The Men of Justice


Reviewed by: sukting

September 18, 2011

Rating: three-point-five

How long
36 episodes

Foreword
This is Tang Tak Hei's long awaited court drama after Files of Justice. It is also Cheung Mun Chi and Chan Kai Toi's last drama with ATV. How did all fare in this drama that includes ex-TVB artistes?

Story/Introduction on characters

1. Lam Mei Kei Maggie - Chan Sau Mun
Mei Kei marries young to have a daughter, Kar Chai but her ex-husband ditches her. She brings her up herself and becomes a lawyer with Chin Tong's help. She works in a private law firm but later decides to work as public counsel. She is serious in her work and isn't close to her subordinates.

However, all are easily won by her assertiveness and she is a flexible person. She is like a friend to Kar Kei but her main headache is her too when she becomes a lesbian. She doesn't understand what she wants and both have lots of conflicts. Chan still preserve her acting agility and shines in this drama as the upright lawyer who feels helpless when coming to solving Kar Kei's issue.

2. Fong Chi Ho Joe – Ng Kai Wah
He becomes a senior public prosecutor after causing a family tragedy indirectly and has his own principles. If not for Mei Kei, he could have been promoted. He is very observant and focused in his work to do his best. He also knows psychology well to understand other's feelings. His girlfriend, Lai Yee, stays overseas and he completely neglects her due to work. When he finally prepares to visit her, she asks him not to go.

A few weeks later, she dies mysteriously in Hong Kong and he is shattered upon going to the mortuary. He can't overcome his guilt and seeks to find the truth but to no avail. He is nearly scared to death by Ming Wah's love confession to reject her. She is unwell and has an accident overdose of sleeping pills. He mistakens that she tries committing suicide and treats her better.

After knowing the truth, he is amused but slowly accepts her. He suffers another blow when she falls down to her death from a building. He knows that Wai Sum is connected to several murderers but there is a lack of evidence. He loses his confidence in law and begins to take matters into his own hands.

He normally practices shooting when he is free so he gets a gun to shoot Wai Sum. He informs Ka Ming and Yiu Fai about it before surrendering himself to the police. Kai Wah acts well as professionals – thus he shines here again as a dedicated lawyer and boyfriend.

3. Tong Ka Ming Ben – Chan Kai Toi
Ka Ming grows up in an orphanage. He is wise and cool. Many admire his all roundedness in handling affairs as he is very sociable. He likes to joke with his friends. He strikes hard to get chances and reacts fast. He also knows how to enjoy life and keep up with the times. But he isn’t serious in relationships as he doesn’t grow up in a normal home. The only woman he has brought home to acknowledge as his girlfriend so far is Sera( Ho Cheuk Ying). However, he isn’t totally heartless.

The only people he are close to are Sister Maria from the orphanage and also Mei Mei. When Sister Maria is killed and Mei Mei is kidnapped, he mistakens as Tuck Chong’s doing to let him off the hook. He regrets upon knowing that the real culprit is someone else. Ka Ming is let off with a 3 month halt in practice and Chi Ho is very disappointed in him. He repents and helps them again later. I like his performance. It seems that he is indifferent but he isn’t. Ka Ming actually has a warm heart beneath his exterior.

4. Chow Kok Quen Winnie – Cheung Mun Chi
Many will wonder why she has a boyish name. Her grandfather has thought that she is a grandson before dying to give her the name. Her mother wants to change her name to Kok Ying but her father refuses. She comes from a poor family and dislikes the way the underworld harms the weak. Thus, she becomes a senior inspector of criminal department after her university education.

She is demanding to her subordinates to have zero sense of humour but is also concerned about them. She has hoped to marry Wai Sum after 2 years of dating but he becomes an undercover. She hasn’t lost her trust in him till she discovers many loopholes. She has no choice but to prepare to kill him. However, her attempt fails and she gets shot by him in the head instead. She is convincing but she doesn’t tie her hair so she doesn’t look like a cop that much as the rest.

