S Storm

It has been a while since I watched a serious movie. I especially watched this because of Vic. Yes, I liked some of the other cast members too, but when I saw Vic’s name while browsing on Netflix, I had to jump in. And for the record, I didn’t watch the previous movie, Z Storm. Like I said, I was just jumping in for a Vic movie, considering how I haven’t watched him since The Flame’s Daughter. So how was it?

First off, the many familiar faces were making me feel nostalgic for some reason. Then there were the fresh faces to keep the balance with the rest of the audience as well. It was a typical cop movie yet brought forth many interesting characters to crank up the hype for the plot. I especially enjoyed Louis and Julian’s, Luk Sir and Lau Sir, banters at various points. I also loved Ada’s Wong Man Ling’s cleverness and her quick-witted nature. She proved to be a great asset for the team with her deduction skills and her fast reactions at times. Moreover, Tammy Tam’s kickass scenes brought another level of greatness into the movie. We got to see her contribution to the team as an overall when she was with them, but also individually when she was sent to Shenzhen to track a certain lead. It was intense and showed her capabilities at the restaurant. Although she encountered a setback during the fight scene, it showed a realistic side of the situation. That little delay didn’t deter her though since she soon got up after having some help and chased after the two suspects and managed to get their license plate as well.

Perhaps, the weakest link among the many characters and/or cast was Dada Chan’s Ebby Lau. I felt her best scenes were actually with her brother, Lau Sir, and not Vic. The highlight of her appearance (and it showed through her acting) was the part at the bar where she confronted her brother–even if she didn’t say it out directly in regard to their relation, but just told their tragic story from her point of view. Moreover, the scene where she called Luk Sir to the bar wasn’t too much of a scene for her, but it showed that she cared for her brother, despite her tough words previously. It was hard not to soften a bit after witnessing her brother’s devasted state. Her second touching scene with her brother was obviously the scene where he came to negotiate the terms and exchange himself for her. It showed their bond and it made her realize that he had changed, no longer the gambling addict like in the past. He was willing to sacrifice himself for her, that they were family. If I was able to list all the good parts of her, why was she the weakest link, right? I thought her playful scenes were a bit out of place for the rest of the movie–although that was just a part of her character. I felt she was a bit unnatural when she was interacting with Vic’s character, trying to get him to notice her more. Perhaps, her playful side and her carefree nature were what drawn Song Yan Sheun in, and made him realize other things in life. Yet Dada’s performance wasn’t as solid as the scenes that I mentioned above. I liked the serious talk at times that she had with Vic’s character though. In those scenes, she seemed more natural. Perhaps, she wasn’t that good with comedy? I never watched her before so I don’t know. But that was my interpretation when I saw her in this movie.

Although I said Dada was the weakest link in here, she was still crucial to the plot–especially tying back to Vic’s character. However, I felt the most irrelevant character must be Bowie Lam’s Terry Lun. Sure, he was the one who leaked the information to ICAC about the misdeeds within the Jockey Club thus leading to the launch of the investigation in the first place, setting forth a chain of events. Yet I felt if it wasn’t him, it could just be anyone else discovering it and leaking the information out. That same principle applied to the pen that he discovered later thus leading to his death. Anyone else could have discovered and died too and it wouldn’t make a difference if his character wasn’t there. I felt having the character around was just a notch too bloated for the already crowded star-dubbed cast. It didn’t really contribute much to the plot as an overall. It only stretched out some more details and a side distraction regarding Luk Sir’s background. Sure, having his character there made him suspicious and sort of covered up who the real culprit within the club was–as it was revealed near the end. Yet again, as I mentioned before, they could have just plugged in some random person at that club and it would have the same effect. Considering how he wasn’t the main villain–or wasn’t even one of the masterminds of the grand scheme anyway, it was a waste of time for his story arch, to say the least.

The ending? It made me feel like I was choking by the time the final battle scene rolled around. The fact that they teased us with allowing Vic’s character, Song Yan Sheun, to be present for the most crucial moment was clever in some ways. However, it turned out to be a major disappointment as seconds passed and he was out of the picture again. It seemed like a slap in the face for Vic fans. I knew that Luk Sir and Lau Sir were the highlights of the movie, considering how they were introduced and how their story played out later. However, considering how Vic was listed among the top three main leads, I felt it was justified that the rest of us felt robbed. He also appeared first as a setup for the first nerve-racking chase scene and later became the reason for half of the police force’s headaches. Perhaps, having him appearing less throughout created this mysterious aura for him. Yet it didn’t make me feel better with all the teasing throughout with the occasional scenes here and there of his background. Then, it was humanizing him during the scenes with Ebby. To finally, dismissing him completely as another character among all these twisted schemes by the so-called masterminds.

