Review: The Myth (2010)

myth

THE MYTH 2010

THEMYTH8888

The Myth, the tv series adaptation based on the Jackie Chan movie with the same title. And the tv series is even Produced by Jackie Chan himself. It had a budget of 6.4 million dollars (thanks to Jackie Chan probably). The series explores time travel even further than the movie did, it also has extensive character development and many new and awesome characters and story-lines. I’m telling you before the review even started: it’s awesome.

en1227e3
Jackie Chan, Hu Ge and Chang Shih

History of the Qin Dynasty SPOILERS

with historical series I found it helped a lot to learn a little history background. But beware you could best skip this if you don’t like spoilers!!!! The series takes place in the Qin dynasty and as you may well know In 221 BC, the Qin state unified China. Movies like Hero 2002 are about that time in history. (review here) But the Qin dynasty lasted only 16 year! Rebellions erupted consecutively all around China. The most powerful rebel force was the one from Chu Kingdom under the command of Xiang Yu. And becoming important also is the rebel force Liu Bang with his peasant army.
themyth01012

At the battle of Juju a collation army led by Xiang Yu defeat the Qin forces and it becomes the end of the Qin dynasty. However it’s not Xiang Yu who takes the capital but Liu Bang’s army that occupies the Qin capital Xianyang and forces the abdication of the second Qin emperor.  After the feast at Hong Gate Xiang Yu strikes back and occupies the capital. He then divides the former Qin empire in to eighteen kingdoms. He makes Liu Bang King of Han, promotes King Huai II of Chu to “Emperor Yi of Chu” and he moves the emperor to Chen County. However the emperor was merely a puppet ruler, the power of Chu was in the hands of Xiang Yu.What follows is what historians call the “War between Chu and Han” a four year power struggle between them.Finally the Han army besieged the Chu army in Gaixia and trapped at Wujiang River he died. Liu Bang establishes the Han dynasty and becomes the Emperor of China.A movie that covers the exact same period and exact same characters is “White Vengeance” with Liu Yifei and Feng Shaofeng.

themyth01014

SYNOPSIS:
The series begins with Yi Xiao Chuan, a freelance photographer. One day he finds a mysterious tiger pendant (bad guys dropped it while fighting over it), he takes it home to study it. Yi Xiao Chuan also happens to be the perfect boyfriend that has loads of girls running after him. When his very cool auto-mechanic girlfriend ,Gao Lan, discovers that he’s often flirting with other girls she becomes very angry. Yi Xiao Chuan escapes from his furious girlfriend as fast as possible and escapes to an excavation site where his father and brother work. His father and his brother are Archaeologists, and are in charge of the excavation.  Unfortunately for Yi Xiao Chuan his girlfriends brother, Gao Yao, is the chef at the excavation site. Gao Yao hears about the two breaking up and tries to beat him up when he’s in his car (temperamental family).  Meanwhile a bunch of bandits steal a mystical antique container that was recently dug out. Yi Xiao Chuan immediately chases the thief while Gao Yao is still on the roof of the car trying to beat him up.

HUGE

Good thing that after a fight, Yi Xiao Chuan gets the antique container back. Strangely he notices that his pendant fits exactly in the container, once the two things are put together Yi Xiao Chuan and Gao Yao get transported to the Qin Dynasty. Odly he doesn’t realize he’s in the Qin Dyansty and things they are filming some sort of historical series (not a bad thought) . It’s when people try to kill him he realizes something is not right.

THEMYTH11
time travel gets Yi Xiao Chuan in very awkward situations

But once he realizes he’s actually in the Qin dyansty, he has luck on his side.  He becomes sworn brothers with Xiang Yu and learns martial arts from him and his uncle. As you might now Xiang Yu was one of the important generals in the rebellion against Qin!
XIANGYU

After learning a lot of martial arts and studying all kinds of things he decides he wants to go home because he feels homesick. (he’s in the Qin dynasty after all!!!) Once away, he meets the two sisters Lü Zhi (Chen Zhi Han) and Lü Su (Jin Sha) who where being robbed (he fortunately saved them). Both of the girls desperately fall in love with him, something he got quite used to in the modern world already.

