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Movie Review: Triumph in the Skies

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10 years ago, the successful TVB series Triumph in the Skies educated audiences on the commercial aviation industry
with very specific technicalities of various job posts showcased in the 30-episode drama
Original male lead, Francis Ng stayed throughout the entire franchise of Triumph in the Skies and has created deep impressions for many
His usual challenging roles are usually on the negative side such as being a serial killer or a schizophrenic person
Over the last decade, Francis managed to portray Captain Sam Tong in identical light
as if we went through his aviation career together and grew with him through his relationships,
learning from every single heartbreak


A brief history to Triumph in the Skies…

 “Triumph in the Skies is Hong Kong’s first television drama on aviation. The first series premiered in October 2003 as one of the year’s biggest productions. The all-star ensemble cast includes Francis Ng, who returned to the station after many years, Flora Chan, Joe Ma, Myolie Wu, Shek Sau and more. The pilot trainees are played by rising TVB stars including Ron Ng, Kenneth Ma, Sammul Chan, Michelle Ye and Bosco Wong. The series was shot in beautiful locations like Rome, Florence, Sapporo and flight school Flight Training Adelaide. The series was very popular, recording an average rating of 2.12 million viewership and 2.37 million viewership at its final episodes. Even the series’ 2008 late-night and the 2010 afternoon re-runs in 2008 and 2010 were watched by many.

 Ten years later, the sequel to Triumph in the Skies began shooting in 2012 and was aired in July 2013. There were big changes to the cast: while people like Francis Ng, Ron Ng and Joe Ma reprised their roles, new characters such as Jayden (Julien Cheung), Holiday (Fala Chen), Heather (Elena Kong) were introduced, alongside young actors like Him Law and Adrian Chau. Instead of playing Zoe from the first series, Myolie Wu plays Jayden’s sister Summer. The crew shot in England, France, Hainan, Gaoxiong and Kenting. The series, following its last’ popularity, recorded an average rating of 1.99 million viewership, with the final episodes hitting 2.63 million viewership, the highest among recent TVB drams. The series also won many awards at the TVB Anniversary Awards: Elena Kong took home Best Supporting Actress, Julien Cheung My Favorite Male Television Character, and the series Best Drama of the Year.”



Triumph in the Skies movie is a side adaptation of the TV series
With little screen time as compared to multiple episodes
There’s definitely lesser room to explore the pilot’s job scope
Almost all focus was placed on the 3 relationships of the pilots in the movie

I would actually subject the genre of Triumph in the Skies as a Romantic Comedy
Unfortunately, the whole movie was dubbed in mandarin
Otherwise, the cantonese conversations would have made a vast difference in the expression of words


Other than filming in Hong Kong, the crew also shot in Brighton, England
The amazing scenary is definitely well worth watching
Makes me wanna depart our sunny island and take a walk along the cliffs


Captain Cool, the ever charming Chilam (Julian Cheung)
with Charmaine Sheh
strutted down the Red Carpet Gala Premiere at Marina Bay Sands Ice Skating Rink


His fan club in Singapore totally went gaga over him
I was very much surprised that his fan club existed here!


Chilam rose to popularity again after the debut of the 2nd drama series of Triumph in the Skies
He completely made all female beings swooned over Captain Cool



Captain Cool is your new age man
who takes his every relationship seriously, yet he is non committal
I’m not sure if you understand how that works, but I can figure it out pretty well!

His relationship with Kika (Amber Kuo) reflects the teenage puppy love era
Innocence and purity moved Captain Cool


Amber Kuo from Taiwan shot to fame with the Tiny Times Trilogy
Most local viewers might not have an impression of her
I loved her role in Tiny Times where she was an arrogant rich lady immersed with high fashion


In Triumph in the Skies, Amber Kuo was just a little girl and is a total opposite compared to Tiny Times
Even though it’s the suave Captain Cool, I must say this is the least likeable relationship in the movie


The Bathtub scene that lasted for seconds in the movie
took Chilam and Amber 8 hours to film
They must have gotten crumply skin from being soaked in for so longDespite the romantic nature of the scene, the work in progress had no romance to speak off
but just trying to stop Amber from slipping down in the tub


My favourite romance piece of Triumph in the Skies involved Louis Koo and Charmaine Sheh
After leaving TVB to explore further opportunities in Mainland
Charmaine Sheh had much lesser screentime in the whole 2014 with Hong Kong audience
They must have all missed her as much as I do


The very talented actress recently won Best Actress based on her popular TVB drama: Line Walker in 2014
Sole piece of work in the entire year and she wowed everyone with her solid acting skills


Her role as Skylette’s flight attendant, surprised Pilot Branson (Louis Koo)
who’s also heads the airlines
They had a love-at-first-sight relationship prior to her being a flight attendant and was forced to leave him


After reuniting, they have never forgotten the feelings for each other
and things got sweeter than ever


Louis Koo is a new addition to the Triumph in the Skies franchise
Realistically, if all pilots were so good looking, everyone would be flocking to the airports for eye candy watching everyday


The pair had unspeakable chemistry onscreen
It was just really comfortable watching them play a couple


The only unrealistic moment was this….
It’s uncommon (or rather, never happen) for pilots to be in full uniform walking on the streets randomly
I guess, this was just to fulfil the theme of the movie


The most mature relationship featured in the movie
Sammi Cheng and Francis Ng
Captain Sam Tong who follows the book like a block of wood
angered Rock Star TM (Sammi Cheng)
for taking off without her boarding the plane


Before watching the movie and after looking at the promotional stills
my thoughts ran wild on why Sammi Cheng would be wearing a pilot’s uniform
It’s highly unlikely that she will be a pilot with the multiple tattoos and that special eyebrow feature

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Turns out that TM was hired by Pilot Branson for a commercial ad to rebrand Skylette Airlines
The love story between TM and Captain Tong was the most mature one amongst the 3
It was also the most comical one with a dance move that nobody would ever imagine Francis Ng doing it!

Official Movie Synopsis

Young pilot Branson (Louis KOO) recently takes over Skylette, his father’s aviation empire, only to realize his old flames Cassie (Charmaine SHEH) is a flight attendant there. Several years ago, he was forced to break up with her and move to New York to take care of his father’s business. To this day, the two continue to harbor feelings for each other but decide to keep them bottled up.

In an effort to rebrand the airline, Branson invites rock idol TM to star in an upcoming commercial and appoints Sam (Francis NG) as her flying consultant. Incongruent in both tastes and experience, this odd couple gets off on the wrong foot. As the shoot progresses, however, they slowly discover each other’s merits, developing a strong mutual attraction.

Jayden (Julien CHEUNG) has left Skylette Airline to become a pilot for private jets. He meets the young and vivacious Kika (KUO Tsai Chieh) during a flight and assumes her to be wayward and shallow. But they turn out to have a lot in common and start falling madly in love. At the height of their romance, Jayden realizes almost too late the secret behind her recalcitrance…

Each of the three relationships comes with its own setbacks. As long as one can accept the imperfection of things, finding happiness—however fleetingly—is a blessing in itself.

Official Trailer


Louis Koo
Sammi Cheng
Francis Ng
Julian Cheung
Charmaine Sheh
Kuo Tsai Chieh Amber
Oceane Zhu
Liu Jun Xiao


Kenneth Ma
Kong May Yee Elena
Remotigue Joventino Couto
Mark Ma
Liao Jingsheng

 Directed by

Wilson Yip & Matt Chow



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