What saved the ending for me was knowing that Shek Sau’s character, Ha Chi Yin, didn’t escape in the end. He was caught by Luk Sir’s team when he was at the airport, attempting to make a clean exit out of the country. If he had escaped, I don’t think anyone would’ve lived it down. But I had to admit having him being the villain was a surprising twist for me, considering how I was betting (pun intended) Bowie Lam’s character to be the villain-aka the one being in cahoot with the other dude.

So recommended? I felt it was a really good movie on its own. Since I didn’t watch the other movies relating to the theme–as said before, I can’t comment. But by itself, it was good. It was just not a good movie to catch for Vic fans. Sure, his role was unique in its own way. I felt he lived up to the challenge of taking on yet another role in a serious movie. However, if you were fangirling, there was no point, lol. Let’s face it, any fangirl would be greedy to want more of their favorites. I’m guilty of that too and I’m not going to lie.

*All images were collected around the net hence belonging to their rightful owners.

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ATV’s Who Is The Killer

I haven’t watched anything that inspired me to blog about it in awhile. At least not the HK related ones. Yet this one just made me jump to blog without caring if it was good or not. I meant I started writing since I started the series and continued watching on throughout. Hey, ATV addict alert, so yeah…always so good to see the old gang portraying different roles. Not to mention it was a cop one so I was glued from the start.

Main Cast/ Characters:

  • Stephen Au as Bat Ga Yung (畢家勇) aka Bat Sir (畢Sir). It had been a while since watching a Stephen role that was worth mentioning. Glad that I stumbled upon it. Anyway, he was clever and witty. But that didn’t mean he was so into the cases that he forgot to live his life (like as often portrayed with those main guy cop roles). We got to learn more about him throughout and between the cases. For instance, he was such a good chef that he would use his delicacies to bribe his team to work harder, lol. Then it was later revealed that he used to be a chef at some restaurant hence his good culinary skills and laid-back nature. He also had a spunky sister (who was kind of on the nut side, lol).
  • Joey Meng as Bonnie. A cop role and not to mention a stubborn, kind of smart-aleck one. YES, fitted all of her usual roles at times, mostly the stubborn and smart-aleck combination. Yet it was different because she was not a pro like some of the other ones yet still ran her mouth at times. It didn’t mean she was not good at anything though since her advantage of being transferred from the Missing Persons Department helped them and got Bat Sir quite impressed with her during the first meeting (after the initial fallout since she was late to the crime scene). Her comments at times and her analysis helped drive the case forward also. ‘Cause her perspective was different from them so it helped with some missing details or how they would think too complicatedly about certain matters. Her connections definitely helped also. Though she was from a rich family, but she was not spoiled at all, kind of sarcastic at times, but not rude or plain disrespectful to anyone on the team. Then there was her huge appetite that made it so hilarious. We also learned that she was allergic to flowers when her lawyer boyfriend sent her some flowers and she sneezed on sight and even tossed it into the trash afterward.
  • Yung Kam Cheung. Finally a role worth watching after years. I meant I remembered him portraying bigger roles for ATV than the usual for TVB. BUT like that was news so let’s not even go there, right? A very sharp character, always knowing his way around and proved to be a great senior for Bonnie and others. Though it seemed like there was not much background information on him but his history came forward with the third case regarding how he became a cop because of his brother.
  • Yeung Chak Lam as Uncle Kong. One of my favorite veteran actors and funny that I don’t remember seeing him in modern series as much as ancient. Really enjoyed his performance as the veteran cop in here, knowing his way around yet trying to adapt to the changing technology around him. And this was proving to people that he honestly didn’t need an exaggerated script or like super ‘breakthrough’ role to make his character shine without trying too hard. He had his own part in the team and how his character was so brilliant yet sarcastic made it so hilarious. It was interesting to watch him portray a comedic character–at least off-work. Then professionally, he was just so brilliant and cunning. People nowadays were so dept on wanting an important role and the right script, but he proved that he didn’t need those ‘overhype’ roles to make his character interesting. It was all about good acting, NOT those caviars.
  • Gilbert Lam as Robert. Cute. LOL! Though projecting a nerd look but he still managed to make his character so charming and brilliant at the same time. He didn’t appear much but I loved the little that he did since it managed to bring forth some hilarious and/or witty exchange between him and the rest of the team. Though he was not really considered to be a main character, since he was part of the team, I just wanted to include him.