5. Yeung Wai Sum Sam – Lui Chung Hin
He is chosen to be the undercover since day 1. He becomes very streetwise and cunning to make a name for himself within a short time. Soon, he becomes the second person in charge to gain their respect. However, he gets lost in the sea of fame. He loves the power and worries how life will be if he returns as a cop.

When he knows that Chi Ka is suspicious of him to get Ming Wah to check on him, he knows that he can't escape anymore. He can't trust love as well and goes for destruction. He starts killing one after another – starting from Chi Ka and senior inspector Cheng Wai who tries to extort him. He shoots Kok Quen in the head but Ming Wah’s incident is an accident.

It is puzzling that all these events happen in the same building but why is he not arrested as the main suspect? Still, it has been long since we have seen Chung Hin on screen and he is still remarkable in this villain role. Many love his gangster image and find it realistic although his role isn’t very important.

6. Mong Chi Sin Queenie – Man Yee Mun
Her parents die in a car crash and she is brought up by her uncle to become a pathologist like him. She is a close friend of Kok Quen. She loves drinking and smoking but she looks into many details. She feels sorry for Lai Yee and other victims so she checks into the case although the case is closed. Chi Ho talks to her over his problems and they seem to be like a couple strolling on the beach.

But alas, she is just a friend to him. Upon noticing that the women have changed a lot for this man, she seeks him out, using herself as a bait. Chi Ho and Kok Quen try to talk her out of it but to no avail. She has shed her demure image completely to be a strong-willed woman. Her choice to cut her hair short is right!

7. Wong Yiu Fai – So Wing Hong
He is Kar Ming's classmate who is brought up in a rich family. He is very calculative, sharp and careful. His marriage fails as his ex-wife finds him too boring. That breaks his heart and he never thinks that he is wrong and it takes him a long time to forget her. He gets to befriend a massage lady, Siu Chiu. She keeps delaying her payment when he takes up her case and he gets very frustrated.

He is even framed of molesting her and misconduct of having indecent act in public with a gay lawyer, Tin Yau to be brought to court. All wonder how he can get into such a big mess one after another as he is a pathetic victim. Yiu Fai has a serious back problem and can only be treated by her. They cohabit and both start to know each other better. They have to iron lots of differences. Wing Hong does a wonderful job to be the clown in the drama although his court scenes are not that many.

8. Loi Tak Chung Frankie – Ng Yin Yip
He is rich, powerful, scheming and also knowledgeable. He adjusts to changes quickly and wants to make sure that unlawful businesses become lawful soon. This is just an excuse to cover up his criminal activities. Many treat him as a diamond bachelor but he only has a woman in his life. He is very filial to his father and has never dreamed of Wai Sam will shoot him to replace him. He is seriously injured till the last episode, just like Kok Quen.

9. Tse Kiu – Lau Chuek Kei
She is very cheerful and loyal to friends. She treats the police station as her playground. She doesn't stick to rules and is very humourous. She loves Ming Wah and confesses to her when she stays with her. Of course, her love isn’t reciprocated but they stay as friends. She grieves hard over her death. A breakthrough in her role as we often see her as demure women all along in many dramas.

10. Sun Ming Wah Judy – Koo Zou Lam
She is clever and seems to need protection. She is Chi Ka's girlfriend. She has a quick mind and goes into crime psychology. Chi Ka wants her to become an undercover to check on Wai Sum. She keeps a diary of her observation. This naïve woman confesses this to Wai Sum. After knowing that Chi Ka makes use of her, she breaks up with him. She requests a transfer and gets into Kok Quen’s team.

She gets interested in Chi Ho and takes the initiative. When they finally become a couple, she discovers that she is ill and her memory slowly fades away. All jump when she can’t recall a thing to testify against Wai Sum in court. She has to go for treatment and Chi Ho stays be her side. Wai Sum kidnaps her and demands to know where the diary is. She can’t answer properly and tries to snatch a balloon, ending up falling to her death. I don’t really like this role as it is very inconsistent. So is the acting.

