When I bought this series 2 or 3 years ago, I got it only in Thai language and I didnâ??t understand a word, except Adam Chengâ??s characterâ??s name, Du Xin Wu. However, I had found it superb and it was the first series with Adam Cheng I watched and that made me being a â??crazyâ?? fan of his.
I recently had the luck to get a Mandarin version of this series and I watched it once again, and this second viewing reinforced what I thought when I first watched it : what a superb series and how excellent Adam Cheng is in it !!
So, here is my review for this series.
Fate takes a hand tells the story of Du Xin Wu, who was a rich scholar and martial arts expert in a small town.
The series begins with some assassins trying to kill Sun Yat Sen, but they donâ??t know that they are actually following his bodyguard Du Xin Wu and, while this latter fights with them and creates a diversion, Sun Yat Sen escapes in his car. During the fight, Du Xin Wu is hurt by a gun and while he is curing his wound, he finds some photos in his suitcase and he remembers his pastâ?¦
One day, a guy called Lu brought a coffin in front of the Dusâ?? house (I didnâ??t understand why) and, after a short fight won by Du Xin Wu, the two men became friends and Lu left the town. Later, Du Xin Wu and another scholar and martial arts expert, Nung Siu Fu (played by Simon Yam) are in a boat with the Qing Court officials and they discuss of strategy because the French boats are going to attack them. While they are discussing, a few men lead by a girl introduce in the boat and tell something I didnâ??t understand to the officials, but they donâ??t want to believe what she says and she has to fight in order to be able to escape from the boat, and Du Xin Wu is very impressed by her. Later, the Chinese boats are attacked by the French boats and many soldiers are killed, and itâ??s Du Xin Wu and Nung Siu Fu who use the canons in order to destroy the French boats, but their own boat explodes and they have to swim in the sea in order to escape. Itâ??s not shown how Nung Siu Fu escapes, but itâ??s the girl who saves Du Xin Wu and, in order to thank her, he gives her his sword, on which his name is carved, and he learns that she is called Guo Feng.
Later, while Du Xin Wu is training with his master (Shih Kien ), who is also an official of the Qing Court in the town, they are spied on by a young girl disguised as a man and it happens that itâ??s Fan Jie, who is the daughter of a master of Feng Shui, who is a good friend of Du Xin Wuâ??s father (played by Shaw Brothersâ?? actor Tien Ching).
A more important Qing Court official (played by Kong Ngai, hatable as possible in this role !! ) arrives in the town and when he sees Shih Kien, he recognizes him and from what I understood, there is an old grudge between them due to the fact that Shih Kien married the woman Kong Ngai loved. This official is very hard on people and he is very servile towards the French officials who despise the Chinese. One day, the French organize a kind of tournament with rickshaws ; the rickshaws pullers are Chinese, of course, and the people who compete are French people, playing a kind of hockey match. Among the rickshaws pullers, there is a young guy called Liu Fu Hai, who has an elder brother (who is also a rickshaw puller, but his health isnâ??t very good and he hasnâ??t been selected for the tournament), and an uncle who is an opium smoker. The French competitors hit their rickshaw pullers without any hesitation, and when he saws that Kong Ngai doesnâ??t interfere in order to protect his own people, Du Xin Wu is so angry that he jumps among the rickshaws and he beats the French officials. Kong Ngai fights with him and Du Xin Wu is forced to stop the fight because the French officers threaten him with their rifles. Kong Ngai humiliates Du Xin Wu and wants him to kneel down in front of the French people, but he doesnâ??t want to. His father begs him to obey, and when he sees that his father is about to kneel down in his name, he is forced to do it and itâ??s evident in their eyes that the war is declared between Du Xin Wu and Kong Ngai. Du Xin Wu is lead to jail, but before leaving, he shows Kong Ngai that during the fight, he has succeeded in taking away his jade pendant, and Kong Ngai is stunned to discover that he has found a better fighter than him in the town.
