Review: “Will Power” (By Miriamfanz)

By on November 25, 2013 in REVIEWS, TV Dramas

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Will Power <法外風雲>
Hong Kong TVB Drama 2013

Producer: Tsui Ching Hong
Genre: Modern, legal
Episodes: 32

Rating:

Cast:

Wayne Lai as Wilson Yu
Moses Chan as Morris Lee
Fala Chen as Eugene Sum
Christine Ng as Sheila Luk
Jason Chan as Ching Ka Ming
Sire Ma as Nana Lo
Vincent Wong as Gilbert Sung

Review:

Will Power Moses chan 4I 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 percent 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 do 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.

Will Power Fala Chen Moses Chan 2With 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 over-dramatic, 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.

Will Power Jason Chan 2lThe worst acting goes to Jason Chan. He seemed perpetually 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.

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

47 comments to Review: “Will Power” (By Miriamfanz)

  1. carmen says:

    yay first. – this drama is good. wasnt boring and i didnt skip any episode.

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  2. buzz says:

    It’s interesting to note that this drama didn’t rank that high on Douban. Out of more than 1200 votes, its rating is only 6.5 out of 10 or 3.5 stars. 49.2% rated it 3 stars. So reviews are really subjective like everything else that cannot be scientifically measured. As long as you enjoy the drama, who cares about what reviewers think.

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    • MW replied:

      Just checked … Ghetto Justice review had 4 stars as well.

      I prefer to rely more on voting systems with more votes. LOL 🙂

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  3. elisabella says:

    What a good review; I enjoy this series more than On call 36 hrs. Like carmen I did not skip any episode; thump up for Wayne, Moses, Power Chan and Chung King Fai.

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    • sandcherry replied:

      I started watching Ep. # 11 after my holiday, but it gave me the urge to go back to watch every single episode. As a result, I watched every single episode and every scene. The arguments and court scenes were very convincing if you didn’t care too much about the legal procedures.

      Acting was excellent ….. Wayne Lai, Moses Chan, Vincent Wong, King Sir, Power Chan and even Fala Chen. Christine Ng’s acting was not impressive, but she could not do much as a judge. Jason Chan was the only weak artiste in “Will Power”.

      It was so much better to watch the veterans acting with focus on cases, rather than on multi-line love stories. There was no short side stories to distract the flow of the storyline.

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    • llwy12 replied:

      Agreed that WP was way more enjoyable than THC2 (which I’m about ready to give up on already cuz I’m bored out of my wits). True, WP had its flaws (many of them in fact, if we really wanted to get nit-picky about it), but overall, from an acting perspective and storyline perspective, it was quite engaging to watch…I’d say that it was one of the better series that aired this year.

      And yes, totally agree with miriamfanz that King Sir was truly the one to ‘watch’ in this series! It was great to watch ‘the master’ in action once again and so glad that TVB gave him a ‘meaty’ role this time around that allowed him to showcase his skills. Of course, none of us should forget that King Sir was the one who started both TVB’s Acting Classes as well as HK’s Academy of Performing Arts and has been an acting instructor for longer than most of us have been alive, so of course he knows what it takes to put in a great performance. Watching King Sir battle acting chops with fellow veterans as well as with his juniors was definitely a huge reason why this series was so engaging (well, for me at least).

      Also glad to see that the finale ratings passed the 30s mark (though it probably won’t help the overall ratings much)…

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  4. Jason Chan is wow, I meant I have told this several times. If TVB gives me a chance, I am pretty sure that I can act better than him.

    It is true that TVB should give chances to new people but there are others as well. I enjoyed the other acting then wow – this Jason came out and killed the mood. I do not understand Chinese but the way he delivers the dialog and his gestures – wow, I see a lot of TVB unknown actors can act much better.

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    • laputasam replied:

      Better not give him Most Improved Actor. This guy played the keyboard like typing on a keyboard.

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      • choco-bunny replied:

        i really like your comment 🙂

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  5. hong duong says:

    Vincent Wong’s acting in this series is good; hoping that he will have the best supporting actor this year.

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    • Anna replied:

      I agree… Vincent is thr most outstanding actor in this serial. Either him of Chung King Fai. King Sir has less screen tie though compare to Vincent.

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  6. Jason says:

    very bad drama, the whole drama only have one judge and three lawyers.

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    • penny replied:

      Those are the leads, they appear more is reasonable. They are not ordinary, average lawyers

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  7. sandcherry says:

    Miriamfanz
    This is one of your excellent reviews of TVB drama series. I agree with you on every single point.

