Nothing to Declare


Reviewed by: sukting

September 08, 2009

Rating: three

Foreword

This series is about the marine custom department in Hong Kong which investigates illegal activities such as preventing the entry and sales of illegal items. This is Wong Hei’s first drama that shot him to stardom. Do you wish to find out why?

Story

Ho Fai is the inspector of the airport branch of the custom and he suspects someone of carrying drugs. After further investigation, the person is found guilty after he naps the person when he tries to run away. (Wong Hei has never been smarter looking than this scene in his light green uniform with the rank pieces by the side. A pity though – from then on, he dons the blue ‘navy’ soldier uniform whenever he is on operations.) The drug ring is disbanded and his superior, Lai (Lai Hon Chi) is pleased with him.

Meanwhile, Inspector Lee from the marine custom is injured while trying to break an illegal cigarette gang. Ho Fai is sent to this unit to take over his position. The sergeant, Tin Wah is unsatisfied with his style of doing things. Ho Fai uses his knowledge in settling matters. (Strange though, Ho Fai has dressed as simply as possible in a shirt over a t-shirt to look approachable instead of wearing a suit but it doesn’t seem to work.) The main suspect, Kong wants to leave the country secretly. Ho Fai brings his men to search every boat.

He detects Kong hiding on a boat. He doesn’t show any change on his face. The next moment will make you laugh – he sprays pepper around to lure Kong out. Poor Kong has to show himself as he can’t stop sneezing! Ho Fai and Tin Wah bring Kong to the police station to let Kin Mun take over. Kin Mun is very rude to them and even accuses Tin Wah of hitting the suspect. Tin Wah quarrels with him and storms off.

Tin Wah is hardworking cop but he places too much effort and time into his job. He doesn’t spend as much time with his fiance. He recalls how when he is out checking on Kong and he has to hand in his pager. When he checks it after that, his fiance is already in the hospital. She dies before he gets there. Tin Wah feels guilty over it. his instinct tells him that Kong isn’t the mastermind and vows to find him.

Kong is sentenced to jail for 18 months. Ho Fai admires Sheung Yee, the custom’s attorney for helping them. Tin Wah requests Ho Fai to reopen the case and he agrees. Tsui Kong (Doi Chi Wai) knows that they still suspect him and thus attempts to kill the two men by luring them out at sea. His waterplane hits their boat. Luckily, Ho Fai saves Tin Wah on time. Tsui sneers at them on land but isn’t aware that Ho Fai has swam behind him to nap him.

Tin Wah is grateful to ho Fai and gives him a treat. Ho Fai is finally accepted by his colleagues and they look up to him as his superior although he is younger than them. Ho Fai’s elder cousin, Dong is a waiter helping out at the marine custom café. His wife keeps saying that he is incapable. Ho Fai then tells Dong to apply to see if he can become a marine policeman.

Tsui goes on bail and applies for tax paying. Thus the court can’t charge him anymore. Dong brings his son, Chi Kit to an art exhibition and sees Sheung Yee with her adopted daughter, Mimi. The four have a wonderful time. Ho Fai joins them later and invites Sheung Yee to a meal the next day. But she turns up with Kin Mun. he is down to learn that he is her boyfriend.

Ho Fai lives with his mom. He has never met his dad before. His dad leaves his mom before he is born so he takes after her surname. Suk Ngor senses that he is down but he never tells her why. Kin Mun is a cop but he is a bad cop who rushes things too much. Kin Mun gives Sheung Mun 4 movie tickets but she can’t go. So she passes them to Ho Fai. Ho Fai learns that Sheung Yee’s favourite cup si broken so he searches around.

He finally gets a pair for her. But upon seeing her with Kin Mun, he is disappointed and doesn’t dare to pass to her. Ho Fai and Tin Wah arrest Paul. Tsui has threatened Paul to work for him. Paul reveals his story and Tsui is arrested at the airport. Kin Mun protects Paul but he is still killed by Tsui’s men.

Tsui is released again and starts to buy from Liet. Liet is killed but Tsui doesn’t know it. Ho Fai feels that Dong resembles Liet so he asks him to impersonate him. The date for the deal is confirmed and Dong is caught by Tsui’s men. Ho Fai loses sight of him and is anxious. Tsui finally learns that Dong is an impostor.

