[Review] The Crossing Hero – Episode I

TheCrossingHero2015

The Crossing Hero (Chāo Jí Dà Yīng Xióng) is a 2015 Taiwanese fantasy, magic realist, time travelling idol drama. It’s cast includes Jiro Wāng, Bruce Xiè, Hú Yáng, Nikki Hsieh, Lorene Rèn, Edison Wáng, Jimmy Hung, Jeff Zhāng and Ivan Wáng.

The series centers around two Imperial guards, Péng Zé (36) and Xiào Tiān (29), who find themselves in the 21st Century after chasing Hóng Xīdōng (27), leader of Emperor Zhū Yǔnwén’s personal bodyguards, for stealing a pearl. Finding themselves in the 21st Century, with no usable currency, being confused by the change in language and having nothing but their uniforms and a Dragon Jade pendant to help them find their way, hijinks quickly ensue.

This series is Jiro Wāng’s production début. Therefore, I was prepared for having to cut this series a little bit of slack. However, aside from some obvious green screen, especially the less than stellar time travel tunnel effects, that wasn’t actually needed. Given that the series is also a web-series, this is to be expected and really wasn’t as distracting as could be. The Crossing Hero is good fun with an interesting array of characters. While none of them are particularly ground-breaking, they each have a solid position carved out for them and the pilot episode has set up the groundwork for what promises to be a really interesting series.

Of this episode, my favourite character would have to be Hóng Xīdōng. As the leader of Emperor Zhū Yǔnwén’s personal bodyguards, he has to be good. And, boy, does he know it. When the episode begins, we’re introduced to Hóng Xīdōng and the Imperial Guards Péng Zé and Xiào Tiān on the palace rooftop. The guards are asleep at their post and wake only after Hóng Xīdōng calls out to them after playing through a selection of songs on his flute. After which he royally kicks their asses.

Cocky characters, I like. And as I said above, being at his rank, Hóng Xīdōng has earned the right to be cocky. His modern counterpart, a re-incarnation, as far as I understand, Hóng Xiǎodōng has the tendency to take this a little too far at times, however. Because of this he can appear somewhat prattish. He’s a private detective; his team consisting of Mò Hán and Zuǒ Yòu Shǒu. Neither of whom, at this point, have proven themselves particularly useful or interesting aside from adding an element of comedy to the show. As Mò Hán has been featured on the posters I am expecting more from her. Zuǒ Yòu Shǒu, I hope progresses from the ‘lovable idiot’ friend.

It’s through his private detective work that Hóng Xiǎodōng meets Zhāng Xiǎntíng, your typical funny story reporter who wants to be taken seriously. To do this, she approaches Hóng Xiǎodōng with a proposition. While she is currently nothing above and beyond the aforementioned reporter trope, that we have someone pro-active in the cast has my hopes raised that she’ll really come into her own later.

The last important character, Zhū Kě Shàng, is a police officer and friend of Hóng Xiǎodōng. Aside from hilarious hijinks when he attempts to arrest the Imperial guards, Péng Zé and Xiào Tiān, we also discover that he’s not quite what he seems. The Dragon Jade amulet that Péng Zé and Xiào Tiān are using to track the pearl and Hóng Xīdōng also reacts to Zhū Kě Shàng! Aside from noting that it reacts differently to Zhū Kě Shàng than Hóng Xīdōng, neither of the guards actually understand why the amulet is reacting to him which is a good set-up for enticing viewers into watching further episodes. I’m certainly very interested in finding out!

All in all, I would recommend The Crossing Hero. It’s not the most original start, but it’s a good one and if this fits your sense of humour, you’ll really enjoy it. The special effects are a little bit iffy at the start, but get past the time travelling and you’re good. Aside from that, my only dissatisfaction lies with the theme song and that’s an entirely personal matter.

What I’m looking forward to:

Finding out why the amulet reacts to Zhū Kě Shàng!

From the glowing in his stomach, à la Inuyasha, we see that Hóng Xiǎodōng is connected to Hóng Xīdōng (his re-incarnation).Why are Péng Zé and Xiào Tiān not updated to their re-incarnated selves? Does this mean they won’t be going home?

And if they don’t go home, what then?

I don’t intend to rate The Crossing Hero until the last episode so I hope to find you all giving this series a go and maybe coming back for the next episode’s review, Friday the 14th of August!

Thank you for reading and may you be happy wherever you are!

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