Zan, the owner of a clinic in Fo Shan, is well-liked by the
people of Fo Shan. He has two sons; the elder son, Liang Bi
is a gifted, hot-headed youngster who loves martial art and
the younger son is the opposite of Liang Bi.
Liang Zan bears the responsiblity of finding a successor for
the family's martial art, 'Yong Chun'. Liang Zan initially
has high hopes on Liang Bi. But Liang Bi grows up to be a
prodigal son. As Liang Zan refuses to choose Liang Bi as the
successor, the father and son relationship sours.
The disciple of a martial arts sect, Gao Ming has lost his
sister due to his misjudgement of people. He went to Fo Shan
to look for his sister and there, encounter Liang Bi and bad
blood between them arises.
The story 'Yong Chun' revolves around the legendary martial
art exponent, Liang Zan, Liang Bi, Gao Ming and a few other
exceptional ladies. In it, gratitude, love and hatred entwined.
Before I embarked on this, I was hoping deep down it would
set a benchmark for all future martial arts television series
simply because it stars two of the greatest kung-fu stars
of all time, Yuen Biao and Sammo Hung.
their roles from the original movie, “The Prodigal Son”.
Yuen plays Liang Zan, a well-know physician and also a “Wing-Chun”
martial arts practitioner in Fo Shan. Zan has two sons, Liang
Bi (played by Nicholas Tse) and Liang Chun. Bi is a notorious
trouble-maker much to the dismay of his father while his brother,
Chun takes after his father in the medical field. Bi hates
his father for not imparting the art of “Wing Chun”
to him and both have a tumultuous relationship ever since.
in mind this is a 40-episodes drama you are looking at so
there are plenty of characters being introduced as the plot
thickens. There’s the faithful butler of Zan who has
a daughter who is secretly in love with Bi and that’s
only the son, Zan’s sister-in-law is having a crush
on him too. Subplots and plenty of martial arts’ mumbo
jumbo aside, for the first 10 episodes of the series, the
story focuses mainly on the stiff competition between Bi and
He, son of an evil businessman in the province. But the sole
reason for it is to introduce the main villain to the audience,
Gao Ming (played by Sammo’s real-life son, Hung Tin-Cheung).
favourite bubbly fighter Sammo who plays Wong Hong Bo, the
master of Liang Zan will not appear until episode 15. And
Gordon Liu (“Kill Bill”) has a cameo appearance
in one of the episodes facing off Liang Zan.
the action sequences are short and subtle for a martial-arts
series. There are no prolonged fighting acts unlike the usual
martial arts movies. Choreographer Tung Wai seems to abandon
the use of fancy wire-works here and preferred the use of
realistic hand and leg sparring. Do not expect a lot of fancy
somersaults and high jumps either, perhaps this is Tung Wai’s
way of paying respect to the actual true form of “Wing
self-proclaimed martial-arts fanatic, Nicholas Tse who has
no background in martial arts put in a believable performance
as the impulsive Bi. Though not as elegant as compared to
Yuen and Hung’s heydays, Tse certainly has the makings
of an action star. Hung Tin-Cheung who nabbed the meatier
role of a villain unfortunately seems stiff and unnatural.
But it’s an eye-opener to see him facing off Daddy aka
Sammo Hung in a particular sequence.
in Hengdian movie studio (“Fearless”, “Hero”)
“Wing Chun” the series never really set any record
or benchmark. Despite Yuen and Sammo’s being the leading
men, this 40 episodes drama series can be a drag to sit through
at times. Pacing is slow to a crawl and the action scenes
constitute perhaps a minimal 10% of the whole production.
To be fair, this is a general trend of a drama serial. But
to put the talented Yuen, Sammo, Tse and Hung in here is a
by Linus Tee