Fortunately, Tin Wah saves him on time and the illegal cigarette case is solved. Now Ho Fai is given a new case – illegal vcds. This part is funny indeed – Kin Mun and Sheung Yee are watching a movie. Two men record the movie openly in front of them. Sheung Yee points out to them that they have infringed copyrights and Kin Mun arrest them. Ho Fai continues the case.

Sheung Yee doesn’t like Kin Mun licking his boss’s boots to get another promotion. Dong is finally one of the marine custom team. Mok Fong owns a small shop which sells imitation CDs and videos. Therefore, Tin Wah is investigating her. She has a younger sister and a stepdad to take care of so she has no choice. A little boy steals a CD from her store so she starts chasing him up flights of stairs.

Tin Wah and Gai Joo think she needs help so they follow. They run till they are all so tired. Finally, the kid stops and asks when Mok Fong will stop. She demands him to stop first. The two men are panting and feel out of breath. So they sit and rest. Finally, the kid gives up and throws her the CD back.

Mok Fong heads back down the steps but she faints because she is too tired. So the two try to resuscitate her. Gai Jou suggests CPR and when Tin Wah is about to plant his lips, she wakes up. Upon seeing them leaning over her, she thinks they are perverts. It is so hilarious. Both men decide not to arrest her as yet. They buy an illegal copy and she asks them for their pager numbers.

They finally find that the mastermind is a cinema manager, Lam Kok Wai (Lo Mong) who loves his wife, Lau Suet Mei (See See). Although Ho Fai tells Lam that he has finished his search, Lam knows that he hasn’t stopped checking. He gets his men to stop the operations. Mok Fong is fined and becomes hostile to Tin Wah. Tin Wah helps her secretly by chasing her debtors away.

Ho Fai uses Moses code to check on Lam. Lam detects it and deliberately changes the numbers to lead him on a goose chase. Dong is sent to work at the express cabbage section. He finds a video cassette inside a box of chocolates. Ho Fai examines it and discovers that the person who sends it is Suet Mei. He tails her to a factory and she suddenly disappears. But he manages to find a destroyed tape that contains a movie which is not shown yet.

Lam comes to the factory and Ho Fai wants to arrest him. He escapes, leaving Suet Mei behind. Suet Mei is sent to hospital because of a heart attack. Kin Mun wants to raise his promotion chances by marrying Sheung Yee. Sheung Yee finds him too selfish and she discovers that Suet Mei wants to leave the hospital with Lam. The police gives chase and Lam’s car falls over a cliff.

Suet Mei dies while Lam escapes. Mok Fong’s younger sister leaves home and she searches everywhere for her. Tin Wah saves her from danger. She later realizes that Tin Wah is actually a nice guy. Lam holds Sheung Yee responsible for killing Sue Mei and seeks revenge on her. Sheung Yee goes to Kin Mun for help but Kin Mun believes that Lam is only making empty threats.

He only sends CID to protect her while he goes to Scotland for holiday with his family. Sheung Yee is vey unhappy with him. She receives a bloody package and Lam forces her to a corner. Ho Fai is concerned and sends her home. Lam starts fighting with Ho Fai. Ho Fai is caught unprepared and is hurt while Lam falls to his death. Sheung Yee treats Ho Fai to a meal and gives him a present to thank him.

Ho Fai sends her home and they meet Kin Mun. Kin Mun demands to know why they are together. Sheung Yee finds him unreasonable. She is also aware who is truly nice to her. Ho Fai now picks up a new case on illegal watches and starts checking on Dai Chi. ASuk Ngor searches through the old photos and finds a photo of Dai Chi taken 30 years ago.

She recalls Dai Chi and meets him on the street. He thinks that she is now married but later discovers that she is a single mother and Ho Fai takes after her surname. He finds it odd and later Suk Ngor scolds him for hindering her son’s future. Mok Fong asks Dai Chi to turn over a new leaf.

Dai Chi’s friend, Mo (Lee Lung Gei) arranges Dai Chi to work in his watch factory and gives him a high post. Ho Fai starts to get his operations ready after suspecting Mo. Tin Wah orders some stocks from Mo but is shadowed by Mo’s men. Sheung Yee is in a bad mood and Kin Mun comes with a ring to ask her out. She breaks up with Kin Mun because of their differences.

