Who's the Hero


Reviewed by: sukting

December 13, 2011

Rating: two-point-five

How long
30 episodes

Foreword
When I first looked at the title, I thought ATV had invited Chan Ting Wai to make a comeback. What a surprise to see Chi Lam and Siu Fun instead – how did they fare in their debut ATV drama?

Story/Introduction on characters

1. Fu Kam Bo (Sup Zai) – Cheung Chi Lam
He is Dou's biological son but Dou abandons him when he is pursued by Fung Ming's killers. Fung Ming is enraged that Dou doesn't love her to do this and Kam Bo's mother is killed in the process. Siu Bo and Chau Har adopt him and he shows his gambling talents since young. He is called sup Zai as he is taken back home by his parents.

When he grows up, he works in Bo Kei part-time while working as a custom officer. He is about to marry Far Shun when he gets involved in gambling with Wah. He uses Far Shun as a stake and loses to Fat. Far Shun hates him and he has to fight hard to win her back from Kit Hak. He now works under Fung Ming.

They try marrying a second time but this time, Fei is being kidnapped by Dou's men. Far Shun gets disillusioned and leaves him. Kam Bo acknowledges Dou and becomes ruthless. Fortunately, he realizes his mistake and wins him in a gambling game in the final round. He leaves the gambling world to marry Far Shun and manages Bo Kei again.

I can never associate Chi Lam with gambling because of his boyish face. He looks too honest. But I must praise him for looking young. Although he handles the emotional scenes well especially on how he loses Far Shun, I still don't find him powerful enough in gambling scenes. He lacks the look. In my mind, Ting Wai is still my only choice.

2. Tong Far Shun – Choi Siu Fun
She is Kam Bo's sweetheart and also works in the medical shop that her parents own. Her parents are gamblers so she vows never to marry a gambler. Thus, Kam Bo quits gambling but still gives the last try on their wedding day. After Kam Bo forsakes her, she turns to work for Kit Hak to pay off the debts. She pretends to be his girlfriend but Leung gets along well with her and encourages both to be a couple.

Still, she maintains a platonic relationship with him by helping him only in his career. Soon, she discovers that Kit Hak frames Kam Bo of cheating at his casino. She is disappointed and returns to Kam Bo. But seeing how Kam Bo is to ill treat all his friends, she chooses to support Kit Hak when he loses his casino.

Kam Bo has to change to win her back. This time round, they get married quietly and spend their honeymoon without any more disturbances from anyone else. There is no surprise in Siu Fun’s acting as she has played too many loud spoken roles before.

3. Chiang Wah (Pointed head) – To Man Chak
He is a gambler and lures Kam Bo into gambling. He wants to do his fellow villagers proud and earns enough money to cure his sister. He treats Wah as his buddy but he often gets into trouble for being reckless. He has hoped to become Yiu Chung's disciple but Kam Bo is chosen instead. He is in love with Fei and is sad that she doesn't love him. He is disappointed that Kam Bo wrongs him and jumps to his death from the bridge. I dislike his exaggerating way of acting – he never changes all these years. He is fat and the part where he pretends to be a woman will surely make you puke.

4. Lui Kit Hak – Wong Chung Yiu
His father owns the casino so he is the GM. Fung Ming wants to set marriage for him between a rich man’s daughter but he pushes Far Shun out as his shield. Slowly, he admires her naïve and simple ways to like her. He even prevents her from getting back to Kam Bo. His father’s death gives him a big blow but she is beside him to console him. He concentrates on managing the casino but Leung’s past intimate photos tamper the reputation very badly.

To save the casino, Kit Hak has to gamble with Kam Bo. He loses and becomes emotionally unstable. He starts to imagine that Jou is present and practises gambling again. Kam Bo also discovers that he is being made use by Dou and combine forces with him to win the casino back. Knowing that Far Shun can never love him, he puts all his energy on work. I have never seen this actor before but he acts quite well. It helps when he resembles veteran actor, Ko Hung in looks to give the air of authority.

5. Yuen Fei – Chan Yik Hsuan
She is Yiu Chung’s adopted daughter who is more capable in stealing than gambling. She is peeved that Far Shun misunderstands Kam Bo and often finds fault with her. She later falls for Kam Bo and often finds chances to break them up. However, she straightens her thoughts and becomes an air stewardess after Kam Bo’s retirement from the gambling circle.

6. Lui Leung – Tsang Kong
He is the owner of the casino who has gone through a lot of hardship. He is sore of losing to Dou once and pampers Kit Hak rotten when young. Yet, he is very strict with him when he grows up but Kit Hak is very defiant. Both never say how they love each other. Although he gives Fung Ming lots of power, he also knows what she wants so he gives the bulk of his wealth to Kit Hak in his will. To him, she is only a devil who wants to change into different forms but fails.

7. Sum Fung Ming – Fan Yik Mun
She is Dou's ex-lover. When Dou forsakes her, she marries Leung at the age of 18. She never expects him to have such a long life as she has to stick with him for 30 years. She is also the GM of the casino and expects more when the will is read after Leung’s death. She is dismayed when Leung only leaves her a small villa and a small casino. She has to start from scratch as this small casino loses money.

She gets Kam Bo and Wah to work for her. Kam Bo brings in ideas but Wah gives her trouble. She forces him to leave. She then gets to meet Dou again and gets her men to beat him up. However, she later forgives him and is worried that Kam Bo will get to know of the past. She treats him like a younger brother now.

Dou creates discord to pretend that Kam Bo wants to kill her. In reality, he causes the car accident. Fung Ming is disheartened to see how she is disfigured and jumps to her death. Fan is still so pretty and elegant after so many years – I wonder how she preserves her looks?