As punishment, Du Xin Wu is hanged by the hands to the door of the town for three days and three nights. During one of the nights, three assassins are sent in order to kill him, but he is saved by Fan Jie, who also climbs on the roof in order to protect him with an umbrella when it rains.
Finally, Xin Wu can return home and Kong Ngai goes to the Dusâ?? house and bring them a sign and he fights again with Xin Wu and is surprised to discover that after three days and three nights he is still a good fighter and is able to counter attack all his strikes.
Fan Jieâ??s father looks for a good place for the Duâ??s family gravestone and when he finds the right place, there is already the gravestone of the Liuâ??s family. Du father doesnâ??t hesitate to order his men to dig up the dead corpses and they bring the bones to the Liusâ?? house with some money to compensate. Liu Fu Hai is furious and he doesnâ??t want the money and, with his brotherâ??s help, they go to demolish the Dusâ?? gravestone and recover theirs, but they are arrested and Du father wants them to be jailed, but Du Xin Wu doesnâ??t want them to be imprisoned because he thinks that itâ??s his familyâ??s fault if the Lius did this and he asks his master to speak up for them to Kong Ngai and, after a fight between the two officials, they are finally free. Xin Wu wants to give money to the Lius, but Fu Hai doesnâ??t want to, so, he wants to help them to find a better job and after a quarrel, Liu Fu Hai tells him that he doesnâ??t want his help.
Later, the Lius ask Kong Ngai to help them to work for him, but he humiliates the elder brother and this latter finally kills himself and Fu Hai and his uncle are desperate. When he learns about Fu Haiâ??s brotherâ??s death, Xin Wu still wants to help the family, and after another quarrel with Fu Hai, this latter finally accepts to work for the Dus and they become friends.
Fan Jieâ??s father dies and before dying, he asks his friend Du father to marry Du Xin Wu to his daughter and Du father promises him that he will do so, but Du Xin Wu sees Fan Jie only as a friend and is in love with Guo Feng and he doesnâ??t want to marry her, but his father orders him to do so. On the wedding day, with Liu Fu Hai and his servantâ??s help, Xin Wu escapes from the house and the Dus marry Fan Jie to a rooster (! ). When she discovers that, Fan Jie is furious and she goes to the town in order to find the three men and she steals Du Xin Wu belongings as a compensation for her cancelled wedding. Xin Wu then decides to go to the capital in order to become an official and he meets Nung Siu Fu, who lives with his uncle Nung Yuen Tian (played by Kwan Hoi San), and his cousin, who is a little bit simple minded and the two friends participate to the tournaments in order to become officers.
As they are the strongest among all the candidates, the Empress Ci Xi decides to decide between them by asking them to teach a few moves of martial arts to the royal princesses. These ones prefer to chat and laugh instead of listening to Nung Siu Fuâ??s orders and he fails. When itâ??s Du Xin Wuâ??s turn, they do the same, but he hit one of the princesses with his long stick on her acupuncture points and she faints. The other ones are so scared that they immediately obey to his orders and they handle their long sticks the way he asks them to do, and he finally wins the tournament and Nung Siu Fu will be under his orders. And then, itâ??s the beginning of Nung Siu Fuâ??s jealousy towards Du Xin Wuâ?¦
Meanwhile, Guo Feng has been joined by her neighbor Ming, who is also a very good female fighter, and they have gone in another part of the country in order to join the Tang clan, who is a rebel group. One of the lieutenants of the Tangsâ?? chief doesnâ??t want them but Guo Feng succeeds in convincing Tang that he has to accept them and she even becomes the second chief of the Tang clan.