The Team:

  • The bond between the four main characters. I loved it that they could get so random that it turned into being ridiculous yet also maintained its charm between the cases. Their conversations filled up the character background and some developments throughout.
  • Uncle Kong and Bonnie. It was funny how he often used his ‘veteran’ status to ‘teach’ her. LOL! It was really funny and not overly done. Like she was willing to admit that he was right though they didn’t say as much (or it would be overkilled). Or he would be willing to admit that she had some talent. But then there were signs that he was willing to help her with all his sincerity at times, like opening that one drawer for her. Or how she was giving him compliments.

Pairings:

  • Stephen Au and Joey Meng as Bat Sir and Bonnie. It was funny that she was joking about following him for the rest of his life upon tasting his delicacies. And that was messed up that his sister teamed up with the others to play a trick on him regarding how she said she confirmed that Bonnie liked Bat Sir. LOL! I had a hard time believing that she didn’t like him though since she seemed really suspicious. Plus how she reacted upon knowing about his sister, she got all friendly instead of somewhat of an awkward situation and somewhat wanting to distance herself from the so-called ‘girlfriend’. If there were more episodes, they might have gotten together? Still funny.
  • Gilbert Lam and Joey Meng as Robert and Bonnie. I found it interestingly cute that he was introducing himself to Bonnie before proceeding to tell them of what he found out through the search on the computer (while they were discussing some details of the case). Then there was also the part where he was roused up in the middle of the night by the others to search some information for them, so he was getting kind of touchy (but just slightly) because they kept rushing him. But when Bonnie made a request for him to zoom into the photo, he said, “Anything for you” with a smile. That was cute all right. (This reminded me of Crossborder Daddy though this series was before that. Need to hunt down past series where they were actually a pair–and for a longer time than that of what happened in Crossborder Daddy. Were there any?)

Cases:

  • Case #1: A warm-up, right? Seemed too easy. Catfight, kidnapping, accident, murder, and cover-up. But it had some character development with the main cast and how each used his/her talent to work the cases. Sometimes it didn’t take technology to solve it, but brainwork. Average regarding complexity but showed that they didn’t need to rely so heavily on technology to solve the case.
  • Case #2: I think it was supposed to be Case #1 since they were focusing on this one serial killer but got side-tracked ’cause of the copy-cat schemes from the other one. Sad, very sad ending really.
  • Case #3: It really emphasized the point of the bonds between the sworn brothers yet too bad someone had to use their trust for his own benefit. Quite meaningful and touching on some levels.
  • Case #4: Tragic to death.
  • Case #5: Great one since it was very confusing and complex with how everyone was moving the body around. A lot of brainwork involved.

Careless Bits (YES, they had these. Though I’m an ATV fan but I’m not delusional, I know when they’re not perfect.):

  • GLOVES. Hello, people. They were going to get their fingerprints on there too if they handled the evidence found at the scenes like that. Though during the first case, it was shown how they were carefully using a pen to lift the hair out of the bathtub but might want to wear gloves to make sure it was not contaminated. (Weren’t they prepared for anything when they were doing a house search?) Then during the second case, I noticed how Bonnie was being scolded for not wearing gloves. It made sense since they had to be careful. Yet what was odd was they only wear gloves or seemed to be wearing gloves when they were investigating the crime scene like the first time during discovery. Then other times, it was like they didn’t need to or didn’t care to. Not sure. But should’ve been more careful than that.

KEEP IN MIND:

  • Time frame so NOT as advanced technology. So you might want to check it out for the cast (or some of the cast) BUT don’t be stumped by the outdated technological tools/devices/gadgets. PLEASE keep in mind it was 1996. What did you expect?

Even though it was really short but I really liked it–regardless of its careless flaws at times. There was more brainwork that made up for it. Then there was also the lack of side-story. YES, people might think that it was annoying with so little of character focus with the main cast and there were no love relations–at least not so intense like other series. Yet I found it really nice that way since I hate it overlapping cases, making it a romance more than a cop story. So that was good that they didn’t stretch it out to the point of annoying on relationships. They managed to get in character development with the main cast throughout. It wasn’t like anyone of the cast was robbed yet they still created a vivid personality for each. Through the cases and some side conversations, we know of their personalities. So it was a great one for me with most of the focuses on the case.