CHENZIHAN
Lü Zhi (Chen Zhi Han)

THEMYTH432
Lü Su (Jin Sha)

If he didn’t have enough luck, he meets Liu Bang and when he remembers from history that Liu Bang will actually become the founder of Han he quickly becomes sworn brothers with him (even records that with his phone). Liu Bang isn’t a powerful man at that time though, even though he’s ambitious he’s lazy and uses tricky methods to get what he wants. Yi Xiao Chuan even has to motivate him at some point to lead an army. ! 😄

LIUBANG2
Liu Bang (Li Yixiang)

Yi Xiao Chuan also meets Gao Yao again, they don’t have much time to celebrate though because Liu Bang trades them and they become slaves. Gao Yao is forced to become an eunuch and had to endure all sorts of torture. But fortunately he has the chance to becomee a high-ranking official because he wins the favour of the emperor with his cooking skills. Later his name is changed to Zhao Gao. Sadly, Zhao Gao was a corrupt eneuch, the hardship he had to endured turned him evil.

ZHAOGAO
Zhao Gao (Chang Shih)

Xiao Chuan often tries to get him back on the right path leading to  these kinds of conflicts.
THEMYTH10

When Yi Xiao Chuan is sent away as a slave, he has to work on the great wall. It’s there that he finally meets the beautiful Tu An princess, Yu Shu (Bai Bing). The main love interest for Yi Xiao Chuan, forget about the other girls. This is also the moment we see Jackie Chan’s movie “The Myth” coming into play since from now on it follows the story of the princess (Yu Shu) and the general (Yi Xiao Chuan).

27205207
Yu Shu (Bai Bing)

The slaves (Yi Xiao Chuan included) are given to her as a present. To make it even worse, the slaves are given as feed to a tigers as some sort of sacrifice to the gods (Tu An seriously wtf). The Princess refuses to do this, but General Jin, a general of Tu’an, gives orders to do it anyway. Luckily for her and us and Yi Xiao Chuan, he manages to scare the tiger away with his magical pendant that gives him so much power that he can scream so hard (lion roar skill sort of) that everything blows away and the tiger literally runs away.
THEMYTH9

Later, Yu Shu feels pity for the slaves and wants to set them free. But it’s not so easy, they are caught. But the slaves are given a chance to fight themselves free and while doing that Xiao Chuan and Yu Shu find themselves having feelings for each other (lol  how did you guys meet? Well she fed me to the lion and then…) . But their happiness wasn’t for long, Yu Shu is sent away to the Qin palace to become the emperors concubine.  The marriage is to ensure peace between the countries. General Meng Tian from Qin is sent to take her away but a group of rebels take the princess away from him. One of the rebels is Yi Xiao Chuan. He fights against Meng Tian but carelessly they all fall from a cliff. Both Yi Xiao Chuan and Meng Tian become injured. Quite awkwardly Yu Shu has to keep them apart from fighting each other. Things take a turn when Yu Shu says she wants to become  the emperors concubine (even though she loves Yi Xiao Chuan). Things get even more complicated when Meng Tian mistakes Yi Xiao Chuan for his younger brother because of the tattoo his tiger pendant left on his skin. The tiger is a symbol from the Meng clan.

4bca4a7a1a9df
General Meng Tian (Allen Ting)

Left with a broken heart Xiao Chuan becomes a drunk fortunately for him he meets a brilliant doctor that teaches him the art of drunken martial arts (just like in Jackie Chan’s drunken master!!!) He finally gets his life together and he even becomes a Qin general and acknowledges the name General Meng Yi.  in the palace he meets Xiao Yu who as we know from history will become Xiang Yu’s consort lover Yu.

4bef12aaa2c90
Xiao Yu (Zhang Meng) and Xiang Yu (Tan Kai)

Soon the Qin Dyanasty will fall and the world will be in chaos, Yi Xiao Chuan finds himself in the middle of it, Will Yi Xiao Chuan ever get back home, back to the 21 century?