Du Xin Wu , Nung Siu Fu, Liu Fu Hai and a group of soldiers are sent to the part of the country where the Tangs are, with the mission to capture the rebels. Later, the rebels attack the camp and set the provisions on fire but when he discovers that Guo Feng is among the rebels, Du Xin Wu canâ??t kill her nor capture her. They have a quarrel because Guo Feng tells him that he hasnâ??t chosen the right side, but he tells her that he thinks that he serves better his country by being an official rather than a rebel and he lets her go. When Nung Siu Fu learns that, he becomes suspicious towards Du Xin Wu and he decides to do all what he can in order to get rid of his former friend. The former second chief of the Tang clan has spied on Guo Feng and he accuses her to be a traitor because she holds Du Xin Wuâ??s sword, and, in order to show Tang that she isnâ??t a traitor, she breaks the sword, and, while Du Xin Wu and a few men are waiting on the beach a night in order to trap the Tangs, she comes and discovers that Du Xin Wu has fallen asleep and she puts the broken sword near him and leaves.
As there are no provisions and as Nung Siu Fu is so jealous towards Du Xin Wu that he has poisoned the water, the soldiers leave the camp little by little and even Liu Fu Hai decides to leave.
Then, a Qing Court official called Wang, who must be a royal prince because he wears the yellow clothes under his uniform, is sent to the camp and he decides to give the commandment to Nung Siu Fu and to place Du Xin Wu under this latterâ??s orders.
Later, Nung Siu Fu captures Tang and there is a negotiation between him and Guo Feng in order to release him, but Guo Feng demands that the negotiation will be between her and Du Xin Wu. Nung Siu Fu is so furious that he takes the opportunity that both lovers are discussing in a shaolin temple to help Tang to escape from the camp, and then, he kills him without any mercy. Tangâ??s men are convinced that itâ??s Du Xin Wu who has ordered to kill their chief and they run to the temple in order to kill him and Guo Feng and Ming fight their men in order to help him to escape, but they run after him and itâ??s Liu Fu Hai (who has joined the rebelsâ?? camp) who saves Du Xin Wu (who is hurt) by throwing smoke grenades.
Later, Du Xin Wu is sent to another part of the country in order to be placed under an officer called Tang (not the same Tang as the rebels) and they become good friends and they win a naval battle against the English and Japanese boats (if Iâ??m not mistaken). However, as there was an assassination attempt against Ci Xi, Du Xin Wu is called back to the palace in order to protect the Empress, and he is very worried towards his friend Tang because itâ??s Nung Siu Fu who replaces him under Tangâ??s orders.
Unfortunately, he discovers that he was right to be worried, since he learns by a survivor of his former soldiers that Nung Siu Fu has plotted in order to get rid of Tang, who was killed in another naval battle (if I understood well) and he is so furious that he wants to kill Nung Siu Fu, but Wang arrives and donâ??t let him do it.
Later, Ci Xi receives a foreigners delegation and when Du Xin Wu hears how she is selling off her own country to strangers, he canâ??t help but interfere and Ci Xi wants him to be killed, but all the other officials plead his cause and he is only dismissed.
Later, Du Xin Wu opens a school in order to teach the countryâ??s love to the people of his native town and when Nung Siu Fu discovers the school, he fights with him but itâ??s Xin Wu who wins and he is furious.
Nung Siu Fu now works for Wang, and, after a reconciliation with Fan Jie, Du Xin Wu asks her to leave because she behaves as if she was his wife and he doesnâ??t love her, so, she becomes Nung Yuen Tianâ??s goddaughter after his sonâ??s death, due to a bad mistake of Liu Fu Hai (I think that this part of the series takes place a little bit earlier than the events I described above).
I donâ??t know how nor why, but Guo Feng, Liu Fu Hai, Ming, Wang and Nung Siu Fu negotiate something and, from what I saw, some weapons are supposed to be delivered to Guo Feng, but the delivery fails and Nung Siu Fu hides the rifles in his uncleâ??s house. Unfortunately, Fan Jie losts something in the warehouse where there are the rifles and the whole warehouse explodes and fan Jie and Nung Yuen Tian have just the time to escape from being killed by the explosion.