8. Wong Dou – Tsui Siu Keung
He is Kam Bo'[s biological father and gambling is in his genes. He pretends to be a gardener to appear before all after so many years. He has never forgotten his dream to be the top world gambling king. Even though, he has stomach cancer, he refuses to give up. He even kills Kam Bo’s close ones in order to make him work for him. Kam Bo is saddened that he has never treated him like his son and gives no mercy even though he kidnaps Far Shun’s family to threaten him.

Kam Bo knows that Fei will save them out and records Dou’s confession to send him to jail. Dou never expects that his determination causes him to kill the cancer cells and he has to spend his remaining years in jail. What an absurd excuse! How Tsui has aged all these years – I doubt many will recognize him although his acting power stays!!

9. Lam Jou – Lau Wing
He is only an image that Kit Hak sees. He is like a teacher to him to soothe his moods and gives him encouragement. He even guides him how to use determination to switch the cards. Another surprise to see him here – he also bloated in size. Time never waits for all of us.

10. Fu Siu Bo – Chan Gun Toi
He is Bo Kei’s confectionary boss. He once works in the casino to find Kam Bo to bring him home. He makes sure that Kam Bo doesn’t get into gambling by quitting his job. He is a very mild person but will seek to do anything to protect Kam Bo. He tries to tell Kam Bo about Dou’s misdeeds but is killed instead. The third surprise to see another veteran actor here and he does well as the loving father.

11. Uncle Dong – Lee Long Gei
He works in the casino after his father but Leung treats him like dirt. Thus, he becomes corrupted and earns commission. He later gets into cahoots with Fung Ming and Dou. He is the one to reveal Leung's intimate photos to Kam Bo to bring Kit Hak’s downfall. Even Fung Ming doesn’t know the secret.

12. Lee Chau Ha – Ng Yuen Yee
She is Siu Bo's wife who is still addicted to gambling after her resignation from the casino. She often gets help from Kam Bo to win from Har Shun’s parents. Upon knowing that Dou is back, she is frightened that Dou will ask for him back. She is also silenced to death with Siu Bo for knowing Dou's misdeeds. Their bodies are often discovered much later.

13. Sheh Yiu Chung – Wong Shu Tong
He is an experienced cheat and teaches Kam Bo all he knows. He and his disciples help Kam Bo to set a trap for Fat to win Kam Bo's money back. He then leaves them to go on tour. Upon his return, he gets disturbed that they work for Dou. He has cheated Dou’s money in the past and wants to leave the country with Fei. However, Ah Mao kills him and Fei thinks that he abandons her. She only learns that she wrongs him after his body is found with the Fus’ bodies.

14. Ah Mao – Lai Dang Ken
He is Yiu Chung's disciple who is greedy. He helps Kam Bo initially but his personality changes after working for Dou. He not only kills Yiu Chung but he also kills Kam Bo’s parents under Dou’s command. Fei later hits him hard when she rescues Far shun’s family from him.

15. Tong Heng Fat – Kong To
He is an impulsive gambler but dotes on his daughter. He hopes that she will marry a rich man one day but doesn’t oppose to Kam Bo to be with Far Shun.

16. Chiu Yuk Kiu – Wong Mun Wai
She is also an impulsive gambler and worries when Far Shun’s two weddings are ruined. She hopes that Far Shun will accept Kit Hak but she still prefers Kam Bo.

17. Ou Yeung Fat – Lam Wai
He is a shrewd gambler but Kam Bo finally sees through his tricks after learning from Yiu Chung. He is contented after winning him till the extent that he uses his wife as a stake like him.

18. Chiang Wai – Lau Mei Han
She is Wah’s younger sister who suffers from heart disease. She frequently writes to Kam Bo and dies before Wah can ask Kam Bo for money to seek treatment. This makes Kam Bo regret his action.

Most favourite character
Kam Bo, he is loyal to friends and steadfast in love. But he is too softhearted to be made use by Dou.

Most hated character
Dou, other people will be resting while he is still fighting for power when ill. He simply doesn’t know how and when to stop killing.

Song
It is sung by Hang Suet Hak who is the first runner-up in ATV's starliught singing contest. His singing is quite alright.

Interesting facts

Most scenes were shot in China and Macau for realistic feel. However, the ratings were as low as 10% so the efforts did not pay off. Many grumbled that Siu Fun’s voice was dubbed due to her contract with TVB. However, they could listen to Chi Lam’s and Mun Chak's voices loud and clear. Siu Fun also found it a pity. They could not promote this drama due to their contracts so ratings were low.

Conclusion

I was deceived by the title. ATV just wants to eat into the old popularity by reusing the formula. No, it doesn't work again as it is too outdated. Revenge and passion – haven't we seen enough of these in 'Who’s the Winner 3'? ATV should know how to stop then.

Moreover, they did not know how to use talents properly! How rare is the chance to have 3 veteran actors who once dominated the martial arts scenes! Not only they are not given any fighting scenes – they also do not have a single scene together all at once. My neighbours nearly throw their remote at the television every night as they are their faithful fans. I understand their frustration as my family is almost capable of doing that too at the same time.

Kam Bo doesn't think gambling is the end. He loses his fortune, love and also friendship to make him realizes that one person can't be too greedy. This lesson is taught to us in the past. No doubt the scenery is real and grand, the gambling techniques are not at par to the 90s standard. ATV should come up with new stories instead of dwelling on their old successes in the past.

Sukting's ratings :

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

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

On song : *** (Scale of 5)


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