LIUABANG
Liu Bang (Li Yixiang) and Lü Zhi (Chen Zihan)

There is also a whole second storyline takes place in modern time. The people that are left in the 21 century are Xiao Chuan’s father, mother, brother and his girlfriend, Gao Lan. They work closely together to open the treasure box which they believe will be the key to finding Yi Xiao Chuan. They try to follow clues from the box’s engravings and a map, they discover that they need five locks to open the box. Each of the locks is hidden at a secret place, once started on the treasure hunt they soon find themselves faced with a mysterious enemy. And even this, While trying to uncover the secrets Gao Lan and Yi Dauchan find themselves having feelings for each other. If you’re the shipping kind of person (I’m sure some of you girls are) than yep, there is a lot to ship in this series.

themyth2
Yi Dachuan (Ren Quan) and Gao Lan (Zhang Meng)

But the closer they get to finding Yi Xiao Chuan the more difficult the truth gets…. Will they ever get back??

THEMTYH00
Yi Xiao Chuan (Hu Ge), Gao Lan (Zhang Meng) and Yi Dachuan (Ren Quan)

My thoughts:
The contrast between the modern world and the ancient is very strong, therefore I feel this is a perfect series for people who don’t like or never watched any wuxia or ancient series before. On the other hand it’s also a good series for people that don’t watch modern series (like myself). They change from ancient to modern on a perfect rate, preventing us to get bored and being able to appreciate both. The overlap between the two gives funny things like mobile phones in the Qin Dynasty. The Phone actually plays a big part because it’s used by Yi Xiao Chuan and Yu SHu to record videos for each other (since they can’t be together T_T).

PHONEY

Also, I even enjoyed some of the modern parts best, especially because Gao Lan is my favourite character in this : D
She’s temperamental, beautiful and very cool. Like here:

GAOLAN4
GAOLAN3
GAOLAN
Her ancient character, Gao Lan, was very different. Not surprisingly in love with Yi Xiao Chuan and even Gao Yao’s adopted sister (he obviously recognized his sister in her). She’s a lot less temperamental though, more lady like, stylish ancient girl.
U1343P28T3D2480630F329DT20090419183543
Gao Lan (Zhang Meng)

And maybe not as important but she has this cool MV
(HAS MAJOR SPOILERS!)

THE MYTH 神話 MV Chuanyue (穿越; Time Travel) performed by Zhang Meng 張萌 and Wang Haixiang

I have to say a word or two about Chen Zihan you might know her from The Return of the condor heroes as Guo Fu. Well I gotta tell you she isn’t much better as Lü Zhi in this series, maybe a little but there are still scenes like this one
themyth6
and spying like this
THEMYTH16
or this
themyth5
It’s not as if she hates Yi Xiao Chuan though, but yeah that’s exactly her problem… people turn evil when they love someone too much?  Hell yeah some do. It seems a very accurate though because I read on a very trustworthy website (wikipedia lol) accounts that the real Lü Zhi was feared her for her ruthlessness. It seemed she put to death concubine Qi (one of Liu Bang’s late consorts ) and had the son of concubine Qi poised. Her son fell sick afterwards, shocked by his mother’s cruelty. We didn’t see any of that in the series but it does explain a lot about why they made her character a bit cruel.

LUSU
Lu Su (Jin Sha)

Her little sister, Lu Su though, is really a memorable character, I think this song explains quite a lot (I’m keeping silent because I’ve spoiled enough).
I’m going to put some lyrics with it, so sing along or read along or just scroll down.
CONTAINS MAJOR SPOILERS!

