E.U.


Reviewed by: LittleLing

March 30, 2009

Rating: four

E.U. is the third installment in a well-known and probably well-loved series that began with The Academy (学警雄心) and led to On the First Beat (学警出更), and now this.

What is noteworthy, to me, is that E.U. is the best installment thus far. Although the two lead characters, Lee Pak-Kiu (Sammul Chan) and Chung Lap-Man (Ron Ng), are not new, they bring a new dimension to their roles as the former cadet cops are now bona fide cops in action. Ron Ng, especially, brought new life to his character Man, a pleasant surprise for me since I've never really been particularly impressed with him.

In the opening, the two friends are still pursuing their careers in the police force in their own distinctive way. Pak-kiu is on the fast track to success, the blue-eyed boy who's doing everything by the book. Man, on the other hand, is a reckless young gun, always on the lookout for a major arrest. His target is To Yik Tin, big brother of the criminal organisation known as Tsun Hing which makes its money from drugs.

By a stroke of luck, Man gets acquainted with the newly released prisoner and Tsun Hing's latest member, Kong Sai Hau (Michael Miu) who bears a grudge again Tin for sending him to jail ten years ago. They work together to send Tin to jail for drug offences. Tin ends up dying in a police cross-fire plotted by Hau, and the latter moves into the home that Tin used to share with his wife, Ching Yuk-Sam (Kathy Chow) and into the newly vacated position of big brother of Tsun Hing.

Man realises too late that he has been used to further Hau's ambitions, and that he has effectively helped to elevate an even more scheming monster to power. During a suspension for a suspected misconduct, he is asked to become an undercover agent tasked to infiltrate Tsun Hing and bring down the organisation. He agrees to this, and ends up falling out with Pak-kiu to protect his friend from the dangers of associating with an undercover agent.

Man is taken under the wing of Laung Siu-Tong, better known as Laughing Kor (Michael Tse), an unhinged gangster head that begrudgingly agrees to follow Hau.

The rest of the series is an elaborate plot-driven tale of criss-crossed relationships and how justice prevails in the end.

Without giving too much away for those who enjoy their reviews without important spoilers, may I just say that Michael Tse, who plays Laughing Kor, blew me away. He brought many different dimensions to the tortured and slightly schizophrenic big brother role, and made me empathise with and hate him at the same time. If there ever was an actor that impressed me in TVB before, I can't remember him now, cos Michael Tse is that guy for me now.

He's made the role so popular that Laughing Kor is now all over the Internet, even earning Laughing Kor a fan group on Facebook. I think Michael Tse has just been elevated from B-lister to A-lister in TVB now.

As for why you should catch the show - the story's really pretty strong (for TVB's standard, knowing how they like to use and reuse plots), there are many exciting moments and twists and turns in the plot, there are a ton of veteran actors in this (think Michael Miu and Kathy Chow) and Michael Tse is excellent in his role. Well... and Ron and Sammul are still cute.


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