11. Yu Mei Lin Ivy – Loi Ching Ching
She is from China but works hard to the top. She is also witty but boring. Others find her lacking topics to chat with them. She is as steadfast as Ming Wah in love but her efforts do not pay off like her. Ka Ming often finds excuses not to meet her alone and will drag Yiu Fai with him. She has considered working in a private firm but Mei Kei dissuades her from it. This is the first time I see her acting as a lawyer. She seems awkward in the beginning but improves later.

12. Kong Ling Ling Karen – Sum Wing Ting
She is beautiful and also smart. She starts as Ka Ming’s pupil and respects him as her teacher. Later, she becomes independent to do her own cases but her lack of experience often causes her to meet setbacks. Soon, she finds herself admiring Ka Ming but isn’t sure whether he is her idol or ideal dream of a boyfriend. She acts naturally as the innocent and somewhat childish role.

13. Luk Siu Kit Martin – Chow Chi Ho
He is Chi Ho’s colleague who is calm and has plans for everything. He is a quiet person who prefers online games so he is skilful in this. He is 100% devoted to his job. Many find him not the kind of articulate lawyer they have in mind. He doesn’t mind it as his focus is on Mei Lin. He helps her whenever she needs and loves her secretly.

14. Siu Chiu – Tse Chi Hin
She comes from the same province as Gun Yan. She works as a massage lady but doesn’t want her mother to know about it. She is talkative and often sprouts nonsense, landing Yiu Fai into trouble repeatedly. She is attracted by his gentle and caring nature so she goes all out to get him. An amusing character that all either love or hate as her methods can be very extreme.

15. So Chan Hoi – Lam Shuet
He is an experienced cop who is very rugged. No one believes that he works hard as he has a poor memory and often makes mistakes. He is actually kind at heart and isn’t afraid of the evil. He will not give in easily. All make fun of him as he fails to date Chi Sin or Kok Quen out. He is single and desperate to get married.

16. Kwong Ka Chai – Ng Cheuk Hei
She is Mei Kei’s daughter and is grateful to what she has done for her so she respects her. Mei Kei also allows her to meet up with her father regularly. However, both women lack time to communicate with one another so she feels neglected. She can be defiant at times and declares openly that she is a lesbian to Chi Ho. She is detained after stalking a female classmate so she gets Chi Ho to bail her out.
This is before letting Mei Kei know about it. She plans to go for sex surgery and Mei Kei can’t accept this. Chin Tong and Chi Ho have to reduce their tension. They tell Mei Kei to accept what Ka Chai is and let her decide what she wants to do in future.

17. Chung Kin Kin – Tse Kwan Ho
After seeing Mei Kei alone for so many years, Chin Tong decides to introduce his businessman friend, Kin Kin. He is a gentleman and gets along well with Ka Chai so she likes him. She even teaches Mei Kei not to drive her car so that Kin Kin can come to fetch her. Kin Kin is patient with Mei Kei but he finds it hard to put up with her temperament at times. Thus, he suggests that they separate for a while but he later returns for her as he loves her too much.

18. Kong Li Chung Wan Laura – So Hing Hsuen
She is a retired lawyer and her children have migrated overseas. She can’t get used to the life overseas so she returns to set up a law firm to help the young. She is experienced and all go to her for help. Many call her the walking law dictionary as she knows everyone from the law world.

She shows concern to all and is well respected. Even Mei Kei dares not take her lightly when Mdm Kong defends for herself over a case. Mei Kei loses to her in the end as Mdm Kong proves her own innocence that she isn’t the one to kill her friend over her fortune. I am overjoyed to see her comeback! The last case is the highlight of the whole drama when we see two highly-regarded actresses acting against each other.