Xingyue Shenhua (星月神話; Myth of the Stars and Moon) performed by Jin Sha

The most beautiful scene in my life
wo de yi sheng zui mei hao de chang jing
我的一生最美好的场景
Was when I met you
jiu shi yu jian ni
就是遇见你
In the midst of a crowd, silently looking at you
zai ren hai mang mang zhong jing jing ning wang zhe ni
在人海茫茫中静静宁望着你
Strange,yet also familiar
mo sheng you shu/shou xi
陌生又熟悉

Despite breathing in air from the same sky
jin guan hu xi zhe tong yi tian kong de qi xi
尽管呼吸着同一天空的气息
I am not able to embrace you
que wu fa yong bao dao ni
却无法拥抱到你
If time, identity and name were changed
ru guo zhuan huan le shi kong shen fen he xing ming
如果转换了时空身份和姓名
I hope I will still remember your eyes
dan yuan ren de ni yan jing
但愿认得你眼睛

MODERNMYTH

Where will you be in a thousand years time?
qian nian zhi hou de ni hui zai na li
千年之后的你会在哪里
What would the scenery look like around you?
shen bian you zen yang feng jing
身边有怎样风景
Our story does not count as beautiful
wo men de gu shi bing bu suan mei li
我们的故事并不算美丽
Yet it is unforgettable
que ru ci nan yi wang ji
却如此难以忘记

Despite breathing in air from the same sky
jin guan hu xi zhe tong yi tian kong de qi xi
尽管呼吸着同一天空的气息
I am not able to embrace you
que wu fa yong bao dao ni
却无法拥抱到你
If time, identity and name were changed
ru guo zhuan huan le shi kong shen fen he xing ming
如果转换了时空身份和姓名
I hope I will still remember your eyes
dan yuan ren de ni yan jing
但愿认得你眼睛

YUSHUXIACHAUN

Where will you be in a thousand years time?
qian nian zhi hou de ni hui zai na li
千年之后的你会在哪里
What would the scenery look like around you?
shen bian you zen yang feng jing
身边有怎样风景
Our story does not count as beautiful
wo men de gu shi bing bu suan mei li
我们的故事并不算美丽
Yet it is unforgettable
que ru ci nan yi wang ji
却如此难以忘记

If we had bravely remained together
ru guo dang chu yong gan di zai yi qi
如果当初勇敢地在一起
Would there be a different ending today?
hui bu hui bu tong jie ju
会不会不同结局
Would you also have lots of words to say to me
ni hui bu hui ye you qian yan wan yu
你会不会也有千言万语
That were silently buried in your dreams
mai zai chen mo de meng li
埋在沉默的梦里

THEMYTH99

So overall this series was amazing, In a lot of ways it surpassed the Jackie Chan movie, watch both the movie and the series and you’ll having everything you ever asked for (only slightly exaggerating). And If you’ve never seen a historical/wuxia series then I recommend you to try this one.

Some new cards with this series!!

YIXIAOCHUAN_edited-2

XIANGYU_edited-1XIAOYUE_edited-2

 

YUSHU_edited-1

GAOYAO_edited-1

Last but not least, I came across this interview with Hu Ge that is definitely worth sharing:

Hu Ge Debunks The Myths

SOURCE: http://movies.insing.com/feature/hu-ge-debunks-the-myths/id-48651800

Your television serial The Myth was adapted from Jackie Chan’s 2005 movie of the same title. Have you seen that movie? How different is the TV series from the original movie?

Of course I’ve seen it! I thought Jackie Chan was most dashing in the movie. The biggest difference between the two is the concept of time travel. In the movie, modern-day Jackie is no longer General Meng Yi of the Qin dynasty but his reincarnation. However, in the TV series, Xiao Chuan and Meng Yi are the same person. Although the time spans across a thousand years, the television production enriched the story and made it more complete. We were able to explore the romantic relationship between Meng Yi and Yu Shu, as well as detailing how Xiao Chuan became a real man with a sense of responsibility. You can also see the development of friendship, love as well as the impact of changes in history.
THEMYTH0101

You’ve been in a lot of martial arts movies. What fresh insights did you get out of The Myth?

In the past, martial arts movies have never explored time travelling. Xiao Chuan is from the 21st century, born in the 80s, and so he has a lot of modern ideas, mannerisms and speaking lines even though he’s travelled back to ancient times. This makes him a little awkward and out-of-place in the Qin dynasty. On the other hand, he also understands history from a modern man’s perspective. And so, the thought of changing history through one person’s efforts surfaces. Therein lies the drama.

How did you manage the two different roles? When Xiao Chuan travels 2000 years back to Qin dynasty, did his personality change?

