Review: “Bullet Brain” (By Miriamfanz)

By on May 13, 2013 in NEWS, REVIEWS

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Bullet Brain <神探高倫布>
TVB Series 2013

Producer: Lee Tim Sing
Genre: Science-fiction
Episodes: 25

Rating: 

Cast
Wayne Lai as Dai Hei /Columbo
Pierre Ngo as Bao Ping On
Sire Ma as Eva Kim
Natalie Tong as Mui Mui/Szeto Nam
Edwin Siu as Choi Fei Lung
Joe Junior as Louis Kim
Brian Burrell as Mr. Scott
Lau Dan as Choi Tin

Plot 

A brilliant detective goes head-to-head against criminals and outsmarts them at every turn to keep Hong Kong safe. But I must have accidentally flipped the channel to another series about schizophrenia, stupidity and the supernatural.

Review

Bullet Brain Ngo Ka Nin 2The problem with this series is not with storytelling. Some viewers may have found it confusing that the back story is given in separate parts, but it is actually quite straightforward. We know the brilliant Detective Columbo used to be very dumb but nice. Something happened to make him smart yet arrogant, but that something isn’t revealed right away. Simple.

No, the problem is with the story itself. First, this “detective” series isn’t about solving cases, but Lee Tim Sing already warned about that before its release. What I had expected was a battle of wits between Wayne and Pierre since that was how the series was advertised. The battle of the wits never happened. Actually, if you really think about it, Wayne with IQ of 283 was outsmarted by Pierre with IQ of 203 most times, but he got lucky. Still, we got a weird lightning fighting scene, if that helps.

What this series turns out to be is Wayne and Pierre taking turns vowing to help the other find their “conscience” back. Why is this so important anyways? The idea might make sense for Pierre’s character since he was clearly evil. But for Wayne… sure, he was one arrogant bastard, but he was not evil. Aside from the bank manager case, nothing else he did was immoral, so I don’t understood Pierre’s desperateness to “save” Columbo by changing him back to the stupid Dai Hei.
Bullet Brain Sire MaFurther adding to the problem with this series is the heavy focus on Sire Ma. She is, by far, the most annoying, immature, dumb madam EVER!! “9527, this is an order!” *teary-eyes* “Bo Bo!” Goodness, can someone explain to me how she could have been an elite graduate from Scotland Yard? And someone please tell Tim Gor that this diary thing is an absolute drag (recall Fala Chen in No Regrets?)

There are three versions of Wayne Lai in Bullet Brain and he performed well in two of them. As Columbo, he was absolutely despicable and displayed so much arrogance. You want to wipe that smug look from his face, which is exactly what Columbo is – the most hated man at the police station. As Dai Hei, he was a shy and innocent man. He shows the character’s insecurity as he tries to hold onto everyone’s hand. Wayne is able to draw a clear distinction between the two characters so that the continuous flashbacks are not confusing. Where he goes downhill is when he regained his memory and intelligence in the second half of the series. As Dai Hei x Columbo, all he did was look constantly worried or grieving.

Pierre Ngo did well until his character became smart and evil. After that, he was overly exaggerative in a bad way. While Wayne’s exaggerative gestures were to show Columbo’s arrogance, Pierre just came off as crazy. His hair and his laugh were plain weird.

Sire Ma… No words can describe my frustration with her. No doubt that her annoying character makes it easy to hate her, but her acting definitely contributes to the annoyance. A lot of times, she just stands there as stiff as a stick. Her emotional scenes need work and her pronunciation could see improvement.

Edwin Siu was the stereotypical good guy. There’s nothing special about him, except I would have loved it if he could slap some sense into Sire. Actually I thought he would have ended up with her, but instead Sire gets to be with her “Bo Bo”, which makes no sense whatsoever.

Bullet Brain wayne Lai Natalie Tong 5Natalie Tong was the shining star in Bullet Brain. She was very, very convincing as a deranged lady and she can easily make the switch to “normal” 40-year old in front of others. The last scene before her death was so touching that I actually got teary-eyed. She was even better than Wayne in that scene. Playing the daughter role, her best scene was when she sat with a slightly satisfied smile after pushing Pierre out of the car. This is definitely a breakthrough for Natalie; a pity she was cast aside in favor of Sire.

Conclusion: Stick to normal crime-fighting next time.

The review is written by Miriamfanz, a Contributing Writer at JayneStars.com. Visit Miriamfanz’s blog!

