Wars of Bribery


Reviewed by: sukting

June 29, 2009

Rating: three-point-five

Foreword

An ICAC investigator, Dai Chi is met with frequent failures, but he remains optimistic. In the course of investigation, Chi is forced to make decisions between love, friendship, family and justice. How will he face the dilemma? It shows how people should never be corrupted to avoid having clashes with the law.

Story /Introduction on characters

1. Yeung Dai Chi – Kwok Fu Shing
Aaron Kwok is Yeung, a young and dedicated inspector in Hong Kong government's Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC). He has a lot of energy at work and is very righteous. He is dedicated towards his job and can put personal feelings aside. Wing Yee is so aggressive that she always challenges Chi. But both become attached to each other after solving different cases.

Jik Jeung is right in his comments. Fu Shing’s Da Chi has more exposure but character wise, he can be boring. Lok Sang is a man while Dai Chi is more boyish. It is hard to act in this role as there is no breakthrough. He is always wearing a business suit and talks about rules all the time. Of course no one will doubt his agility when he handles scenes like jumping down a yacht to catch a criminal from the dock.
But really, he needs to watch his weight as we can see how he has gain weight. He looks as if his business suits can explode any minute. This has not affected his looks but he has to slim down a bit. No wonder he is so strict with himself now.

2. Yau Lok Sang – Ng Yik Jeung
He is a senior inspector. He is very rash and his subordinates are scared of him of having outbursts any minute. He is hard to get along and he behaves like a lone ranger in his missions. His superior has a headache as he never acts according to the book although he often breaks cases. He doesn’t like working with Dai Chi over the car theft case and Wing Yee has to come in to intervene.

Lok Sang chases after a car thief, Siu Wah. During the process, Siu Wah dies after being knocked down by a car. He gets to know Siu Man, who is blind as she comes to collect his belongings. She is knocked down by a car on her way home. Stricken with guilt, Lok Sang takes extra care of her. He is attracted by her optimistic personality and the two become lovers.

Many have said that CIDs are talking like killers to the crooks. If they talk like a scholar, how are they going to nap them? But Yik Jeung’s role is exceptional. Lok Sang is quite gangster-like and wild while catching criminals. He doesn’t care over his own safety to force them on the edge. But when he is with Siu Mun, he becomes so gentle! The phrase ‘tough guy with a sentimental nature’ definitely fits the description.

3. Cheng Hung Bun – Ngai Chun Kit
He also works in ICAC and falls for Wing Yee. He thinks very highly of himself but he is also overly ambitious. He sneers at Dai Chi when his shooting skill is weak. Unable to put up with Hung Bun’s insults although Dai Chi bears with them, Wing Yee gives Dai Chi extra practices.

When he is rejected by Wing Yee, he molests Wing Yee when he gets drunk. Chan Yip has to stop his duties. Getting frustrated, he quits his job and becomes a lawyer. He helps the criminals off the hook as he knows the rules well. Knowing that Lok Sang needs money to marry Siu Man, he wants him to find a witness for him. He then kills the witness and prevents Lok Sang from surrendering to the police even though Dai Chi has succeeded talking to him.

How? He kidnaps Siu Mun and forces Lok Sang to give in to him. He later causes Lok Sang’s death and this upsets Siu Man. He wows to seek revenge but has his justice desserts when he falls to his death after getting trapped by ICAC. Even holding Wing Yee as a hostage doesn’t help as Dai Chi saves her on time. Chun Kit gets a couple of villain roles and he does quite well.

4. Ko Chan Yip – Lok Ying Kuan
He looks strict and hardly smiles. All call him the metal face judge and nickname him as ‘Ko Kun – high rank’. But in reality, he has a soft heart and is very kind. He is often calm when dealing with cases and gives orders within seconds after serious consideration. But he has a headache when he has the reckless Wing Yee on his team. He has a hard time thumbing her down.

5. Chiu Wing Yee – Chu Yan
A new joiner to the team, Wing Yee always sees Dai Chi as her competitor. She is taken hostage the first day and uses her wits to capture the criminal instead. Despite their competition, their joint effort successfully uncovers some important bribery cases and sends the lawbreakers to jail. She looks tough on the outside but is vulnerable inside. She is very direct to voice out her harsh feelings to others and is as righteous as Dai Chi. But she trusts people easily and I wonder why Chan Yip praises her for doing well?

Wing Yee is nearly hit by a truck during an operation and Dai Chi saves her, suffering some scratches. She buys a watch for him and is offended when he doesn’t accept it. She lacks warmth as she grows up in a broken home. Thus, she doesn’t feel secure in getting married. Meanwhile, although the two often quarrel over work, they are unnoticeably attracted to each other.

Yan’s performance is disappointing. Regardless of period or modern dramas, she is so stage-like and overly conscious about herself. By right, her role should be tough. Just cutting a short crew will not help. She still deliberately talks in a soft and overly pampered tone. I really can’t stomach it.

6. Leung Siu Mun – Kuan Wing Ho
She is blind since young and her brother, Siu Wah steals cars to earn a living in order to support her. Both of them cope hard with poverty. She is a florist and Lok Sang often visits her. Thinking that he is Siu Wah’s colleague, she is nice to him. Lok Sang can’t bring himself to tell her the truth. After knowing that he is a cop, she chides him for deceiving her and avoids meeting him.

She is gentle and also innocent but she is also sensitive to others. She doesn’t wallow in self-pity despite of her handicap. Lok Sang still hides outside the flower shop to observe how she works although she avoids him. One day, a gangster causes trouble at the shop and hurts her. Lok Sang captures the gangster and quickly visits her in hospital. She is touched and forgives him.

