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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Twilight Investigation

I never thought my TVB drama of the year would actually start with this one. Serious! Well, I blame my sister because she was skipping around to watch her favorite Shek Sau, LOL! Though it couldn’t be counted for being new as of this year because I sort of step out of anything HK related for a while. But anyway, how was it? Average actually though I did watch from episode 1 to 20 without skipping around. Yes, I was that fair though I felt some parts could do without and others could be developed upon. But what do I expect when it’s a TVB drama, eh? Moving on, right?

The Goods:

  • Shek Sau as Yip Kwok Cheung (葉國昌). I don’t know. I just can’t stop laughing at him. He’s what they call “smart at work, dumb at home” type of person. ‘Cause honestly, he was so pro and cool when he worked on the cases but when he was at home, he was like so out of it, so lost. He had to take care of half of the people’s mess in here and seemed to let others take advantage of him. I wonder if the idea with the way he dressed was incorporated in so it showed the differences when he was at work or home. He was so slick at work with the hair up and all, but his hair was all ruffled up and his clothes laid-back at home. Well, it would make sense since most of us are that way, but the way he let Ho Yan took advantage of him was so pitiful.
  • Raymond Wong as Chow Ka Sing (周家昇). I’ve been enjoying his performances lately. It wasn’t because he was getting better roles (kind of but it has nothing to with the factor that would get me to like someone more or less), but more like I’m getting used to his way of acting. He sure surprised me with his funny side. Okay, he was funny in A Great Way to Care as well but it was different. He was acting so macho and all in here yet could be a big baby at times as well. The fact that they add even more to his personality made it addicting. The scene between him and Billy with his wanting to shoo Billy away was so touching, and then the part where Billy brought some food and his favorite drink for him was equally touching. (Sometimes it makes you wonder that bonds between two people transcend that of the bloodline. After all, Billy did live with him throughout all these years. It’s hard to just cut off the relation like that.)
  • Queenie Chu as Mandy. I wasn’t sure if I would like her in here though I did enjoy her other past performances. Yet I guess it would be safe to say that she was extremely misled at one point. She can’t be too perfect, right? Sad that it happened yet I’ll let it slide since the family of three reunited again.
  • Raymond and Queenie as a couple. I didn’t know if it was going to work or not. But I found it refreshing. It was actually better than some of his past co-stars. I’m so serious here. I could see sparks between them and then there was the whole feeling with their family.
  • Johnson Lee as Wang Siu Fu (王小虎). At first, I thought he was portraying some typical bad guy again. I’m serious. I didn’t read spoilers this time and it seemed suspicious. Yet there was this different story about it. His strong sense of loyalty to his boss sort of reminded me of his character in Split Second. But I was glad it led into a different path–or it would end in the usual, cliche route. Anyway, I think Johnson has a knack for comedy without trying too hard. He could keep a straight face while saying one of the funniest lines ever. Honestly, I couldn’t stop laughing because of how passive he was while he was saying those lines. It was of course intended for sarcastic humor–and he succeeded. (At least I thought so.)
  • Oceane Zhu as Bing Bing (冰冰). I like seeing her being the chameleon at times throughout different cases. She could be seductive or serious or cool at any moment. Cool character? Not sure because of that so it helped her acting more but not bad at all. I will hold my judgment since it is just my first series of her. (Or so I could remember.)
  • Johnson and Oceane. I’m a sucker for such a mysterious story. LOL! But they were quite cute together without trying too hard. One of the funniest parts with them was seeing how she had to rescue him out of the sticky situation when he got them busted, and then he had to stand aside and hold her purse while she fought off those men. LOL! Priceless! Oh yeah, the part near the end where she hired bodyguards stationed at the door to protect him was so funny as well. Gotta watch out for her man, eh? The most ironic thing was how he used to be in a gang so he should be able to fend for himself, right?
  • Power Chan as 977. Always like Power and another enjoyable performance. He made the scene even more lively with his enthusiasm and really brought out his character at various points with his charm.
  • Lau Dan as So Kam Lam (蘇鑑林). He was just around at times. Yet he got some more screen time in one of the cases to develop his character even more. Let’s just say the man hasn’t lost it. Kudos!
  • The bond between 977 (Power) and Uncle Kam (Lau Dan). I really liked it that 977 was so loyal to Uncle Kam, always supporting him and following him to different places even if the old man can’t see him (at least not the majority of the series). Their talk in prison was one of those memorable scenes between them, so touching. (Yeah, I’m a sucker for that as well.)

