Last One Standing


Reviewed by: koolkat

December 21, 2008

Rating: three-point-five

The Plot

This drama pits two cousins, Hei and Yin, against each other. They grew up together and were very close. In a fit of rage, Hei beat up his stepfather and went to prison for killing him. The eyewitness whose testimony was crucial to his conviction was Yin, who saw him near the scene of the crime. Hei insists he was innocent of killing the stepfather and has never gotten over his cousin's testimony for sending him to jail. After he is released, he goes after the cousin and nearly kills him as well. Yin tries to help him by going through the crime and pinpointing Hei's brother-in-law as the actual culprit. But Hei eventually discovers how insidiously cunning Yin is and how he has deceived everyone in the family as to his true nature.

Hei finally realises that in order to catch Yin he has to play the same game and worms his way into Yin's company and tries to look for information that will bring Yin down. So begins a deadly game that will see both men try to outwit each other.

Carmen is the woman who's caught in between the two men. She starts off as Yin's girlfriend. Hei met her in prison when she acted as a volunteer. He looks for her after his release and realises that she's the girlfriend of his mortal enemy. And part of his reason for trying to expose Yin is to win Carmen.

Some of the subplots involve Yin's family, who starts off trusting him but as he reveals his real character they discover what a bully he is. He starts to lose control over his actions and becomes more outrageous as he's exposed.

Review

I was attracted by the premise of this show as it sounded exciting and thrilling -- a showdown mano-a-mano. But there is something lacking. The story is rather artificial. The family adopts Yin as a young child, he lives with them closely and yet none of them realises how evil he is, which somehow seems rather implausible. The cast is an experienced one and they perform admirably and yet they are also lacking. They look like they are just acting and they somehow do not click. For a show that has such an intense premise, a conflict between two men who hate each other, it seems rather forced.

Hei is not a likeable chap, it's impossible to root for him. He's reckless, impulsive and violent. He's also not above using a colleague's love for him to obtain information about Yin. Once the "good guy" isn't worth cheering for, the drama loses its draw for the audience. I'm left rooting for Yin actually. Way to go, steal all his family members' money, since all of them are so dumb as to trust him.

The actors/actresses

Roger Kwok as Yin is the highlight of the show. His transition from the smooth, popular guy to the bully and murderer is chilling and convincing. I never realised Roger had such a creepy smile! It's a refreshing change from his goody-two-shoes roles.

Kevin Cheng is a good looking guy but even eye candy isn't enough to make his character shine. As I said, I didn't like his character, he was rather annoying, going around beating people up. I can't help but feel he deserved being set up. His constant pining after Carmen was painful to watch. He wasn't able to act convincingly enough to make his character and its flaws sympathetic.

Yoyo Mung is bland and limp. Her Carmen didn't have any chemistry at all with Roger or Kevin, her two main co-stars, so that was a total letdown. She seems fake and insincere in her role and certainly not a woman worth fighting over.

Some of the other supporting actors and actresses were more interesting. I especially liked Elaine Yiu as Roger's younger sister. She's spunky and spirited and seems very natural in her role. The suspicious grandmother was excellent as well and so was Hei's nervous and twitchy brother-in-law.

Recommendation

Watch this only for Roger's eye-opening performance as the villain of the piece. Not much romance much mentioning. There are some nail-biting moments as they face off each other. And the ending was amusing, I'm sure it's gearing up for a sequel.


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