That was a very great and satisfying ending. There were so many conflicts and hardships during the last few episodes but glad they found a clever way to resolve it instead of making it rushed like the previous series. Really loved Ram Tseung in here as Ching Mun. He was so clever and carefree. Too bad his wife died but NOT for nothing. He managed to try harder and made others proud. His dedications toward the business were greater also. Plus they finally got their reward by getting the contract signed.
Really like Steven and Wayne in here as Tzi and Joong. Like I said in the previous reviews, really like Wayne’s acting and he was a great team with Steven throughout–no wonder they were signed up for two more collaborations after this series. It was a great decision.
Steven and Elaine – I don’t know why people were against it so much. They complemented each other so well with him being the strong/ruthless and fearless leader with a sense of righteousness while she was the kind and understanding wife. Yes, she might appear to be such a weakling and seemed useless for the series, but she did know a lot of things since she used to work with her father before. She had the experience. Plus, I think this was a guy series so her character as Fung shouldn’t and wasn’t supposed to overshadow Steven, Wayne, or Ram’s characters. Plus considering during those ancient times (that was a LONG time ago), women weren’t supposed to participate in stuff as much, especially business matters so it was only correct that she shouldn’t be the strong type who stood around and talked away 24/7. So in conclusion, really like this pairing (of course it doesn’t top Steven and Bernice) but still a good pairing–even IF Steven had to pull most of the weight of the acting but it was all right. He’s capable. Elaine wasn’t terrible but she needed more work in playing a calm character. I think she improved A LOT during The Gentle Crackdown II because I thought she played out the kind and nice weakling better. (And she was a cute couple with Johnson Lee in there as well.)
Lai Lok Yi – I swear I didn’t know why he was in here. It was like give or take. But maybe because his character, Yee, caused Steven’s character, Tzi, to realize the importance of expanding their business to the seas instead of land like they’ve been doing. For the first time, I can only say average from him–maybe because he appeared too late in the series and didn’t get to contribute as much.
I must say that was a shocker when they revealed Ching Pung’s real identity. It was really hard to believe yet so convincing at the same time. Because it didn’t justify anything that their grandpa should believe in such omens as bad luck all these years. And even if their father believed it, Ching Tong was kind to his brothers and would have given Ching Pung great responsibility. The ending point explained a lot. It served Ching Pung right for being so greedy. I think that it was such a grateful thing that the grandpa did to still raise and gave Ching Pung such a position (aka giving him access to the assets/ money) all these years. If a man found out he had been tricked, he would have kicked the kid out already but he didn’t. He still continued to raise Ching Pung and only made the “unlucky” thing up as an excuse to as a cover so Ching Pung could get a share of the family fortune in the future. Ching Pung himself was the one responsible for his downfall since he drove everyone to the wall, causing the mother to take such actions.
Ben Wong as the villain in here was interesting since he took quite the big role. (Haven’t seen him in such big roles recently even if it was as a villain.) Interesting portrayal and he was great portraying the calm and supportive brother at the beginning and later breaking away because he couldn’t take the failure. Hau took the turn for the worse and thus leading him to cause more damage and to his downfall in the end. I like it that his ending wasn’t too lame, considering he learned to repent after he known of his son’s existence and began to see how good Tzi treated his son in the end. The scene was just right before his death also, not too dramatic or subtle.
Loved Law Lok Lam‘s last scene–although brief appearance, it was the most important part of the whole series, causing a turn back and a HUGE surprise for everyone. The role he played was of importance since he was the only one to prove the credibility of the evidence gathered.
Considering how many years have passed with each of the events and conflicts going on, it made everything more believable since TVB just jumbled conflicts in stories within months. The series overall was really good for recent ancient series. Although it wasn’t the best, because of its flaws, it shone out in the sense of realism.
Posted (on Xanga): November 23, 2008
Re-posted: Saturday, April 17th, 2010