19. Fan Chi Ka – Chan Ka Fai
He is the senior inspector from the intelligence unit. He wants the glory for himself so he sends Wai Sum to go undercover. But he doesn’t trust him so he gets Ming Wah to check on him. He doesn’t let go any chance to move up the ladder. His weakness is speculating in shares and is made use by Wai Sum instead to borrow money from Tuck Chong.

Chi Ka wants Wai Sum to take the rap and Wai Sum throws him down the building. His death badly affects Ming Wah as she doesn’t know his problems at all and causes her illness indirectly. Magnificent performance from Ka Fai as this wicked role.

20. Mong Chi Keung – Wong Wan Choy
He is Chi Sin’s uncle to bring her up on his own. He is very positive and chatty. Unlike other pathologists, he wears simple clothes but is very professional. He will not let go of any minor details and does his job well. He meets Chi Sin daily but she will not let him know what she is doing. That is why he is shocked when knowing that she is going out with a dangerous man.

21. Wah Chin Tong – Poon Chi Mun
He is Mei Kei’s teacher and is a reputed senior judge. He has two children who lead their own lives. He is retired and lands into a money dispute case due to his children. He decides to take the rap for them since he is dying from cancer. Mei Kei takes up the case and is troubled when this happens. She decides to clear his name and persuades his children to own up.

22. Lam Kin – Lau Shek Hin
He works for Tuck Chong for the sake of his sick father. Tuck Chong’s father, Keng Kei (Lo Hoi Pang) sponsors his studies so he becomes their law consultant. He knows how the underworld functions and gets lots of money. His only wish is to end all these soon and enjoy a retired life.

23. Poon Yuk Lam – Leung Mun Yee
She is Yiu Fai’s ex-wife. After her divorce, she gets a new love. Yiu Fai doesn’t want to lose out to her but feels shameful in admitting Siu Chiu to be his girlfriend. Siu Chiu is hurt by this. But after straightening out his thoughts, their relationship becomes open and she is overjoyed.

24. Ling Gun Yan – Ng Ting Yan
She is from China and becomes an actress. She looks weak but she seizes all the chances by herself. She has only wanted money from Tuck Chong first to be his kept woman but slowly falls for him. She feels insecure and Tuck Chong gets impatient when she keeps asking for more. Thus, he gets his men to slap him to teach her a lesson. Actually, this is due to Wai Sum creating discord between them. When Tuck Chong is injured, she stays by him and is prepared to marry him.

25. Kok Ho Lok – Lam Wan Chung, Jenny – Ng Kar Sing
He has lots of energy in work but can be careless at times. He loves watching criminal dramas and often imagines himself to be a cool cop. However, he is weak in physique so he can only work in the forensic department. His partner, Jenny pairs up with him well and they often come up with the results quickly.

26. Ah Toi – Ng Wai Lok
He is Wai Sum’s hackery and is loyal to him and is grateful to him for saving his life. However, his impulsive nature lands him in trouble frequently. He discovers that Wai Sum is an undercover cop and contemplates telling Tuck Chong. Wai Sum notices that and quickly reveals his identity to Tuck Chong to offer to kill Chi Ka for him.

27. Chung Kok Ho – Lee Yun Ki
He is a dedicated cop who is from intelligence. But he mingles well with colleagues from criminal department. He often tells them news of Pang Sir (Kwan Hoi Lun) and Siu Sir(Lo Nam Kong) to keep them prepared as they check into Chi Ka’s case.

28. Sister Sa – See Ming, Judge Ko – Kong Tu , Judge Fong – Lee Ying
The judges are fair. Although they are stern, they give equal time to both sides to present the evidence to court. Sister Sa will not voice her disapproval but her staring is obvious. As for Judge Ko, he will call both lawyers to him to ask why they waste time and money on petty cases. As for Judge Fong, no one can read her expression from her face so they need to guess.