Yan Ping uses Siu Mun’s name to launder the illegal money. Her boyfriend, Johnny learns about it and demands to get the money from her. Lok Sang is injured while trying to save Siu Man. He is glad when Johnny is arrested. He has another hurdle to clear – her parents disapprove her of going out with him after knowing that he is a cop. Their impression of him changes after he stops a gangster from bullying her father. But fate doesn’t allow them to be together.

7. Ho Yan Ping – Yeung Yuk Mui
She opens a bar and also a flower shop. Siu Mun works for her. Dai Chi is sent to work as a bar tender at her bar to see how they use the illegal money. She admires Dai Chi’s abilities and falls for him. Da Chi doesn’t know how to react when she asks him if he wishes to migrate with her overseas after celebrating her birthday with her.

Da Chi even gets beaten up by her suitor, Johnny, who is a senior inspector from Major Crime Unit. They suspect that he is the mastermind but there is also another inspector involved. He also kills the gangster that Lok Sang has caught. Hung Bun blurts out details to Johnny when he drinks with him. The criminals deal with Dai Chi and Yan Ping is hospitalized while trying to save him.

She realizes the truth after waking up. Seeing how close Dai Chi is to Yan Ping, Wing Yee sulks and Da Chi finally knows her feelings towards him.

8. Lau Chi Leung – Cheung Kok Keung
Wing Yee pretends to be a nurse in a hospital to check on their records. It is suspected of mishandling funds. Doctor Mah tries to drug her to molest her. luckily, another doctor, Chi Leung discovers this and rescues her. He takes good care of her and nows her identity by chance. He secretly kills Doctor Mah to push all the blame to him.

He yearns to improve himself and is polite. Everyone regards him as a gentleman as he is also humourous. However, his greed overtakes his good nature and he goes on the wrong side of the road. Wing Yee is deceived by him and thinks that he is a nice man. Dai Chi sees that he is nervous when checking a patient’s record and suspects that he is up to something.

Chi Leung keeps the evidence in a mickey mouse toy. Wing Yee discovers it and he finally unveils his true self. Dai Chi struggles with him and Chi Leung gives him a poisonous jab. Luckily, he is saved on time.

9. Yeung Wai Leung – Ng Fung
He is Dai Chi’s father who is too loyal to his boss. He is once framed to get checked by ICAC. Thus, he doesn’t like the working procedure. Thus he often gets into conflicts with Dai Chi when he can’t stand him for overprotecting his boss. As his boss has given him a big Buddha, Dai Chi is stopped from following the case and he gets unhappy.

He wants to return it to him and overhears his conversation with Chun Bun to harm others. Chun Bun knocks him down but luckily he wakes up to tell the truth to all.

10. Chan Oi Yuk – Chu Mi Mi
She is Dai Chi’s mother. She is always the mediator to settle disputes between the father and son.

Favourite character
Lok Sang. He cares for Siu Man till his last days. A close second will be Dai Chi but he is too good to be true.

Most hated character
Hung Bun, he causes so much trouble to all. His hatred for Dai Chi is too great to harm him repeatedly.

Song
The theme song, Off Track (脫軌) is by Fu Shing himself. Quite well-sung.

Interesting facts

This was the last drama that Fu Shing owed TVB. Fu Shing helped TVB in filming day and night. He had no airs at all and did not ask for special treatment. He suffered from red eyes and needed to remove the pus from his left eye. Although his left eye was wrapped, he still insisted on working. He is seeing a Chinese physician long term as his digestive system isn’t good. The doctor told him to rest as his eyes were swollen.

He needed to see a bone setter in the afternoon as he injured his leg. There was a scene that he needed to jump over the railing but he stepped on a stone and sprained his ankle. His ligaments were also hurt and his ankle was swollen. He needed a crutch to walk. But as he had to go to Thailand to meet his fans, he sat on a wheelchair. Yik Cheung found him to be cheerful and friendly while he is more manly.

There was a scene where Yan was required to be hung 6 storeys high. She was very frightened and she must wear a short skirt. Still, many came to watch how the scene was watched. He celebrated Valentine’s day with Chu Yan as he needed to work. All rumoured them to be a couple but they denied.

Fu Shing decided not to take up dramas in the near future. It was time consuming and took up 3 months. The schedule was also in a mess. He filmed 20 hours non-stop and ate too much for 5 meals a day. After completing, he tipped the scales at 151 pounds! He immediately tried hard to slim to 138 pounds before he had the courage to go out again.

Yuk Mui went back to work after sleeping for a few hours. However, she did not have enough sleep and knocked into a tree. Luckily, she was unhurt but the damages cost her HK$10,000.Yik Jeung’s salary was increased by 50% when he joined TVB. He was glad to work with Wing Ho and Yuk Mui as they were also his ex-colleagues from ATV.

Chun Kit was 1.8m tall while Yan was 1.6m tall. He had to put his feet apart for many scenes. It was tiring so somtimes, Yan stood on a telephone book to make it easier for him.

Conclusion

Detective or ICAC dramas are television viewer’s top choice. If not, the dancing king, Fu Shing will not choose to opt for a gun. I always feel that TVB is most successful in producing police or ICAC dramas. And normally actors will do better as the story is more based on them.

Here is one shortcoming, though. I doubt that ICAC newcomers are as careless as the newcomers to blow their covers and trust others so easily.

However, this drama is somewhat different as it has ex-artistes from ATV. They blend well with their TVB colleagues. This shows that they made the right crossover as they really act well. It is unexpected that Yik Cheung and Wing Ho overshine Yan and Fu Shing although they are taking up supporting roles. It is a spectacular work that all should not miss as the whole cast acts fairly well.

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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