26 comments to Review: “Bullet Brain” (By Miriamfanz)

  1. RLF Lover says:

    I admire your patience in writing this review, miriamfanz. Honestly don’t think a review is even necessary for this disastrous drama.

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    • Larry 3 replied:

      it is necessary just for historical purpose why TVB just suck at producing this ???? series.

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      • Coco Chan (aka Coco) replied:

        Like Sam and some other people have said, there is no need to repeat yourself and your same belief on every “Bullet Brain” article. Everyone here got the message that you despise this series!

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      • Larry 3 replied:

        huh?

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  2. tearfulheart says:

    i’m surprised anybody actually survived all the episodes to write a review on this drama.

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    • clamine replied:

      Lol! Good one!

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  3. Funn Lim says:

    “But for Wayne… sure, he was one arrogant bastard, but he was not evil. ”

    The idea was not that conscience equals evil intentions. He may not have been evil but his actions were harsh, callous and with total disregard for others. Dai Hei was selfless, he was giving and he was compassionate, all of which Columbo lacks, hence the importance of finding his conscience which basically just means finding the old Dai Hei.

    The storyline is not confusing, it is just out of this world without any cause and effect. It was like 10 different writers with 10 different good ideas to which the director decided to use them all, not caring if they fit the story or even make sense.

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    • Sam replied:

      I think that might be it. I think, with about 10 ish ideas for this series, the director slapped on some pretty sloppy and wateery glue to stuff them throughout the series. You are right about how good Columbo looks grieving too often and nearly never gives evil Ping On the psychological and intellectual challenge that I and most certainly other viewers expected. Also I see what you mean about the diary drag like RB2’s Fala, they may as well have made Eva a minor character even more minor than Choi Fei Lung, and let someone who has more experience like Tavia Yeung to take the role of Head of Security’s >elite< daughter…

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  4. vann says:

    What a good review.

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    • Larry 3 replied:

      One star review consider to be a good review? you really funny.

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      • Coco Chan (aka Coco) replied:

        It was a valid, honest review.
        On the the other hand, Miriamfanz tried to see the “good” part of this series.

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      • Larry 3 replied:

        huh?

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      • Coco Chan replied:

        I don’t think what I have mentioned is confusing or misleading…
        There should not be any reasons why you keep commenting on my posts with “huh?”.

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    • Jackson replied:

      Vann @ in other word you agree with Miriamfanz?
      I do too – everything she said above – i agree
      This is a disastrous series

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  5. shumbody says:

    Nice review! I completely agree that Natalie is the shining star and that she gave an outstanding performance. Very pleasantly surprised and impressed by her substantial improvement here.

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    • Coco Chan (aka Coco) replied:

      agreed. I always thought that TVB should promote Natalie more.

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  6. smurf120 says:

    I agree with your review – I haven’t mustered courage to watch episode 21-25 yet. Sire Ma is like harsh Fala in No Regrets but with 3x the screen time.

    The story is pretty straightforward just many weird detours and enormous amount of overacting and unintentional humor.

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  7. vann says:

    MiriamfanZ,
    I love your exact and fair review. As a writer, you got my respect.

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  8. tracy says:

    Anyone know the name song sing by Mui Mui?
    Thank you.

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    • Funn Lim replied:

      oh I found it!!

      永远的微笑 (Yǒngyuǎn de wéixiào)- Forever Sad Smile?

      Original song

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Je_ZFMg7e4Q

      Sung by 周璇 (Zhou Xuan). Died so young.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zhou_Xuan

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      • Funn Lim replied:

        Oh Nnadia Chan played her? That was her? The one with Leon Lai! I didn’t know. Who was the other one who killed herself? The one played by Maggie Cheung man Yuk?

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      • skinnymocha replied:

        Yuen Ling-yuk, wasn’t it?

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      • Funn Lim replied:

        No idea. Wikipedia can be and has been known to be wrong.

        Oh you mean Maggie Cheung? I think so!

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  9. tracy says:

    Song name?

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  10. ebbie says:

    I saw like 4 episodes & decide to stop. First because of the dump plot. The casting is bad too. Sire Ma should be replaced with someone more experienced. Wayne Lai quite disappointing here, I just don’t understand the need for all the over exaggerated expressions. Overall I think he over acted. Pierre so far so good. And yes Natalie did the best here.

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  11. Trang says:

    Sire Ma is so annoying in this drama, everytime she opens her mouth, i find myself yelling at the TV for her to shut up

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