When Nung Yuen Tian learns by his servant that it was his nephew who hid the rifles in his warehouse, he is furious and he has a quarrel with him, but Nung Siu Fu tells him that itâ??s not true and he swears that he isnâ??t responsible for this matter, and his naive uncle believes him. Then, Nung Siu Fu goes to Wang and tells him what happened with the rifles and Wang decides to accuse Nung Yuen Tian of that, though Nung Siu Fu doesnâ??t agree, and he promises him that nothing will happen to his uncle.
On the contrary, the unfortunate uncle is lead to the magistrate, who is no one else than Wang, and he is accused of having robbed the rifles and his nephew even has to testify against him. Nung Yuen Tian is so furious against his nephew that he tries to hit him, but he canâ??t. When he learns that Wang wants to execute his uncle, Nung Siu Fu is furious and he helps his uncle to escape and gives him some money, but he doesnâ??t know that Wang has anticipated his move and three killers attack his uncle and he falls from a cliff.
When he learns that his uncle is supposed to be dead, Nung Siu Fu wants to kill Wang, but this latter succeeds in making him change his mind and he goes on working for Wang.
Later, Liu Fu Hai is introduced to the palace and he works for Wang. Guo Feng and Ming meet Lu and they plan to kill Ci Xi, but their plan needs that Guo Feng introduces in the palace as a maid or something like that, so, as Liu Fu Hai is already an official in the palace, Guo Feng decides to marry him in order that he presents her as his wife to Ci Xi. Of course, Du Xin Wu is devastated to learn that the woman he loves prefers to marry another man and, as she canâ??t reveal her plan, she canâ??t tell him why and he doesnâ??t understand anything, as well as Fan Jie, who asks Guo Feng to give up her idea of marriage and to marry Du Xin Wu since she knows that they are in love, but Guo Feng leaves without any explanation. Liu Fu Hai isnâ??t aware that his wife uses him to plot against the Empress, and he doesnâ??t understand either why she has married him since he knows that she loves Du Xin Wu, but, as he loves her, he doesnâ??t try to find the truth.
On the day she is supposed to meet the Empress, Li Fu Hai comes to talk to his wife and he finds that she has prepared a snake in order to poison a sword and he knocks her out and runs to the palace in order to inform the Empress, just at the same moment when Lu is attacking the palace and tries to kill Ci Xi by using his sword against the guards, and then some grenades, but he is hurt and he has to escape.
When he returns at home, Liu Fu Hai is beaten by his wife and Ming even wants to kill him, but when he tells Guo Feng that if he knocked her out it was because he didnâ??t want her to be killed, she stops Ming from killing him.
While he is walking on the street, Du Xin Wu meets some officers and he asks them why there is so much agitation and they tell him that they are looking for the killer, and, after they left him, he finds Lu by a stroke a luck and he helps him to find a hiding place and he wants to cure him, but Lu tells him that itâ??s too late and they talk once again about the countryâ??s love and Lu tries to make Du Xin Wu understand that he has mistaken himself by being an official instead of being a revolutionary and they swear to be sworn brothers, but Lu dies and Du Xin Wu is very sad.
When he is at home with his parents, he is summoned to the palace by Ci Xi, and he is accused by her to have helped the killer and he sees that the officers have found Luâ??s corpse and a beggar, who has witnessed him helping Lu, testifies that itâ??s Du Xin Wu who helped Lu and Ci Xi orders her guards to arrest Du Xin Wu, but of course, he resists and takes her eunuch as hostage in order to leave the palace, but he is hurt by a gun. Outside the palace, he is helped by Fan Jie and Nung Yuen Tian, who isnâ??t dead but has lost the use of his right arm. Du Xin Wu faints in a street and he is cured by the Doctor Sun Yat Sen who extracts the gun ball in the street and then lead them to his house, where they find a place to hide.
