Bright Sword 3: The Lightning General 亮剑之雷霆战将 is a 40-episode Chinese drama that tells the story of a young commander leading an army to battle. It comes after the acclaimed military drama Liang Jian (Drawing Swor) 亮剑, which aired in 2005 and ranked 23rd out of China’s 100 recommended viewing materials in 2013.
In a country with a very long list of titles in the genre, it’s easy to get the sense that productions more often than not seem out to make dramas fit a standard mold of military themes, which certainly doesn’t say much for quality though in its defence, I hear that the original is a classic.
In the year 1930, Wang Yun Shan (Leon Zhang) and his comrades succeed in fending off the enemy after one day and one night in combat. Their experiences lead to the promotion of Wang Yun Shan as the platoon leader. During another battle, he goes head to head with Guo Xun Kui (Vengo Gao), an equally formidable opponent with whom he forms an unspoken bond. In the year 1935, Wang Yun Shan and Du De Yong (Shawn Wei) overcome their initial misgivings to become friends. War escalates further and it is up to the heroes to set aside their differences to continue the fight for their homeland.
It stars Leon Zhang Yun Long (Xuan Yuan Sword), Lai Yu Meng (The King of Blaze), Vengo Gao Weiguang (Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms), Wang Rui Zi, Wu Xin (Midnight Diner) and Shawn Wei Qianxiang.
For this type of drama, I find it interesting to see a change in casting to feature younger leads with idol good looks. Filmed in 2017, the show is meant to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the People’s Liberation Army. Politics aside, I hope it stirs up a meaningful and touching connection in a way that a good war movie should.
Release Date: November 3, 2020 Hunan TV every Monday to Wednesday at 10pm, MGTV, Tencent, iQIYI at 12 midnight
Rate your favorite Chinese dramas in 2020.