Monday, November 25, 2013

Will Power Review

Producer: Tsui Ching Hong
Genre: Modern, legal
Cast: Wayne Lai, Moses Chan, Fala Chen, Christine Ng, Jason Chan, Sire Ma, Vincent Wong

I was worried that Will Power would be another terrible legal drama, but to my surprise, it turned out better than I expected. I appreciate that there are more court scenes than I can count on one hand (looking at you, Awfully Lawful). I like that there are not one-sided arguments and that the arguments have at least some legal basis (ahem, Friendly Fire). Of course, it’s not perfect by any means, but if you wanted 100% accuracy, you should probably go to the local courthouse. That being said, if this series is used as any measure, there are about six lawyers and one judge in Hong Kong. Conflict of interest laws? What is that?

Will Power is different from most legal dramas in that the majority of cases are integrated into a bigger storyline. There aren't random characters running around, which gives the leads more screen time and opportunity for development. The story is appropriately paced, such that 32 episodes does not feel like too much for once. The series builds nicely towards the climax, where there are a few good twists. I was disappointed, however, that the writers took the easy way out in the finale.

I’m glad that the romance did not detract from the legal cases. The relationships were mature, with no crazy geometric shapes or unnecessary drama. In fact, it had some humorous moments, as the two big lawyers turned into petty men in front of their girlfriends.

With 2 TV Kings, their acting was a joy to watch. I like Moses a lot better in serious dramas than comedies. Wayne does not look as tired as his previous dramas. Both were great acting as professionals. The ladies didn’t have a big role. Fala had better emotional scenes than in Triumph in the Skies II, but after her break-up with Vincent, she was regulated to a “be supportive/worried-looking” role. Christine didn’t have a chance to shine either. All she had to do was sit and be judge-like. I noticed an odd twitch to her eyebrow sometimes, which made me feel like she’s about pull out a Beauty at War scheme.

Arguably the best actor in this series is Chung King-fai. It’s great that he’s not in a preachy-grandfather role. He is devious and manipulative with a perfected smirk. Elliot Ngok, which I usually find overdramatic, has thankfully toned it down. Another convincing performance by Power Chan as a mentally challenged character; he deserves consideration for Best Supporting Actor again. Poor Vincent Wong for taking 23 slaps. He may have gone a tad overboard in some scenes, but generally did well. Susan Tse and Mary Hon are veterans at doing the “keeping a secret for 20 years” thing.

The worst acting goes to Jason Chan. He seemed perpetually at lost about where to position himself and what to do with his hands. Compared to Bullet Brain, Sire Ma actually did better and part of the reason is because she’s up against Jason. Still, she was an unconvincing rape victim, alternating between too composed and too hysterical. But no worries, Jason was an even worse boyfriend of a rape victim. He also lays claim to the title of most unconvincing defendant facing murder charges.

Conclusion: How much willpower does it take to finish this series? Surprisingly, it carries itself.

No comments:

Post a Comment