Dai Chi hurts his back when stopping Mok Fong’s ex-boyfriend from harassing her. Suk Ngor brings him to see a doctor but later returns home because of a backache. Da Chi is concerned and visits her. Ho Fai is taking care of her and learns that he is his father. He is so mad that he drives him away. He can’t forget how Suk Ngor sufers because of him. She has to go out to work after giving birth to him, without resting much during her confinement period. Thus this backache ailment bothers her for years.

Ho Fai is very worked up and vows to nap Dai chi. Tin Wah asks Mok Fong to check where Dai Chi sells the fake watches. Gai Jou gives them a pair of concert tickets and they finally know each other better. Ho Fai brings Dai Chi to the police station to record a statement without reason. Dai Chi is upset and gets drunk in the factory. He learns that Mo makes fake watches and quarrels with him.

Tin Wah arrests all of them and Ho Fai wants Dai Chi to put up HK$10,000 for bail. Suk Ngor comes to bail him out, to his fury. (All should watch this excellent scene which shows how Ho Fai dislikes Dai Chi so much and how he nearly bursts upon seeing his mother at the police station to sign the documents and using HIS money to pay the bail.) Dai Chi is fined and is beaten outside the law court. Ho Fai then discovers that he has wronged him. Tin Wah and Gai Jou wait for Mo to return to the factory to take the model piece but Mo throws it down a cliff. Lai Kuen loses money through gambling and runs away with a man, Choi (Leung Kin Ping) to abandon her family.

Suk Ngor allows Dai Chi to stay with them. Both recall the past. Suk Ngor relates that Ho Fai has never worry her and he races through university with scholarships. The only thing that bothers her is that he chooses to become a cop and she has to worry about his safety since Day 1. The next line is funny – Da Chi is puzzled – both of them have big eyes but why does Ho Fai have beady eyes? Both of them do not have the answer.

Dong decides to forget her to concentrate bringing up her son to forget her. Ho Fai learns that Sheung Yee has lost her importance evidence – the photos for a court case. He searches through the rubbish and gets it back for her. Sheung Yee finds him so much nicer than Kin Mun. She finally goes out with Ho Fai and he masters his courage to give her the cups. They start to become a couple.

Suk Ngor’s brother, San (Chan Wing Chun) is back from overseas. He is close to Suk Ngor and Ho Fai regards him as his father. Ho Fai and Sheung Yee are out. They meet Kin Mun and the petty man fights with Ho Fai over her. As a result, reporters flock to the restaurant to take the photos. Kin Mun quickly takes refuge elsewhere to hide his bruised face but both get a demotion for this. Tin Wah saves Mok Fong during a gun war and they start to fall for each other. It is really cute when he tells her that he likes her hair down so she leaves it down from then on.

Ho Fai is transferred to a clerical post and he resigns. His superior asks him to go undercover for a drug syndicate. People have been smuggling drugs into Hong Kong and they need to get into their circle. After witnessing how Sheung Yee’s friend dies due to a drug overdose, he decides to take up the job. Lai wants him to get in touched with a former custom officer, Wing (Ho Chung Kit) who is already in the syndicate. Ho Fai deliberately goes to the night clubs to befriend him. He saves him from Choi’s men.

Wing pays off his gambling debts and asks him to work in his karaoke. After discussion with Lai, he lies to his family that he is going to work in Taiwan. He deliberately acts that he is down to cause Sheung Yee to misunderstand him so they separate for a while. No one on his team knows that he goes undercover. Lai Kuen wants to sign the separation letters with Dong. Dong has not wanted to agree to it but gives up after seeing that she treats Choi so much better than him.
Choi and Wing keeps sending killers to attack each other’s gang. Their big boss comes to settle it and is impressed with Ho Fai. Tin Wah follows a gambler and dong discovers that the culprit is Choi. He vows to arrest him but Choi knows that they are after him. So he abandons Lai Kuen who gets arrested while he gets away. The big boss brings Wing and Ho Fai to exchange drugs with the Thais but he sends his men to pretend as cops to take the stock away. This is to test Ho Fai to see if he is the mole.

Ho Fai risks his life to get the stock back and he is pleased. Dong arrests Choi personally to clear Lai Kuen’s name. Ho Fai wants to gain more trust so he accepts his offer to bring a hooker to a motel. He meets Sheung Yee on the street and she is shattered. He passes a cassette to her, hinting that he is forced to do this. But she is indifferent and doesn’t listen to the tape.

