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roddy

First Episode 44: 雾都魅影, Phantom of the Fog City

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roddy

A part of the Grand First Episode Project -- See this thread for more info.

雾都魅影(Phantom of the Fog City) spy drama again

Emule - tudou

Stream of consciousness notes:

So we get a secret agent reporting to his military handler that there's a plan afoot, but he's not sure what and he suspects the enemy is onto him. He refuses instructions to come in from the cold, and also gives the time and location to arrest someone - but watch out, he's dangerous . . .

Then we see some random people at the opera. Look like the baddies to me, he's fat and she's pretty and well-dressed.

Army bloke's superior tells him to get a scouting team together, stat! Ha, goatee man is SURELY evil. Oh, here come the scouts. And fat bloke wants to know if there's any order from 圣母. Ah, that woman's not important, she's just eye candy.

Nice young lady from the opera's arrived home, delivered by goatee man, and watched over by the army. Oh forget him, love, he's OBVIOUSLY evil. She's far too pretty to be a soldier. Bit of banter from the army . . .

Ah, who's this . . ah yes, the 'circular firing squad' tactic . . fighty fighty. Ah, good, an old-fashioned one-on-one boxing match to sort things out. God, are we only ten minutes in. Oh, show us the FACE! Has the army not realized that the agent came to the meeting place to MEET someone? Oooh, sneaky. 这个人,会是谁呢. Well CHASE him and you might find out. Oooh, fatso didn't like that.

Well, the agent's in for a bit of a questioning. I like these sidecars. Should have just run him over, clearly up to no good. Execute her, she's disobeying orders!

Ninjas with machine guns, they've got no chance. He's behind the tree!

Doesn't the ninja have a getaway car? Oh, handy, a sniper rifle at just the right window. With a futuristic scope, is there a time travel element here? Take cover!

Uh oh, there's something meaner than the ninja out there. Predator?

Ah, a clue?!

Fatso's happy. You can tell by the use of the generic bad guy laugh. Things aren't going too well for the army though, the boss ain't happy.

Eh, now what's going on? Ghosts? Probably just ninjas again. I hope there's a good reason for all this nonsense.

Army figure out they've got a mole. Hey ho. That means their own agent should come back, but . . . If I'd known the PLA was this much fun I've have joined along with that Irish guy. Is that guy wearing a corset over his uniform? Oh please . . .

15 more minutes. This is what I get for randomly downloading stuff from Verycd. Oooh, gory flashbacks. Reminds me, must practice my flute. Bad omens, very good . .

Ah, the Goddess calls . . .with urgent orders.

Sunglasses = bad guy.

That's got to smell. Looks like 鸿雁 is in trouble. Goatee's dispatched to deal with him .. . and the assassination department isn't happy about it. Ah, office politics . . .I reckon that chief assassin was the guy who killed the agent.

OK, there's a warning on the way to 鸿雁 -and also an assassin. There's a meeting at the church, where Goddess herself will explain the plan.

Oh, the assassin was just on his way home to pick up his gun. Gangsta stylee . . .

And that's it. Entertaining enough, but I think I'll leave this one for now.

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Edited by renzhe

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renzhe

OMG, what the hell is going on here?

This is Shaolin PLA versus N'Sync Ninja. Bloody hell. It goes roughly like this:

"同志, we must protect the people."

"Oh no, it's the ninjas!"

"It's the ones who killed our 师父, quickly, challenge him to a duel!"

"Hahaha, your dragon palm is no match for my ghost magic!!!!" :mrgreen:

What a mess.

I'm SO watching this

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roddy

Glad you enjoyed it, let us know if it gets any saner . . .

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renzhe

I bloody hope it doesn't!