The two characters are actually the same person – Xiao Chuan in present day and General Meng Yi in ancient times. One wears modern clothes while the other wears period costumes. When a modern man travels back to an ancient world, he has to adapt and blend into the society. In the process, Xiao Chuan matures a lot. He used to be a playboy but learned to be faithful and monogamous to only one woman. He didn’t used to be responsible but had to lead a whole army as a general. All these, are really the works of history and fate, pushing a person to fulfil his destiny.

Is there anything in common between you and the character?

I can always find a little of me in every role. The only difference is, Xiao Chuan puts romantic love as his top priority in the later part of the series. I am probably more sensible in this area.

You’ve worked with Bai Bing both in The Myth and Bitter Coffee as a couple. How was it like working with her? Better rapport after two productions?

Bai Bing’s personality is exactly like her name – pure and intelligent. In The Myth, we both fell for each other. But in Bitter Coffee, I was secretly in love with her and pursued her fervently. We are great friends. I didn’t tell her I was in The Myth while we were shooting Bitter Coffee. So when she came on the set, she was fairly surprised and asked me, “What are you doing here?”

Love plays a big role in The Myth. Which do you long for – the modern-day or the ancient-time kind of love?

I believe in love-at-first-sight. I like the kind of love where we both share a lot in common. Perhaps I am more inclined towards the ancient-time.

themyth01013

You had to fight a tiger in one episode. Was it scary shooting that scene?

I was terrified! When I saw that it was a real tiger, I kept thinking about what to do and where to escape if something went wrong during the shoot. When the camera started rolling, I knew there was no way out despite of all those plans. It was so frightening that my knees kept trembling. That’s real fear! Luckily, the tiger was quite obedient to the animal keeper. I still feel shaken every time I recall shooting that scene.

What do you think is the biggest attraction of The Myth? Why would the audience like it?

The script is really well written and the director is very thoughtful. Everyone contributed their best efforts during filming. A TV series of such high quality ought to be appreciated by the audience.

Jackie Chan and Kim Hee Sun sang the theme song in the original movie. You and Bai Bing re-interpreted the same duet Beautiful Myth and made it really popular. How do you feel about the song?

The song is probably one of the top hits in recent years. We were really excited about singing the duet. The lyrics were re-written a little bit to fit the TV series better. When we first sang it, we had not even started filming. Later, we made special arrangements to re-record the song in a studio. As we sang, my mind was filled with vivid images of our filming days. It was a wonderful feeling.

What was the hardest part of filming this TV series? What kind of satisfaction did you get out of it?

The long hours and extended filming period was the most difficult part. Still, being able to fully flesh out the character Xiao Chuan gave me more satisfaction that any hardship was worth it.
YUSHU

and here is every important character again!

U2184P28T52D4331F872DT20090416132311
Yi Xiao Chuan (Hu Ge)

U2184P28T52D4333F872DT20090416132700
Michelle Bai as Yushu

U2184P28T52D4334F872DT20090416133446
Chang Shih as Gao Yao

U2184P28T52D4337F872DT20090416143823
Tan Kai as Xiang Yu

U2184P28T52D4341F872DT20090416145145
Ma Wenlong as Fusu, the Qin crown prince

U2184P28T52D4343F872DT20090416145805
Yizhen as General Jin, a general of Tu’an

U2184P28T52D4348F872DT20090416151238
Zang Jinsheng as Qin Shi Huang, the emperor of the Qin Dynasty.

U2184P28T52D4335F872DT20090416143518
Zhang Meng as Xiaoyue

U2184P28T52D4336F872DT20090416143645
Allen Ting as Meng Tian, a Qin general

U2184P28T52D4338F872DT20090416143943
Li Yixiang as Liu Bang

U2184P28T52D4339F872DT20090416144908
Chen Zihan as Lü Zhi, Liu Bang’s wife.

U2184P28T52D4340F872DT20090416145034
Yang Shutian as Cui Wenzi, an eccentric physician.

And everyone together in one big chart ( I did just some approximate translation, if it’s not good I apologize )
Click on the image for higher resolution!

p008-017.indd

Until next review, bye!

doggie