Several days after, Guo Feng comes to see Du Xin Wu and they have an explanation and he finally admits that he was wrong and that Sunâ??s ideas are good and he decides to help Guo Feng. Later, he learns that his parents have been arrested and, with Guo Fengâ??s help, they kidnap Wang and asks Nung Siu Fu for an exchange with Du Xin Wuâ??s parents, but Nung Siu Fu tells them that since he holds Wang responsible for his uncleâ??s death, they can kill him. They finally come to an agreement and the exchange is supposed to take place along the river. On a side, there are Du Xin Wu, Guo Feng and Wang, and on the other side, there are Nung Siu Fu, a few soldiers and Du Xin Wuâ??s parents. These latter are placed in a boat and, while they are on their way to the other side, some archers shoot fire arrows on the boat. Then, Nung Yuen Tian jumps on the boat in order to stop the fire and Siu Fu shouts at him to go away, but itâ??s too late and the boat explodes, killing Du Xin Wuâ??s parents and Nung Siu Fuâ??s uncle. Du Xin Wu is devastated, and he swears to avenge his parents death, and together with Guo Feng, Fan Jie, and Ming, they discuss of a plan.
On Nung Yuen Tianâ??s funerals, Du Xin Wu disguises as a monk and waits for Nung Siu Fu in the temple and they fight, but some soldiers arrive and Du Xin Wu is hurt. While he is fighting with them, Fan Jie comes to help him and she is killed by a gun and he is devastated.
Meanwhile, Guo Feng, Ming and Liu Fu Hai has been imprisoned by Wang, and, in order to lure Du Xin Wu out, Nung Siu Fu helps them to escape and to attack Wang and he takes this opportunity to kill Wang in order to avenge his uncleâ??s death. Then, he meets Du Xin Wu for a last duel and they have a big fight and both are hurt, but Nung Siu Fu finally dies and Du Xin Wu escapes with Guo Feng, Ming and Liu Fu Hai.
At the end of the series, there is a Chinese text written and read, telling what happened to Du Xin Wu (who is shown cutting his braid), but I canâ??t tell what it is, since I dinâ??t understand what was said or written.
I made some searches on the internet and, though the reviewer from specnet tells that is a 20 episodes, I only saw it mentioned with 18 episodes, so, I donâ??t know where he saw that Du Xin Wu killed Ci Xi, but itâ??s not in the series at allâ?¦
The songs are good and, as I already said, Adam Cheng is excellent. The fights are very good : he practices the drunken sword with Lu, and the drunken boxing with Nung Siu Fu, and all his other fights are superb. This series is a must seeâ?¦
And for those who are interested in getting more informations on Du Xin Wu, here are two links :
I forgot to mention an important part of the series which takes place before Du Xin Wu escapes to his marriage with Fan Jie.
As he hates Du Xin Wu, Kong Ngai does all what he can in order to harm this latter, and when he discovers that Fan Jie is Du Xin Wu's friend, he kidnaps her and keeps her in his house. Du Xin Wu tries to help her to escape, but he fails. He asks Shi Kien, who does justice in the town, to ask Kong Ngai to free her, but Kong Ngai swears that Fan Jie isn't in his house and they don't find her.
Later, while Du Xin Wu and Liu Fu Hai are in an inn, discussing of a plan to free Fan Jie, they find Kong Ngai and his corrupted officers who are making fun on Fan Jie by making her to be drunk and Du Xin Wu can't help but fight with Kong Ngai. Liu Fu Hai finds the gun of one of the officers and he threatens Kong Ngai with it and the two friends, together with Fan Jie, lead Kong Ngai to the court of justice and Shi Kien puts him to jail.
Later, Kong Ngai's corrupted officers ask Shi Kien to free their chief, but he refuses and he and his men prepare to be besieged by the corrupted officers, who have given him and Du Xin Wu an ultimatum to free Kong Ngai.
When he understands that his master and his men may be killed by the corrupted officers and their soldiers, Du Xin Wu goes to Kong Ngai's cell, and, while Shi Kien and his men stop the corrupted soldiers, the two enemies have a duel to the death and Du Xin Wu finally kills Kong Ngai.
I don't know if Kong Ngai was a martial artist in the real life, but his fights in this series were very good.
The best of Kung Fu tv series
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