I know I shouldn't be watching it, and I'm ashamed. But it has pig-tailed PLA operatives unleashing kung fu! On ninjas!!1..... *sigh* :oops:I'm just a man.... :oops:

12581832.jpg

The story is a bit meh, and there's a bit less action a few episodes in, but I have to say that the fighting scenes are very well done here -- better than in most wuxia series actually. They really had some good stuntmen here. The language is at an intermediate level, so I'm practicing listening. Nonsense abounds here, but it's good practice, and it has pretty girls doing kung fu, so who cares?

Funny tidbit -- the PLA general guy is 黄药师 from 射雕.

Edited by renzhe

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renzhe

I'm a bit further into it now, and the sentiment is the same. The story is bad, as is the acting, and the whole thing is very much unrealistic, but the show makes up for it with understandable dialogue (good practice) and excellent action scenes.

This is not great, but the cool thing is that it's actually a wuxia show, with a PLA vs. Taiwanese agents theme. It's not just that the kung fu scenes are some of the best I've seen in a TV show, with better choreography than even the wuxia series we've watched, the whole thing feels like a wuxia novel, with wulin fighters coming out of nowhere and forming alliances and stuff. Only they're wearing PLA uniforms, or are dressed like ninjas and hurling shuriken all over the place.

So it's got the novelty factor that's keeping me watching, though the intrigue is a bit bland. This is of similar quality to a previous show, 5号特工组, but the former has a really cool 30s feel, and this one has better action.

Fans of action scenes can give this one a whirl. Fans of drama or good intrigue should skip it.

She's far too pretty to be a soldier.

ORLY?! :mrgreen:

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renzhe

So, I've finished this, and I'm not sure what to say about it. Overall, it was watchable, but only if you watch it casually, while cooking or checking internet or something like that.

It is basically an unpretentious combination of excellent kung fu action and a dumb spy/intrigue story. I often wonder whether the sub-par scripts common in Chinese TV shows are due to inexperienced writers, but in this case I didn't wonder. This was written by idiots :mrgreen: The plot is so unreasonable and improbable that it gets a very trashy quality at times that has led me to LOL and fall off my chair, and that's what we expect entertainment to do, right?

Unfortunately, as the series progresses, there is far less kung fu and far more bad plot. There are some interesting characters in there, but overall, you don't care for the most part, though it does get a bit more interesting once some of the major characters are revealed (灰鼠 and 长矛, among others).

It makes for an ok background listening practice (it has really clear conversations that can be easily followed once you get the major names and vocab down), and the fans of trash cinema will enjoy some of the more outrageous stuff, but if you're looking for something serious, even pretty girls doing kung-fu class warfare can't salvage this one. In fact, the over-the-top aspects would earn it a good grade if it didn't delve into utterly uninteresting intrigue blah blah too often. More kung-fu and less blah blah would have made this into top-notch entertainment.

some of my favourite moments:

- 独狼 and 杨帅 fighting next to a bunch of wine jars. You simply KNOW that they're going to break each and every one of them. In sequence.

- Secret agents walk around covertly, dressed like ninjas at night. Then they get into the middle of the street, take off their masks and discuss loudly what they are going to do next. Then they put the masks back on an hide again

- A spy walks into an empty temple to read a hidden message with instructions (this happens a lot). Then he proceeds to read the message outloud to himself, and gets overheard by another spy lurking around the corner.

- Every time somebody gets followed in the most obvious and intrusive way imaginable

- The secret 雷霆A计划 that will deal a deadly blow to the PLA. Then it fails, but fear not, it will be succeeded by an even deadlier 雷霆B计划. Which fails. Then it is followed by the secret 雷霆C计划. Get it? Than that fails, and you get the point, it goes on and on, with D, E..... Who writes this shit? :mrgreen:

- The Star Trek red-shirt ensigns that show up in the middle of the show just so they can die a few episodes later.

Anyway, I think you get the idea about this show by now. It can be harmless entertainment if you're up for some corny cheese and have a sense for trashy cinema. Anyone else can watch the first 5-10 episodes for a very unusual mix of a spy thriller and wuxia show. As much as I'm criticising it, this one was easy to watch, easy to follow and the quality didn't bother me.

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