Tên phim: Hành động đột phá 25/25 - The Brink of Law - Breakthrough Action

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REVIEW: On an entertainment level, The Brink of Law is satisfying and enjoyable. The series is extremely fast-pace and kind of interesting. It progresses like a gun shot with very little time for the audience (and characters) to digest whatever happened. Be it death or not, the storyline kept moving. There was no time for grieving. I wanted to keep on watching to see what happened next. It didn’t help that each episode ended on a cliff-hanger. It was exciting and really addicting to watch – so much that I finished the series in about a week. On an intellectual level Brink fails utterly. The plot is unrealistic, over-the-top, and kind of typical. There really isn’t any “new ideas” in the plot. Characters are very poorly written. Everyone is either wholly good or bad. There is no character development at all. Everything is plot-driven. It’s hard to develop a connection with any of the characters because there’s only a focus on the plot, which just moves so fast. The relationships between the characters are poorly developed and written. By the end of the series, I felt nothing for the characters and took away nothing from the plot. It feels empty. There’s no point to it besides exposing all of the illegal activities of the “Tung” couple. The plot twists are not that great. While I liked that Brink was not draggy, I hated that it moved too fast sometimes. Each episode pretty much focuses on a different plot. For example, in one episode, it will focus on one character and then tragedy strikes this very character of focus. The very next episode will focus on another character and how he’s curious about his mother and by the end, he finds out his true birth identity. By the end of the next episode, everyone knows about this secret. Then, it moves on to another character and plot. It feels kind of disjointed and jumpy. I was not touched by any of the scenes. Sad things happened all right, but I couldn’t muster any emotions watching those scenes at all. It takes a lot for me to cry, but I admit that I get sentimental and feel emotions surge my body when emotional scenes are well-written and acted. Brink failed to do any of that, which is very odd as Producer Mui, one of my favorite producers, heads this production. Producer Mui is usually very good at creating very touching and meaningful series that convey genuine emotions and very heartfelt characters and relationships. Just take a look at Family Man, Love Bond, The Charm Beneath, Where The Legend Begins, and Colourful Life to name a few. Even her crime investigation drama Forensic Heroes had nicely developed relationships and likable characters. It’s because of this that I always look forward to her productions because she picks the best cast and her series are usually high-quality. Brink has an attractive cast and in theory should be “Producer Mui” good. However, it’s not. When the ending credits rolled at the end of episode 25, I sat there thinking, “That’s it?” About the performances The good characters were all quite boring. The evil characters are the ones that kept Brink going. Michelle Yim was awesome as to be expected. She gives off such a warm, sweet, and gentle air in other series, but in Brink, she totally transformed into “Sung Kam Chi”. She was scary and sinister – which was very convincing and refreshing. I loved watching all of her scenes. For some reason, I couldn’t hate her at all. I must say I was impressed by Shirley Yeung’s performance and character. She started off shaky (I could still see traces of the old Shirley playing the same old characters) but as the series progressed, her acting became better. I can even say that it was quite good in the last couple of episodes. Shirley has a habit of over-acting and shouting, so I was pleased to see her act more “subdued”. Out of the young leading actresses, Shirley gave the best performance. She was very in character and played “Sung Ka Yi” quite well. This was Shirley’s breakthrough and the best she has ever done. Surprisingly, I enjoyed watching her scenes. Her best acting is in the last episode when she tells the truth to “Long” (Stephen Wong) and confronts Michelle. Wow, just wow. Of course, this is not to say that her performance was that great. There is still plenty of room for improvements, but in Shirley terms, her Brink performance was refreshing and very good. Steven Ma gave a good performance, the best out of all the actors in this series, but like in Land of Wealth, again he is not impressive. “Tong Chi Ko” is a good guy, but he is boring and un-engaging. Ron Ng was given a very likable, goody-two-shoes character without any anger management problems or temper for once, but he ruins it by playing “Tung Yat Jun” with almost no personality at all. He was so boring and “dead”. There’s something wrong with him; I find that he makes very unnatural facial expressions. Ron feels so stiff and uncomfortable on-screen regardless of what series I see him in. If he’s not being all angry and making weird faces, he’s not making any expressions at all and being boring. It’s a shame because I could have liked the character. At first, I thought he did okay and it was nice to see him so calm, rational, and