"The Assassins" was a desperate and unprecedented attempt by Adam to counteract his typecasting by Taiwanese audiences as the eternal Chor Lau Heung. In the story, Adam played four historical figures: Ging Oh, Nip Ching, Yue Yeung and Juen Jue. Each character has a distinct personality, appearance and costume. With behind the scenes voice over, each one was very different from any of his previous characters. Adam’s interpretation and portrayal of the assassins was impeccable and close to perfect. His appearances alternated between fantastically handsome, imposingly sorrowful, and rough and brawny. Camera maneuvers by director Guk Gok-leng as well as clever highlighting complemented the aesthetics as well as the brute force of the production. A new dimension was added to the historical Mouhap genre and won exceptionally high praise from the industry. Regrettably, the production did not score a very positive audience rating. The general impression was that the Taiwanese audience could not associate Adam with such different, often scruffy, shaggy, messy, and dirty characters. Further, the audience was so familiar with the story lines of such historical epic tragedies that the overall actor combination was overlooked and fell short of any sizable commercial significance. To add to this the rival station was already ahead of the game and had started shooting and broadcasting a TV series with the same kind of structure. Nevertheless, this production allowed the audience a refreshing insight into Adam Cheng’s skills as an all-round character actor who has more to offer than merely Chor Lau Heung.




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