29. Lau Mei Mei – Chan Sau Har
The lawyers go to her bar for relaxation after work. She is interested in Ka Ming but knows that he will not be tied down easily. Still, she is touched to know how he has sacrificed over her kidnap.

30. Lee Hong Chau – Ngai Chun Kit
He is the serial killer who harmed all the women. All of them change their favourite colours and dressing due to him. They also start to read architecture books to please him. Chi Sin goes all out to attract him and brings him home in the last episode. He has wanted to kill her but he can’t as she is a pathologist and he is sure that she will leave clues. Strange that Chi Sin wants to be the heroine and not to tell the others about her plan. Because they do not believe her?

Most favourite character
Chi Ho, he has tried his best to balance career and love and fails in both. It is so pathetic that he loses both women that he loves deeply and have to face them in the mortuary. His fate is just like Paul in ‘Healing Hands’ – sometimes I wonder – does Tang Tak Hei enjoy seeing Ng Kai Wah suffer?

Most hated character
Ming Wah – she is very annoying. Her attitude completely puts me off! She doesn’t deserved being loved by Chi Ho at all.

Song
There is no song – a piece of music from Wong Sheung Wai. It has the shadow of ‘Files of Justice’ but is still pleasant to listen to.

Interesting facts

Kai Wah is now a part-time ATV artiste. Before this drama was shown in Hong Kong, he wasn’t sure if the entire drama would be dubbed. Luckily it didn’t as many liked his soothing voice. Chung Hin’s role was similar to ‘Internal Affairs’. He met his ex-girlfriend, Yee Mun again but they are still friends since they have different spouses.

This drama was shot in 2008 using high definition. Some said that it has the shadow of ‘Files of Justice’ but Tang Tak Hei denied. A producer owed Tang the shooting fees that he needed to pay the co-workers who worked behind the scenes so he was disappointed when the person kept avoiding him. He had no choice but to make a police report. Kai Toi and Mun Chi were thankful that their fees were not owed as they were ATV artistes then.

Lam Suet and Jo Lam had to get lawyers to get the remaining pay. They trusted Tang and waited for the result. That was why it dragged for 2 years to be shown in Hong Kong. Ting Yan only got her pay when the drama was shown.

The peak was 6 points which was the highest so far for recent ATV dramas. But if it was shown over TVB, the result might be different. There are 2 endings. One has Cho Ho shooting Wai Sum on the head while the other has Wai Sum calling the police for help. I get to watch the second ending over local TV. Many had thought that the tv version will be longer than the dvd version but all are being ridiculed by ATV again! Thus, all can only hope that there will be a sequel.

Conclusion

Unlike ‘Files of justice’ that was shown in bright colours, this drama is reflected in gloomy colours. The atmosphere is heavy as many victims are killed and tragedies happen non-stop. Tang is ambitious to name it as 'The men of justice' after 'Files of justice'.

Many cases are exciting and will definitely attract your eyeballs. That is why it receives good reviews. It has a direct impact on the lives of the lawyers and cops. Still, they adjust their moods to cheer themselves in the bar at night and manage to crack jokes with one another.

Fortunately, the dialogues remain comical and intellectual – that is the typical and unique Tang Tak Hei style that no one can imitate. Although half the cast are ATV newcomers, they mingle well with the ex-TVB staff. It came as a surprise and I was also delighted to see so many familiar artistes who had retired long ago to be on screen again.

Unfortunately, the ending sucks! Like others, I grumble about the ending. I nearly curse and swear at it. Many parts are left unexplained. Did Hong Chau do anything to Chi Sin? Did Wai Sum, Kok Quen and Tuck Chong survive? It is said that ATV left the decision made through online polling – isn’t this a rash move? I am sure many will wish to know if Wai Sum and Kok Quen end up together again. I hope this will not take us too much time to wait too long for the answer.

Sukting's ratings:

On acting : ***1/2 (Scale of 5)

On story : ***1/2 (Scale of 5)

On music : **** (Scale of 5)


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