"It has always been and always will be a love story wrapped in a package of so called policewomen with guns."
SPOILERS! SPOILERS! SPOILERS!
Sam Yuen and Cheng Fong marries, but not our Siu Sang and Ah Ngor. Relationships made a bit more complicated when Sam Yuen was raped by a brother of a fellow trusted colleague, Ah Ngor realises that she could not bear anymore children and so left the children hungry Siu Sang, and he in turn marries a young art designer, Sum Kiew who in turns has an affair with her fellow colleague, James who in term beat up and she left him to return to Siu Sang who in turn is having a blast of a time with Ah Ngor who in turn is being pursed by a decent man named Yeung Kwong Chiu. In the end, it's one happy ending for one couple who is blessed with twins and not so happy ending for another couple who never seems to want to get married. Even if they wanted to, we all know Esther Kwan left TVB and we have Ada Choi in Armed Reaction 3 to replace her, a sequal to a sequal that Seagull declares to be the best of the best of the very bests. When will we be rid of Armed Reaction? Maybe number 3 will be the last since what more could they say? What more indeed?
I decided against giving full plot sypnosis since I think we have quite a long winded one in E-Buzz. And so I have decided my who energy in writing about how I feel about this sequal to the smash hit, Armed Reaction.
I didn't like Armed Reaction because I thought it depended too much on the notion of women dependence on men. Even when they are policewomen, independent and with guns, they still needed to be rescued. And the title had no bearing whatsoever with the series' plot which were more concerned on the characters' love lives than real cases.
Armed Reaction 2 is slightly more intelligent in its presentation that part one, with interesting cases which were very brutal in nature, and some really real relationship problems. But it is still nevertheless melodramatic and overly contrived and the ending sucks.
One thing that I enjoyed watching AR2 is the rape of Sam Yuen. I am not wishing the worst for this woman but her attitude was overbearing and unreasonable. This event shut her up a bit and made her closer than ever with her loving and understanding manly husband, Ah Foong. The presentation of the rape was executed in the most brutal and honest way. No longer do we see rape scenes whereby women are slapped and then pushed to the floor and supposedly raped. In this series, we get to see the full effect of it. Many may ask;
Sam Yuen is a policewoman equipped with a gun. How can she be raped so easily?
Well known fact that men are many times stronger than women. Even if you know karate, you're still weaker physically. In that famous scene, Sam Yuen was brutally dragged from her car, handcuffed, and beaten half to death, her bra was stripped and she was rudely pushed to the floor and raped, I assume brutally. That scene was a powerful scene and very realistic. I applaud TVB for showing us the real side of rapes. The aftermath was just as powerfully shown. Sam Yuen became vulnerable, afraid,refused to have physical contact with her husband. These were all very real. Again, I would say these scenes were the best in this series.
But amongst such scenes, we have the usual drama. Ngor leaving Siu Sang, Siu Sang marrying another. Some time were given to some cases but somehow those investigations were too easily solved and their so called police investigations were shallow and nothing realistic.
One of the worst scene in this series which was also the most stupidest scene was the kidnapper who kidnapped a rich man together with Siu Sang's soon to be ex wife stayed in the house of the victim, the person kidnapped. I always assume that kidnappers would kill the victims if their faces were seen by victims. But this series went one step beyond blatant stupidity; our kidnapper openly stayed with the person kidnapped How moronic could such a kidnapper be?
I feel the only reason to watch this series is to watch Sam yuen and Ah Foong's relationship which is very volatile. And it doesn't help that he has a hot headed sife who has a brain the size of a peanut when she is unreasonable. So Ah Fong had a one night stand and so she went everywhere with a fellow colleague named Boy Genius, screming at the top of her voice to her husband; "if you can have an affair, why can't I?!" This eventually led to the rape by a man who hated adulteress. Sam Yuen is certainly one character I would like to slap. And I will never be able to trust her as a policewoman to protect my safety. She is irrational, irresponsible and too emotional. I would feel threaten by such a woman who can't even control herself, how then can she maintain law and order? And she has a gun as well, which is dangerous for someone who is emotionally like a little kid. Her husband, the one who is more thoughtful, mature and sensible had it up to his neck with his behaviour but he loved her, for reasons I am beginning to question. Perhaps I should rewatch AR I to see what is so wonderful about her.
We also could see plenty of other stories regarding Sam Yuen's sister who joined the TV entertainment business, almost raped and cheated. We get to see emotional problems with a certain cop we know very well, and we even get to see the point of view of An Ngor's son' Whether he likes Uncle Siu Sang more or Uncle Ah Chiu more.
However, too many moment of ridiculousness could never be explained. For example, a few below;
-Siu Sang sat for an exam and received a promotion. And thereafter he was transferred to CAIU (Child Abuse Investigation Unit), which is seen as a promotion. Correct me if I am wrong or applaud me if I am right. Isn't Siu Sang and weapon expert who is highly paid, highly decorated and highly respected for his knowledge in guns and bulletys? Isn't he an expert in the field of firearms? Why then is he transferred to CAIU, a department well known to be smaller, less famous and not very exposed to Siu Sang's expertise which is guns and bullets? Isn't that is a demotion rather than a promotion? I understand that in a police force people are always transferred from department to department. But transferring Siu Sang to CAIU is like asking a sniper to be an ordinary soldier! Siu Snag is an expert, and this aspect in the most stupidest aspect in this series.
