The Gentle Crackdown

Reviewed by: Josh

October 02, 2005

Rating: two-point-five

Vietnamese title: Giang Ho Ky An
No. of Chinese episodes: 20
No. of Vietnamese tapes: 16

Some spoilers

The Casts:
Moses Chan
Niki Chow
Michelle Yim
Wayne Lai
Halina Tam
Cindy Au
Ko Hung

Guest appearance: Yuen Wah

Comedies that depend on exaggeration to create laughter usually fail miserably. 'The Gentle Crackdown' also follows this footstep, but fortunately, there are much more layers to the series than simply cheap, cheesy humor. Be patient is my only advice to viewers, because after a few chapters of irrelevance, the storyline will pick up greatly.

Plot Summary:
Moses Chan is the new, clever, and righteous magistrate to LiangCai County. He strives to stop corruption with his witty and unique working style. His success and upright character wins the respect from one character to the next, but most importantly, the love of Niki Chow, an impulsive, just constable.

On the other hand, Wayne Lai appears to be a corrupted government secretary, but is actually a 'good guy' who partners with Moses in solving many cases. In addition, he falls in love with Halina Tam, and both go through many hilarious ups and downs on the road of love.

Michelle Yim, Niki's mother, is the 'Chivalrous Flying Hawk' whose true identity is hidden after she retired from the martial arts world. However on one occasion, she uses her special move known as 'Cloud Chopper' to save Niki and rumors regarding her return spread. This eventually links to a case concerning a missing martial arts book from the imperial palace, set up by a high official, Ko Hung. Moses and the others have to use both wits and martial arts to bring Ko Hung down.

Evaluation on the Casts:
Moses Chan – I believe Moses will be one of TVB's big brothers soon, if he isn't already. Aside from his widely claimed charisma, he is also very versatile. Although he lacks experience in comedies, he portrays his character relatively well, but I must say, his best roles have been from tragic series.

Niki Chow – I have always disliked impulsive characters that cause troubles among troubles, therefore I am not too fond of Niki's character. Her portrayal is adequate, although I would like to see her in more serious and mature roles for a change.

Michelle Yim depicts both identities of her character to perfection. She definitely deserves her title as a renowned veteran.

Wayne Lai is at his usual, although I must admit the producer gave a shock with his character's true intentions.

Halina Tam delivers a hilarious performance, though I must say it is quite exaggerated – perhaps it is called for. Nevertheless, it is very enjoyable and will for sure create laughter.

Cindy Au needs a breakthrough character; here the typical stubbornness, unreasonableness are being portrayed again - *yawn*

Overall Evaluation:
All in all, 'The Gentle Crackdown' exemplifies a typical series produced by TVB. Honestly speaking, there is nothing too spectacular about this production – the casting is mediocre, no sparking chemistry, accessories are passable…and you get my point. Nevertheless, fans of light-hearted series (the poster being obvious and the design is redundant) may enjoy this.

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The Gentle Crackdown

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