intelligent, but as the series progressed, I realized that he still hadn’t improved. He’s so wooden and void of a personality. No matter if she’s the lead or not, Bernice Liu is always given minimal screen time because of the language barrier (she has to memorize verbatim her lines through pinyin). Brink was no exception. She hardly appeared and only became involved in the story in the last third of the series. I hadn’t seen Bernice in a long time (the last was in Love Bond around two years ago), so when she appeared in Brink, I was stunned. I had forgotten how hot this girl is; there’s no denying that she is very, very attractive. After all of these years, Bernice’s acting is still under-average and below her peers. She is very likable and has a cute and charming persona, but on-screen, she is only good when given the right characters (i.e. “Princess” from Virtues of Harmony or “Gei Mei Lai” from Love Bond). Bernice did not do justice to “Tsui Wing”. She failed to convey the proper emotions, had limited facial expressions, and simply read her lines rather than speaking as her character. At times, I felt like all Bernice could do was smile and look pretty… and maybe that’s enough for her. It’s gotten her this popular and successful so far. As poor as Bernice’s performance was, Kate Tsui did worse. While Bernice looked very pretty and hot in almost all of her scenes, Kate usually looked rather unattractive. The only times she looked kind of decent was when she had her hair up. “Yan Heung Ching” is a good, pitiful girl and in theory should be likable, but Kate plays her so badly that “Ching” is annoying. Her crying scenes still have not improved. She just screams and scrunches her face up hoping for some tears to drop, but none do. It’s painful and embarrassing to watch. Kate was stiff, exaggerated, and unnatural. Thankfully, her scenes were kind of limited. Ron and Kate’s characters had some rather nicely written scenes, but because they were badly acted out by both parties, those scenes fail to even reach their full potential. The surprising performance for me (aside from Shirley) was from Stephen Wong. I’m glad TVB is giving him bigger supporting roles because he is likable and his acting has potential. I do not like Kenneth Ma, but he was kind of likable in Brink thanks to his character. I can accept him as a supporting actor, but please no leads. He has plenty of experience, but his acting lacks charm and presence. He’s not that good. I find it hard to feel anything for Kenneth’s acting and characters whether he’s good or bad. Yoyo Chen was good as Steven’s younger sister. Her performance was consistent and quite natural. Yoyo has come a long way since her debut in Sunshine Heartbeat. It was her very cute portrayal in Sunshine that kept me watching that series. In Brink, her character was very different and she did well. Her Sunshine alumni Vin Choi did not do as well. Aside from the fact that his character was very unlikable, there’s something about Vin that just isn’t likable to me at all. His acting was too over-the-top as well. I don’t know what to make of Ngok Wah. He is a veteran and in theory should have been great, but I couldn’t feel anything for his acting or presence in the series. He just seemed boring and dead on-screen to me, like his on-screen son, Ron. I’m currently watching him in Looking Back in Anger and he acts the same as he did in Brink. I really don’t look forward to watching any more series from him. Final thoughts I don’t know why I enjoyed The Brink of Law while I was watching it. The script is not so good. In fact, it was kind of bad. The characters are so poorly written and almost everyone is flat and boring or give poor performances besides a select few and token supporting cast members (Lee Kwok Lun, Law Lok Lam, Mary Hon, Yvonne Lam, June Chan, and Ha Yu.) However, Brink is more watch-able than Dicey Business. Although it’s not much better, at the very least, it does not drag. Even though it’s rather pointless and lacks meaning, the pace is fast which helps to keep the audience’s interest. However, to give Dicey some credit, it at least had a storyline and better written characters, so it is a “better” series than Brink. Basically, Brink is forgettable and pointless entertainment. It doesn’t know whether it wants to be an epic family drama or a law/crime series. Frankly, it doesn’t succeed at being good at either. While I was watching Brink I found it very exciting and entertaining, but at the end of it all, when everything’s solved and justice prevails, it feels so meaningless. The good guys win and the bad guys get what’s coming to them. “Is that it? I watched 25 episodes just for that?” There are no morals to be told, no memorable characters, no classic scenes, and definitely no long-lasting impression. I can even say that it’s void of a true storyline. Nevertheless, it is not a very, very bad series. In the midst of the series, I found Brink to be quite good. It did its job at entertaining me, but at the end… The after-taste is dreadful. Brink is okay to watch to pass time, but not really worth it. Ironically, as much as I enjoyed watching Brink more than Dicey, I’d recommend Dicey over it simply because Brink is badly constructed and lacks meaning and a point.Source: http://virtuesofharmony.net/blog/?cat=31