-CAIU deals with child abuse cases, but it seems they deal with robbery, kidnaps and murders more than child abuse cases. And it is not like transferring one or two guys to Ching Foong's department, that is CID that deals with time cases to help a bit. The whole department is deployed. It just means that either HK has very little child abuse cases or TVB has got it all wrong in their attempt to try to introduce to us certain departments of a police force. I would say it is the latter, more so when they want to put Siu Sang and Ah Ngor in one department, to spice their complicated relationship, which made it all look too juvenile and unresearched.
-One story deals with a woman and child who are abused. That was quite a good story until they mixed it up into prostitution, gambling, and etc. Maybe some things are better left as they are. Why give us so much drama? I think I had enough of such drama with the woman and her child already. And talking about that woman who by the way is the Empress in Gods Of Honour (Lui San) I felt like kicking her when she was used again and again and again by her useless husband. The kid was beaten half to death and she still goes; "What can I do without my husband?". Well, maybe you will have more money since you work and he takes your money and your son will definitely have a longer life! And the policewomen and men were of no help either. They had reports of the abuse and yet they stood by when the woman went home to the husband again. Surely they can do something like practice police brutality, like kicking the man and warning him. And talking about warnings, we have two policewoman, one with long beautiful hair and another who looks like she needs food uttering "I WARN YOU!!" and as a man, let me ask you, are you afraid? I am not convinced of them as policewoman. The actresses should have watched NYPD Blue to watch how to really warn someone.
Overall, I find the performances very well done although the story has much to be desired.
Esther Kwan was simply amazing as Ah Ngor, a woman who has little ambition. She personifies that with the way she talks, the way she walks. She plays the simple minded AH Ngor to the hilt and a great pity she is no longer with TVB. She shares such amazing chemistry with Bobby Au Yeung.
Bobby Au Yeung was simply the best in here. He is cute, funny and witty as well. I like his Siu Sang. When he is at work, his Siu Sang is supposedly the number one sharp shooter in HK, he is not afraid of guns and robbers, he is very capable as a policeman. But when at home, he is often bullied by the 4 closest women in his family, and he is more afraid of Ah Ngor not marrying him than cashing after an armed robber. Excellent performance.
Yew Ying Ying who plays San Kiu gave her finest performance in her entire career in this series. She is pretty in here, although after this series she lost quite a substantial amount of weight making her look old and tired. In this series, her Sam Kiew has the same taste as Siu Sang and so they hit it off immediately. She is open minded and doesn't mind dressing as little as possible. And she became Mrs Chan Siu Sang. However, in an attempt to reunite Ah Ngor and Bobby, the writers made her character unbearable and unreasonable. I feel this is toow rong. I'd rather they kill off her character than to make her unreasonable. Nevertheless, a great performance and great chemistry with Bobby as well.
Joe Ma who plays Kuan Lo is cute in here. He always talks about his wife and is happily married. And his wife is a kindergarten teacher, always in pink or white, and very decently dressed. What a couple and very funny as well. His performance was ok in here which proves the versatality of this good looking former model who has a son by the way.
Michael Tong, Sherming Yew and even Chu Mi Mi was quite ok. Nothing much I could say.
Eddie Cheung was wonderful in here. It's true. His Yeong Kwong Chiu is a nice guy who falls for a woman who doesn't love him at all. His presence in this series is simply to provide for a barrier between Ah Ngor and Siu Sang though the barrier is a very thin one. However little he had o do, Eddie Cheung gave a fine performance.
The best, I feel amongst all would be Marco Ngai, an underrated actor in an overpopulated TV station. He once said, quite sadly that TVB did not fire him or anything because he is always on time for work, he remembers his script and he is always there. These are the words of a man who is a disappointed actor, not a happy actor. I feel more opportunity should be given to this remarkably versatile actor whom I still maintain can't be in a heroic role. I like his Cheng Foong even if he had an affair, I reasoned that his wife drove him to it. He shares great chemistry with Bobby and real life GF, Joyce Tang.
Joyce Tang is at best, hysterical in her performance as Sam Yuen. But she is also very good in her interpretation of Sam Yuen, the tomboy and the time bomb. I feel she did well, though I really do not like Sam Yuen at all.
Questions Asked And Answered
Some questions I believe you might be wondering.
Did Siu Sang and Ah Ngor marry at last?
Nope. She wanted career first and so Siu Sang still have to wait, after 2 and half years.
Whose children were the twins? That rapist or Ah Foong?
Obviously Ah Foong unless conception takes place months after the rape and you are not in your first trimester until months later. Impossible that they're the rapist's children.
What happened to Yeong Kwong Jiu?
Married to someone else.
What happened to Sum Kiew?
I assume she went far far away, never to be seen or mentioned again.
If you liked AR I, you'll like this one. I find this sequal more entertaining than AR I though the story is not very well developed. Do not expect our lady cops to do anything great in here. It has always been and always will be a love story wrapped in a package of so called policewomen with guns.
Interesting Guest Stars
Look out for Benny Chan in the ending scene. It seems that there is a crossover from another series where Benny's character from an Anti Triad department (I assume a series on Anti-Triads) would bump into Esther's character in one of the funniest scene.
Interesting Sequel to a Sequel
Read Seagull's AR 3 review. I believe we will see more drama, more tragic drama, more melodrama, more expected love stories, like cop falling for a criminal though we will not know he is a criminal. The usual boring stuff except for some really tragic deaths I guess.