Pugilistic Kid


Reviewed by: sukting

October 11, 2004

Rating: one-point-five

How long
40 episodes

Foreword
Please don’t rush for the VCDs even though you see Jiao En Jun’s name in it. This serial proves to be a big disappointment. Even Wai Kin’s and De Rong’s presence as a couple for the first time fail to please me.

Story/Introduction on characters

1. Bu Cheng Long – Cheung Wai Kin
He is considered a good for nothing. He bases on his intelligence to trick and make fun of people. He is a lazy student and doesn’t see the need to learn martial arts. That is why Hong detests him for being a smooth talker and turns to Yi Long instead. It takes her time to marry him in the end.

His grandfather and granduncle are pugilistic experts but he prefers to hold the brush. Only when his grandfather is dead then he wishes to seek revenge. However, he has no talents in learning and his wits still lies in solving puzzles or mysteries. He is deeply in love with Hong and pesters her. He is deeply affected when she rejects her. Can you believe that there are cigarettes in during this period?? He manages to kill his enemy after mastering the skills.

I am completely baffled! He becomes so unsightly that no one can recognise him. He becomes a drunkard, never shaves and smokes. He looks like a vampire. Yi Dao has to get Qing Si to impersonate as Hong to help him revert to normal. He is so angry that he turns into his normal self again. Hong seeks for his help to save Yi Jian. He then returns to Hong Ye mansion to assist her. During this period, he becomes a pugilistic expert by chance and Yi Jian imparts skills to him so that he can finally kill his enemy.

Only the character’s name amuses me. Bu Cheng Long is interpreted as a person who can never go far or not Jackie Chan in Chinese. You will hate him for tricking Yi Long repeatedly to get close to Hong. Wai Kin is restricted to comical and childish roles that I hate. There is no lure in here as in other dramas. His rubbery expressions simply annoy me. When can he change or improve?

2. Xiao Yi Long – Jiao En Jun
He is a Wudang disciple and is very skilled with the 6 swords. He dislikes Cheng Long for pestering Hong and tries to ruin his chances every now and then. He and Hong are deeply in love but they can’t be together. Why? They are half-siblings. This truth affects him so much that he loses his memory. He recovers with Ming Zhu’s help and hurts Hong’s heart to drive her away. He later marries Ming Zhu but he is killed while helping Cheng Long to seek revenge.

Unlike other serials, you can never like Jiao in here. Yi Long is petty. Moreover he is a stubborn man. I will advise all his fans to skip this drama. His acting here is bland too. The lousy dressing and terrible makeup conceals all his clean cut looks.

3. Huo Yi Dao – Hu Jun
He is Ming Zhu’s elder brother and Cheng Long’s sworn brother. Although he is older, he acknowledges him as his elder brother. He is very boorish and plump. But he uses his patience and thick skinned personality to win Qing Si’s heart. They get married and Yi Jian gives them his ‘Hong Ye mansion’ as a wedding present. Although he is plain looking, he seeks to take good care of his sister. Lousy acting from this man. No wonder he never goes far.

4. Shang Guan Yi Jian – Zhang Fu Jian
He is the pugilistic leader but we can see how poorly skilled he is. He of often defeated, injured, maimed and requires others to risk their lives to save him. Most of the time he sits on the wheelchair or walks with a crutch. What a comfortable life he is having! How can he keep this title then? I will suggest him to give up his status for good instead of sitting on it. It’s time to give way to the young! No wonder villains try to seize the authority tablet from him. Yi Long and Cheng Long try so hard to get it back for him.

You will also be surprised that he is Yi Long’s father. He had an affair with Ling and he is the outcome. But being afraid that she will bring him back to the snake island to be a villainess like her, he lies to her that he is dead but in reality sends him to Wudang. This is a very selfish act. But this blur of a father doesn’t notice that Yi Long loves Hong in the process of staying in Hong Ye mansion.

When he knows about it, he doesn’t know how to break the news to them. He only opposes to it without telling them why. He only reveals it to Yi Long when he is forced to. What a selfish man to save his face! I detest him. When he recovers, he wanders the world with Mo Ling and his younger son. Zhang usually shines in other dramas but does so badly in this one.

5. Bu Jing Wu – Zhao Shun
He is Cheng Long’s granduncle who is highly skilled. But being a good master might not necessary get a good disciple as Cheng Long does badly in his training under him. Upon seeing him dejected due to Hong’s love rejection, he tries his best to get him back to his feet. He is being tricked by Ji Kun to get addicted to opium. Knowing that kicking this habit needs a long and painful process, he transfers all his inner strength to Cheng Long before killing himself.