Ho Fai learns that the big boss has arranged another big boss to go to Thailand together. He alerts Lai to get people to shadow them. The other mastermind is San. He has wanted to retire for good after this last deal. Tin Wah feels that something bad is going to happen. Sure enough, the bad guys run after Mok Fong and nearly kill her. Luckily, he comes on time. He is taken aback to see Ho Fai working at the karaoke.

Ho Fai doesn’t know how to handle the case after knowing that San is involved. Tin Wah informs Sheung Yee about Ho Fai and she comes to look for him. Ho Fai is afraid that his cover will be blown so he humiliates her openly to drive her away. That lets him gain even more trust.

Tin Wah and the rest of the team chase after the bad guys and Ho Fai is there. He wants to shoot Tin Wah personally. He knows that Tin Wah had a ring case in his shirt pocket so he shoots him there. Tin Wah has bought a ring and intends to propose to Mok Fong. Tin Wah ends up in the hospital and everyone misunderstands Ho Fai for turning evil. Tin Wah realizes that he is trying to save him instead.

Sheung Yee happens to listen to the tape and guesses that he is going undercover. She reports to the superior and keeps it from the rest. San learns that Ho Fai is a mole and starts dealing with him. Ho Fai’s life is in danger but luckily, the bad guys are caught at the end. He is upset to see San die as he can't be as ruthless as him.

Ho Fai resumes his position as the inspector of the team again. He also makes up with Sheung Yee. He also forgives Dai Chi and all stay together as a family. Kin Mun is sore that he gets the chance to get resumed but he doesn’t. Tin Wah and Mok Fong get married in the end.

Introduction on characters

1. Cheung Ho Fai – Wong Hei
He is a soft-spoken man who is an introvert and is mild-mannered. No one can expect that he is a custom inspector. He dislikes suits and ties and is more comfortable in casual wear. That is why when he is with his team, no one can tell that he is their leader. Most staff don’t know who is the head to approach to sign the important documents when coming to their team as he looks no different from the others.

He has beady eyes but they sparkle with wisdom whenever he solves cases. Initially, he finds hard to communicate with his team but soon win them over with his endearing personality. He is also a filial son and hates Dai Chi for forsaking her. That is why his subordinates are baffled to see him flying off the handle when Da Chi is around.

Wong Hei has done enough homework to make Ho Fai come alive. His scenes with Man Nah also show how dependent both are for each other. However, his love scenes with Siu Wan seem stiff at times and unnatural when he goes undercover. But we can’t fault him that much as this is his first drama.

2. Chan Kin Mun – Hoi Chun Kit/ Gabriel Harrison
He is the inspector of the CID unit. Although he is of the same rank as Ho Fai, he looks down on Ho Fai’s team as he deems them inferior for only dealing with illegal product cases. To him, they are only solving petty cases. Ho Fai doesn’t mind his sarcastic remarks to bear with them but his subordinates do not have such a good temper to often have conflicts with Kin Mun.

He is well dressed at all times to please his superior. But he is a coward when trouble comes. Sheung Yee sees through him and she is wise to break off with him. Poor Chun Kit, although he is handsome, he is often given unlikable roles. No wonder he left TVB.

3. Yip Tin Wah – Ou Yeung Chun Wah
He is a sergeant in Ho Fai’s team and is in charge when Ho Fai isn’t around. He is the no nonsense type and no one dares to joke with him. He is very dedicated to work and tends to neglect those people around him. His fiance’s death gives him a hard blow and he takes a long time to get over it. Only meeting Mok Fong makes him laugh as she makes so many mistakes. Good portrayal by Chun Wah – he does serious roles well and proves that he is not only a good comedian.

4. So Dong – Lai Yiu Cheung
He is Ho Fai’s cousin who has no ambition in life. He is contented with the way he lives and finds nothing wrong to be a waiter. But his wife isn’t so he tries to become part of his team. He is initially a timid man but soon he becomes brave as he wants to be a good example for his son. Being busy at work makes him neglect his wife so she runs away with another man. He still harbours hope of reconciliation but gives up upon seeing that she doesn’t love him anymore. Still, he doesn’t bear a grudge against her and helps her to clear her name.

