Wednesday, January 11, 2012

TVB: "Forensic Heroes 3" Review

Watch with low expectations and an open mind.  By doing so, this reboot of the beloved franchise can actually be very enjoyable and relaxing to watch.  While not extraordinary by any means, "Forensic Heroes 3" is one of the standouts of 2011 for its decent entertainment value and great cast.

Characters and Cast Performances
A reboot of such a loved series with a new cast and characters could've been a disaster.  However, TVB was able to assemble a great cast that worked extremely well together.  Nevertheless, I wish they had just given it a different name.  By carrying the "Forensic Heroes" name, it angered and turned away (close minded) fans of the first two and ended chances of another installment with the original cast.

Wayne Lai - Pro Sir
Good actor, solid performance, but flat character with not much substance.  Pro Sir was likable, but more could've been done with him.  However, I enjoyed the scenes with his family (played by Yuen Wah and talented child actress Moon Chan).

Maggie Cheung - Mandy Chung
Finally, a character and performance from Maggie I can actually consider a good comeback!  Having been the original choice to play Yoyo Mung's character in the first "Forensic Heroes", it was nice to TVB to invite her to replace Charmaine Sheh.  This worked out well, as Maggie did a solid job portraying Mandy's professional as well as off-work side.

Kate Tsui - Ada Ling
Is it unrealistic for a senior inspector to curl her hair every morning?  Yes.  But you have to cut Kate some slack as it is TVB's wardrobe and hair and make up department that dictates artiste's look for the series.  For whatever reason, they always make Kate look most feminine when she's playing a cop.  How contradicting.  I can't deny that she looks very pretty and stylish here.  Loved her hair and clothes!  In the time where the young people are taking over TVB, I was able to overlook how oddly young Kate and Ron were to be senior inspectors.

Appearance and casting decisions aside, Kate was cute and fierce as a tough and smart cop.  Her reactions to Ko Sir's pursuit of her were too hilarious and adorable.  Her acting has become a lot more convincing and gradually becoming more natural.

Ron Ng - Wind
"Wind" is one of Ron's worst roles in years.  The character was boring, undeveloped, and had very little screen time.  Even Edwin had more to do than him!  Ron has improved so much as an actor, but hasn't been able to show it for a while.  At the least, he was likable, unlike in "Wax and Wane".

Edwin Siu - Ken Ho
I know Edwin's acting has vastly improved since his return to TVB, but his performance as "Ken" justifies it.  He is cute, lively, and extremely likable.  However, it was his acting in the finale that blew me away.  His emotional and crying scenes were superb and he definitely should've been nominated for Best Supporting Actor and Most Improved.  Happy to see TVB is promoting him and am looking forward to seeing him in more major roles.

Aimee Chan - Angel Chiang
Her accent is still strong but it was funny how everybody poked fun at her for being an "ABC".

Ruco Chan - Jim Fong
A huge step down from "Keith" as "Jim" lacked substance, but he was still likable and charming as always.

Nancy Wu - Eva Chow
What a refreshing and different role for Nancy!  She was superb as the driven and capable lawyer.  Although she had a strong desire to win cases at all costs, she was proven to still be human.

Character Dynamics
Wayne and Maggie's relationship was subtle and sweet.  It was too obvious how compatible they were from the beginning.

Despite the age differences and appearance incompatibility, Wayne&Nancy and Maggie&Ruco's relationship as well as Maggie and Kate's friendship were all convincing and enjoyable to watch.  Wayne, Nancy, and their family were fun to watch.   The family's subsequent struggle was sad.

Maggie and Ruco's short lived relationship was sweet.  It was refreshing to see that both consistently acted like the mature and logical adults they were, right down to their break up.  This made it very easy to watch them.

Kate and Maggie were a great representation of modern career women who are best friends.  They look so incompatible appearance wise, but Maggie's professionalism and Kate's ability to get along with her co-stars makes it work well.

Kate and Ron's "brothers to lovers" love story was disappointing. They were cute together and Ron's confession to her on the rooftop was sweet.  Due to Wind's flat characterization, the two's relationship was mostly unfulfilled potential.

Finding the Balance
In the first half of the series, case after case is thrown at you.  There was barely any focus on the characters themselves.  The dominance of the cases in the storyline made me worry it'd go down the road of wasted character potential.  Luckily, it started to slow down and balance cases and relationships in the second half.

The Cases
Decent yet forgettable, and most of them predictable.  As I'm writing this, I've already forgotten most of them.  The first one was extremely predictable, most likely to throw us off that the rest would be as equally predictable.  The cases could've been better, but could've been a lot worse.  The forensics here were less impressive and not as focused on as in the original.

"Forensic Heroes 3" isn't outstanding, but addictive, entertaining, and enjoyable.  Unlike the first two, it branches beyond the field of forensics and has a more diverse cast.  With low expectations, I was able to enjoy FH3 more than almost any other series this year.

Rating: 4 stars

*Written by Iris.
*Originally posted on TVB Interaction
*View on original site here.

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