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Guest Kurosaki Ichigo

[TVB-A] Journey To The West - 西游记 [1996]

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Story

Being a devout Buddhist and knowing a bit about Chinese folklore and mythologies, I cannot help being agitated at the naive view of the producer. It was evident from tacky scripts that the scriptwriters were ignorant of the real Buddhist teaching. It was also fair to say that the whole series has lost sight of the original theme of being a holy quest of a monk and his disciples. The whole show has basically been reduced into a whimsical serial, although admittedly a well-done production on its own.

 

The basic story is about a young monk in the era of Tang Dynasty set foot westward to fetch Buddhism Cannons back to China to reestablish Buddhism fate. From help of Goddess of Mercy (Guan Yim), he gained three disciples and a white horse, which was originally a dragon prince. Together, they braved various dangers throughout the long journey that took over a decade.

 

This is really a religious tale favored with many fantasy ideologies, mixed with folklore and myths. The main four characters should show their developments in saintliness and their understandings of Buddha's words as they progressed in their journey (Please read on. This is really a review, not a brochure to convert your belief. * smile *).

 

The monk, in my opinion, should be an ordinary man with strong determination and benevolent character. Yet, he was without means of protection, hence the need of three disciples to help him go through all obstacles. All the way, he and the others would get tested and tempted numerous times in many ways, but he would remain steadfast and went on after subduing the cause of those desires. Demons represented human sins, and the monk had to learn to leave all the desire in order to attain the ultimate step in Buddhism world.

 

Cast

Kong Wah as the Tang monk

I think he was the best candidate among the actors in TVB at the time although I don't think he fit that well with the role's description. The monk is supposed to be youthful and rather fragile looking. He is supposed to have the fair skin and tempting look for all demons out there to eat him. Kong Wah looked a bit old and was not innocent enough. Remember that this monk grew up in the temple. He was ordained since young and very clever and enlightened in learning sutras but should be rather naive when dealing with worldly matters such as love. These qualities were not portrayed at all through Kong Wah. All I saw was one confused monk who seemed so superficial. He seemed so strong and sure of himself at times that I wondered why Guan Yim even bothered to send the monkey god to protect him, whereas he could just get out of any hardships by uttering sutras, and voila! yellow letters would come out around him and worked miracles.

 

Dicky Cheung as the monkey god

His 'yo' trademark seemed to be a pioneer for every artist to imitate him when he/she is in a similar role. I found his character lively and lovable although not exactly monkey-like. Admittedly, I'm impressed with his energetic acting although I think he was still far from showing a real monkey side. He was very active in the scenes where he was the focus character. However, he would remain still when the camera was not on him. He was a funny character for sure, but I sometimes wished that he would show a bit restlessness when he transformed himself. The best monkey god that I have seen so far was the one from Chinese production's JTTW. That was a true monkey there.

 

 

Wayne Lai as the pig demon

Despite his inadequate makeup, Wayne Lai was my most favorite character in this series. He had a great chemistry with Dicky Cheung. His personal stories were interesting, and his mishaps were rather entertaining due to his cute acting. There is nothing much to say about this character. He was sent to disrupt the journey and practically to distinguish the fine qualities of his fellow travelers opposite to all his weaknesses. He learned his lessons the hard way throughout the journey though, and his master was kind enough to forgive him every time

 

 

The third disciple and the horse:

** sigh ** It would have been better if they had foregone the white horse. The horse seemed to magically disappear at any 'convenient' time. The water demon was pathetically stupid although he was a bit smarter in this series than the sequel. Their characters were much neglected in contrast to the first two disciples.

Edited by Kurosaki Ichigo

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ilove this drama the series show dicky best way of acting

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i seriously hope they will have a remake of it. still one of the most awesome series i've ever watched

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oh i love the part 1 and part 2, but not part 3 cause is diff. guy to be a monkey. I love the guy. he is pig, mr. lai.

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I remember my brother and I used to recite the lines of different scenes as we watched the show because we've re-watched the series so many times that we knew it by heart. I think this production is a classic for TVB, even though I think China's version was much better and pertained more to the actual novel by Wu Cheng'En.

Dicky Cheung created a trademark with his "YO! da yiew jing, sai mut gang!" He added his personality to the role, which I personally loved because I am a huge fan of his. He is one of the most comedic actors of all times in TVB and Chinese movies history in general! However, the way that he played Monkey also made his character seem too human-like. The make-up department was also lacking... China's Monkey was 10x more realistic, but definitely not as funny.

Wayne Lai was hilarious!!! (As always) Wayne Lai always does a good job with comedy such as his part as Pigsy in Journey to the West, Zhou Bok Toan in Condor Heroes, and any other ancient TVB series.

I think Evergreen Mak did a satisfactory job in portraying the third disciple because he was very innocent, trusting, and naive. But I think the writers made him too powerless, similar to Pigsy. They could hardly fight any demons without the help of Monkey.

And the White Horse was... idk, is it me or does the White Horse disappear half the times. Where was he in the last obstacle?! In the land of women. While everyone else was having their "babies," he was nowhere to be found...

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hands down my favorite show ever from tvb. i still watch it from time to time again and it makes me feel like a kid again

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I loved this series!And I didn't know the pig was Wayne Lai!!He's so cute =D

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Had been watched this for quite a few times, funny and nice show! :)

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this is the first series i ever seen <3 it amazing fantasy series to watch

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i like the first part series, it is better then teh second part series with the new monkey

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i love this series alot and even much more like this series especially Dicky acted cause he is humourous and a good actor.

but too bad the second installment he doesnt involved whereby i think the second installment will be much more interesting if Dicky is in

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yea it's too bad that Dicky was not in the part 2... was disappointing when watching that series =/

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now start looking for this show again,the all time favourite of all journey to the west series

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Dicky as a monkey king is so fun to watch.laugh most of the time watching this series. still awaiting for his comeback, not sure will he comeback to film

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