5. Lau Gai Joo – Wong Wai Leung
He is part of the team who looks up to Tin Wah as his elder brother. Seeing him so upset for so long, he finds Mok Fong suitable for him so he tries to create chances for them to be together.

6. Fong Sheung Yee – Tam Siu Wan
She is an attorney for the custom. Although she hasn’t been working for long, she proves to be capable and is always in the limelight. However, she can be careless at times in minor details in losing or breaking things. She has her mind set to marry Kin Mun but he proves to be a big disappointment.

Luckily, Ho Fai is around to cheer her up and they soon become a couple. He is a bit hesitant at first as he isn’t as good looking as Kin Mun but she manages to disperse his doubts. Her carelessness causes Ho Fai to be wronged by his colleagues as she hasn’t listened to the tape on time. Fortunately, she is able to save him on time. Siu Wan is pretty but she is a mismatch with Wong Hei as both have little chemistry with each other. She is better with Chun Kit as she does the argument scenes with him well.

7. Lam Lai Kuen – Leung Wing Lam
She is Dong’s materialistic ex-wife. She can leave her family for Choi and wants to return to Dong when Choi is captured. Dong is simply too forgiving to her to allow her to return to his side.

8. Yuen Mok Fong – Chan Miu Ying
She owns a shop and wants to be dependent on herself. No one is as open as her to receive her stepdad with open arms. But she can be greedy at times to earn more by selling illegal vcds. That is why she regards Tin Wah as her enemy for obstructing her. They have plenty of misgivings towards each other but in the end, they end up as a couple as they manage to iron them out.

Normally, Miu Ying is glamourous in many dramas. She looks simple with little make-up and dressing here as an ordinary woman. Thumbs up for her guts to appear on screen with little makeup and she has to handle many beaten scenes on her own.

9. Cheung Suk Ngor – Chan Man Nah
She is Ho Fai’s mother who provides the best for him as she can. She is contented when he grows to be a fine man, unlike Da Chi who breaks her heart numerous times to make her a single mother by getting away. Still, love rekindles between them and seeing that Da Chi makes attempts to earn an honest living, she persuades Ho Fai to accept him again so that they can be together.

10. Sing Dai Chi – Wong Ching
He is an irresponsible man who runs away from trouble. Upon knowing that Ho Fai is his son, he is delighted but also shameful of his own past. Thus he works hard to change his impression of him.

Favourite character

Ho Fai, it is hard not to like him as he is so approachable to all. His character is absolutely flawless.

Most hated character

Kin Mun, I have never seen such a petty and arrogant man before. He will try to find chances to sneer at Ho Fai whenever he can. Ho Fai is forgiving to him – I think he can also swallow a whole ship of nonsense from him. He still has the mood to go on holiday when his girlfriend is in trouble. What kind of boyfriend is this?

Song

The themesong 我以你自豪 is by Lam Chi Cheung. Coincidentally, he also sings for the next Wong Hei drama, ‘Deadly Protection’. A suave actor that matches with Lam’s strong voice gives a very heroic feel. What an excellent combination. Anyone who is down will perk up upon hearing the song. It is a pity that he hardly sings themsongs these days.

Interesting facts

When TVB first promoted this drama, all were stunned that they picked someone – a DJ with no acting experience to be the lead. Moreover, he has very plain looks and beady eyes. Is TVB sure that this drama will be well received? Surprisingly, many took it well and even tried to find out who Wong Hei was.

This was the first time Wong Hei worked with Wong Ching and Chun Kit. He got along well with them and wished to work with them soon. They never expect the chance came so fast to meet in ‘Food Of Love’ again.

Conclusion

It isn't a really excellent series, just mediocre. The cases are minor. The acting is only passable. Actresses are givn minimum exposure. If not for some funny moments, you will feel bored. However, it is hard to find Wong Hei and Chun Wah in serious roles. It might take time for some to see them not in their usual funny selves.

Wong Hei is no doubt the best spokesman for uniformed personnel. Although he isn’t exactly the handsome man you have in mind, he has the special air to bring out their professionalism. It is his debut drama and all should not miss it to find out why he is almost given professional roles till now.

Sukting’s ratings :

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

On story : *** (Scale of 5)

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


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