Other Notable Performances:

  • Lam King Kong as Tse Po Chuen (謝保全). I always liked him though he was in the background most of the time, portraying various roles. He doesn’t disappoint this time either. Quite convincing as the mentally challenged person. (And he did get a part where he played the possessed person–aka the part where Power’s character, 977, entered his body.)
  • Ram Tseung as Mok Chun Chung (莫鎮忠). I swear, I was so convinced he was innocent and got framed. Then I was so taken with the possessed part that I didn’t realize his character was actually responsible for the fire after all. He sure did it with acting all innocent and kind, but transferred to a revenge-fused madman. AND then out of control ghost. Or should we call him a ghoul? Or monster? Since the regular ghost (according to the to the plot) learn things bit-by-bit, not advance so much like him when he turned and was able to cause so much harm–due to the hatred that was inside him.
  • Jimmy Au as Cheng Nam (鄭南). Okay, he only appeared a bit throughout flashbacks and I’m so cheating here to put him in. Yet I found it somewhat refreshing to watch him in such a role instead of another typical villain. Maybe the story did help.

Torn:

  • Wong Hei as Encore. I guess I like him. Yet I can’t decide since the later parts ruined it somewhat with his mushy scenes with Linda. I don’t doubt his performance. But I think the plot ruined his character. The finale of the ending scenes leading up to his character’s death brought the story back on track. But that was that.

Somewhat Strange/Surprising:

  • Shek Sau and Rebecca? Honestly? Have they ever paired up in the past before? I’m just wondering since I did not watch every single TVB series. Kind of strange to take in at first yet I guess it’s not too bad because they do match to some extent that did not make it too odd in here.

ODD TO DEATH:

  • Wong Hei and Linda!!! What? Okay, I’m not picking on his age. Or hers. I do like older man and younger woman pairing to some extent. And I often leave the option open since some of the collaborations have surprised me in the past. But I find it really odd with this two together. I rather they (the scriptwriters) not include the romance part between these two. But I guess it’s always typical TVB to romanticize everything.

OUTRAGEOUS:

  • They demoted Ben Wong? Like again? I guess he wouldn’t want to be the goody-two shoe for too long or he would get rusty with his acting or be tossed into just one category. Yet I was getting used to seeing him trying out some roles such as the humorous dude, the cool cop, the somewhat clueless guy, etc. What happened? Is this going to turn into a pattern? Hope not. But he was convincing as the calm, patient boyfriend and father at first–and then showing his true colors later.

FEELING ROBBED:

  • How Siu Ho (Johnson) and Bing Bing (Oceane) got together. What? I know how they got together through some minor scenes and some of their recounts later on. Yet I felt robbed. I want more of the story development. If they had cut out some random/mushy scenes between Wong Hei and Linda, then it might work out. YES, mean, but I rather see more scenes of Johnson and Oceane. There could be more room to develop.
  • How in the world did that creep reporter get together with Leng Mui? I’m so serious here. I didn’t see that coming. I know surprises happen but it has to make sense. He seemed like a creep at that one gathering along with his jerk friends. What changed? Well, he could dump his girlfriend, etc YET I’m not totally convinced. I know I said I’m not into gift-wrapping and some things are good being left with some mystery and staying unexplained BUT this isn’t one of the cases that I could let slide.

SHORT CONCLUSION: Cases are nice to watch and some relations are fun to see BUT the main couple’s romance kind of suck.

Recommended? Kind of. Don’t take it seriously though since it’s mostly a comedy. (DUH, RIGHT?)