6. Ji Kun – Zheng Ping Jun
He is Cheng Long’s servant but is ambitious to go far. That is why he betrays him and wants to go far.

7. Mo Ling – Li Xin
She is the master of Lin She snake sect and only keeps female disciples. She is strict with them but her real identity is Yi Jian’s mistress. Knowing that Yi Jian deceives her, she is initially angry but is overjoyed that her son is still alive. Yi Long initially doesn’t accept her but later acknowledges her when she saves him from danger. Knowing that she wants to marry Yi Jian, the youngsters try their best to bring them together.

8. Huo Ming Zhu – Chen Xiao Xuan
She is like a tomboy and has none of the qualities of being a demure lady. Still, she is a great cook. She is also trained in martial arts and is even better than Yi Dao. You will laugh at how she protects the two men. After she likes Cheng Long, she changes her outlook to please him but to no avail. Upon knowing Yi Long and Hong’s half-sibling relationship, she feels sorry for Yi Lon and later falls for him. Knowing that he can’t take care of himself on the way, she tails him secretly and finally wins his heart.

Chen’s acting is acceptable and actually I think that she is better looking than De Rong. Why do the two guys neglect her? Just because she isn’t demure enough?

9. Shang Guan Hong – Chen De Rong
She is the only daughter of Yi Jian but strangely, she knows no martial arts. That is why she often lands herself into trouble. However, she knows hypothesizing well. Being sweet and gentle, she is loved by 2 men. She chooses Yi Long and is intimate with him openly to break Cheng Long’s heart. But she is later moved by Cheng Long’s concern for her and loves him instead when Yi Long ‘ditches’ her.

There is no difficulty portraying this role so I don’t feel anything at all.

10. Yu Qing Si – Liang You Nan
She is Ling’s disciple and is a master of disguise. She is loud, witty and highly skilled. She is initially in love with Cheng Long but later becomes Yi Dao’s sweetheart. The highlights will be how Ming Zhu and her trying to compete with each other to win Cheng Long’s heart. Laugh when she is so desperate to get married that she gets Cheng Long to persuade her master.

Songs
These two songs are the only saving grace of this drama. The fast paced theme song ‘The man’s airs – nan er feng’ is by Wu Qi Long. The slow but sentimental subtheme song ‘ending – jie ju’ is by Zhang Ke Fan. Both songs are very pleasant to listen to.

Conclusion
I don’t see why the women fuss over Cheng Long. He is so unbearable at times. He loves lying and also gives others tons of trouble. I am not impressed with the way Wai Kin masters the skills. It seems that the producer gets a double for him most of the time. My suggestion – he needs to go for martial arts classes. Otherwise, he can only act as cheeky fellows who know little or no martial arts in every period drama. But I may be wrong as he is involved in an assault case while filming the new version of ‘The Twins’ lately. Why can’t he deliver the punches in the serial convincingly instead of in the real life?

Who dresses up the cast? The person is sure lazy. From the beginning to the end, most only wear one costume. Only Cheng Long is better dressed. Poor Yi Long – he is often dressed in black, grey and appears unshaven most of the time. With a veil across the forehead, he looks awful. My heart aches upon seeing how my favourite Dai Hap turns out this way.

As for Hong, she looks more like a courtesan in semi-transparent costumes that bares her shoulders. Qing Si has hair ornaments that look like spider legs. All wigs look unusually stiff and unreal. I give up……does this spell the end of traditional outfits in Taiwan period dramas?

As usual, like other typical Taiwanese dramas, this serial talks more than the fighting scenes. Moreover, the cast acts so badly that I don’t even feel like watching it. All the love scenes between the young and old caused all my goose bumps to rise. Isn’t this scary? I am so sorry that my review for this serial turns out to be so short even though this serial is long but I simply can’t be bothered to waste my time to relate irrelevant scenes.

It should have stopped at 20 episodes. The director is simply too greedy. It becomes so longwinded that I don’t feel like elaborating it here. The deliberate jokes become so draggy, sick and gross. I don’t appreciate this – quantity doesn’t imply quality. Please don’t watch it – I have wasted too much of my precious time and I don’t wish anyone to have the same experience as me.

Sukting’s ratings :

On acting : ** (Scale of 5)

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


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