uses in the duel with Duk Gu.

c) Hu Tiet Far by Lai Yiu Cheung

It is conveyed the same way that Ng Man Tat has done many years ago. The same dirty and cheerful look that you've expected to see. But I do hate him for falling in love so easily. Every 3 episodes, he changes a target. He is viewed as the next best Chor.

d) Suet Sam Yan by Cheng Ho Nam

This is another swordsman who doesn't grow old like Lee. Being the number one swordsman, he is still eager to scale greater heights. Although ambitious, he is still a righteous person on not taking advantages when Lee and Chor are hurt. Cheng does his part well - in his love for Sing Yee and his close ties with his older, crazy sibling Siu Yan. But - sigh - his hairstyle is too modern for me to bear. Half- samurai and half-shaven - can you accept it?

To arrange him to love Sing Yee is a big mistake. Can a well-known swordsman do this to a woman - release her thrice, capture her twice to see whether she can escape from him using her wits? Sigh - what a tall story! And a level-headed swordsman like him will definitely NOT drink poison to save Sing Yee although she is in danger. This story is ridiculous.

e) Lok Mou Qing (Nam Gong Ling in the novel)- Suen Yiu Wai

Although he is the beggar sect leader, he is under the control of his revengeful elder brother. He wishes to turn over a new leaf under Chor's advice at the end but he is killed by his own sibling. Quite a sad ending and Suen does his job well.

f) Mou Chan (Mou Far in the novel) - Cheung Wai Kin

Wai Kin has proven himself to be a versatile actor. Besides comic roles, he can play tragic and villainous roles too. He is so good in here as the vicious monk. Despite his brief appearance, he shines too like Ekin.

g) Suet Cheung Hong (Chung Yuen Yat Dim Hung in the novel) - Hoi Chun Kit

A killer from Sky Web who has no freedom from the beginning to the end. But he is luckier than Chor as he has managed to do something great for him (Find where the missing Yung Yung is) and his loved one, Hong Chau, is by his side when he dies. Hoi has improved in his acting too.

h) Suet Siu Yan - Tsui Siu Keung

It is unbearable for me to see how the once impressive Wan Da Hup in "Reincarnated" becomes a colourful lunatic like this. Convincing, but I definitely do not like it.

i)Wan Liang Yu - Chen Zhan Peng

Too soft and gentle. No wonder Princess Wan Luo is uninterested in him when he woos her. This man even depends on his elder brother, Chor to help him. He finally gets his woman after being crippled but their marriage is short-lived after being killed.

The Females

a) Si Hong Sing Yee - Lin Xin Ru

Lin is still another young and inexperienced actress who is only good in playing demure roles to me. I still think that she is not suitable to play a spitfire and frank person here. She is still not fierce or unreasonable enough to me. Her hairstyle here only helps her in looking cute.

b) Su Yung Yung - Lai Chi

We have seen how Ekin improves but Lai Chi is still the wooden actress that I have known all these years. Over-conscious of her own looks and exaggerated acting, she is still another pretty face who can't express inner feelings properly. Come on, all of us can roughly guess her age so can she quit acting young and innocent? Well, I'm still glad that her parts are cut to a minimal

c)Song Sai Hu - Yuen Weng Yee

I really love this role. Yuen proves to us how well she can act - a total opposite of Lai Chi! We have seen her playing arrogant and loud roles. But all of us fall in love with this character as it is hard not to like her. Pretty, sweet, gentle, skilful and well-versed in medicine, it's little wonder that Chor falls for her. Her kindness towards her enemy Lee and her willingness to give up her life to cure Chor is magnanimous. She does her part well and I felt miserable when watching her dying scene. Yuen acts so well and why must Sai Hu die in the end? To give an everlasting impression - well - she made it anyway in the few scenes given. She's totally different from Su and many miss her when her life ends.

d) Lee Hong Chau - Zhang Qian

She is so pretty, intelligent and also caring. It's good that she doesn't fall for the stupid Chor. Both of them are like siblings and she is always helping him. And strangely, I like these scenes the most! This sweet lady doesn't deserve to be killed by Tiet Far in the end.

e) Song Tiem Yee - Yang Rui

Another actress who thinks that exaggerating expressions will do the job and trying to act cute all the time. I don't really like her.

f) Fong Nam Yan - Chan Fat Yung

This is the first time that I've ever seen her in a period drama. Her appearance is pretty but I don't think this role has any development. Always forced to do things she doesn't like - mastering Xuan Bing skills to cure Chor and also being the leader of Xuan Bing sect.

g) See Fong Wong - Cheung Wai Yee

She has played villains before so this role doesn't bring much difficulty to her, except that she has to act as a middle-aged mother. Still, she gives a powerful performance.

h) Princess Wan Lo - Man Yee Mun

The character is willful and enjoys torturing others. She definitely creates dislike to the viewers. No surprises from her as she hasn't given her best.

i) Princess Ming Zhu - Lin Xi Lei

She is pretty and intelligent but is impulsive at times. Finally a person who returns Tiet Far's love but his happiness is again short-lived when she dies. As a newcomer, her acting is so-so.

j) Suet Hor Yan - Yeung Kung Yu

Another pretty face like Lai Chi who can't really act and always cast as demure roles.

Comments

No offence to the other reviewers but after watching the whole serial, I'm still puzzled why they can give 4 * or even 5 * s???? Are they fans of Ren Xian Qi or they can accept depressing/mutilated stories? I can't stomach the way the producers change some of the characters' names and yet their personalities remain the same. Some examples are in the characters which I had introduced above. Xuan Bing Palace is Holy Water Palace in the novel. While Jian Kun Holy Water is Tian Yi Holy Water. Does Wong Jing have delight or the right in changing the names? Please show respect to the original writer Gu Long. He deserves the credit in writing the story and creating the suspense in the plots.

Secondly, are the guest stars too expensive to hire? If not, why do they only appear in 3 or 4 episodes? After watching 3 episodes, I know all characters will die in the end. This not only shows how incompetent Chor is and all artistes are not given room to act! This is quite unfair.

Although fighting scenes are okay (the flying dagger and the finger skill) , they're not saved by a lousy plot. What they do most of the time is just talk. Very boring and draggy - how to get attracted like this? In the end, most of the time I switched to watch 'Fung Wan' instead. I think I have no more confidence left for other Wong Jing productions anymore.

I can't swallow most of the stories. How to believe that Princess Ming Zhu is the reincarnation of Siu Yan's dead wife? I thought Chor is busy searching for the antidote and yet he has time to play the role of a match-maker? Well, I'm not impressed but I am angered instead. The last straw comes with the plot of 'Tian Xiang Dou Kou'. If they are coming up with tall stories, please don't say that the stories are from Gu Long.

Songs

Although I dislike Ren Xian Qi in here, I must still admit that the theme song ' Fragrant Flower' and the sub-theme 'Flying Bird' sung by him are nice. Blends well with traditional musical instruments.

Conclusion

Only watch it if you really have nothing to do. If you are an avid reader of Gu Long, don't ever watch it as it will break your heart to see how his novel is being mutilated to pieces. Please do not be misled by the poster - it is a complete hoax to make you borrow the tapes. I have wasted a lot of precious time on the 35 episodes.

sukting's Ratings:

On acting:* (mostly on Ekin's sake and also Wai Kin's efforts) (Scale of 5)

On the story: 1/2 (The worst that I've given so far) (Scale of 5)


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