    It is also quick and interesting to read such a good review, just one day after the finale was aired. Good work!

    The only disappointing plot was the finale – Mrs. Sung disclosed the murder of her son so easily without being questioned. The scriptwriter could have added one or two episodes to make the drama series a more convincing one.

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    • penny replied:

      I loved this drama as well, and your review is well written

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    • cloud9 replied:

      Thanks Miriamfanz for a good review.

      For me this one of the drama I look forward on each episode, not too heavy and a lots of twist and surprise. Greed and Revengeful very well played.

      Regarding Jason, I think he played very well, because the role is pure and dumb son !

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      • 🙂 well – I do not think Jason Chan acted pure and dumb. His role is kind of talented but naive and to be honest, I saw many actors who are just have a few dialog act much better than Jason does.

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      • sandcherry replied:

        Jason Chan was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in “Will Power”, and not Vincent Wong or Power Chan. Ridiculous and shame on TVB.

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  8. bern says:

    Very well written and precise vs funn lim’s lengthy episode by episode commentary at times.

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    • Bubblez replied:

      Agree! Straight to the point ! I haven’t watched this drama though! (:

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  9. Nicholas says:

    Now why can’t u do all the reviews! Especially brother’s keeper! :p I prefer reading your reviews than a 2 page essay lol

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    • ebbie replied:

      Totally Agree 🙂

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  10. JD says:

    I love watching this series….both Moses and Wayne are so good!!! Enjoying watching them.

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  11. AC says:

    I thought this series was really good! I liked how all the cases kinda tied in together into the overall story and all the actors did really well in their roles (except Jason but even his bland acting didn’t pull down the series for me). King Sir and Vincent did a great job because I hated their characters so much. haha.

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    • sandcherry replied:

      Agree!

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  12. ebbie says:

    I was waiting for your review, you always do such a GREAT job! This is as usual, awesome. I like the series too 🙂
    Like the rest I thought Vincent did a good job. Poor Jason, he’s just not ready to handle too many scenes yet:(

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  13. Kidd says:

    I like Fala’s short hair very much. I was planning to cut my hair short, but, couldn’t find a suitable style I like. Now I found it. I’m going to screen cap Fala’s hair from all angle to show the hair stylist.

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    • sandcherry replied:

      Agree. I also like Fala’s short hair. In fact, I was surprised that she looked so good in short hair. Was that her real hair or just a wig? Even if it was a wig, it was quite natural to me.

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      • AC replied:

        It was a wig, but it was actually a pretty good one! I think she looks prettier with long hair, but I really liked her short wig for this series.

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      • sandcherry replied:

        Thanks! I also like her in short hair. In fact, Fala looks good in both.

        Such a good wig! I wouldn’t mind to have one. It looks quite natural to me.

        I have seen other actresses wearing wigs in drama series, but they were so fake.

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      • cloud9 replied:

        I prefer Fala in short hair, her eyes looks bigger

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  14. SnoopyBird says:

    Miriam, your reviews are to the point and often provide a different angle to the audience. Did you watch Brother’s Keeper? It would be interested to read your review on this series. Thks!

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    • miriamfanz replied:

      I have watched BK, but didn’t get the time to write a review when it ended. I may do that later on. No guarantees though!

      Thank you everyone for your comments.

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  15. Chill says:

    I actually like this drama. Very entertaining. It keeps you wanting to watch more as it comes to an end. Power Chan is really good. The rest are just as per their usual standard. Same old acting. Jason can’t act. He can’t seem to portray his emotions very well. I will feel like “what is he feeling”?

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    • cloud9 replied:

      Power Chan another strong change for winning this year Best Supporting Actor which he lost last year…but will TVB nominate him as he physically support recent HKTV public rally?

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      • sandcherry replied:

        It is very true. TVB do not like artistes not supporting them, especially in the public. We could clearly see from Sheren Tang’s incident for being boycotted in filming future TVB series.

        Feel sorry for Power Chan who is an excellent artiste. He was “let down” by TVB in Pang Sam Shun’s character last year, and will probably be black-listed from now on.

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  16. Funn Lim says:

    Even a bag fats better than Jason.

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    • Funn Lim replied:

      I mean acts not fats.

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      • cloud9 replied:

        haha, how is your holiday ?

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      • Funn Lim replied:

        Still holidaying. Holidays are supposed to be invigorating. Mine is very tiring.

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  17. Mightysnoopus says:

    Another hopeless series from boring TVB. HKTV Will never do a drama like this. The script was horrible, totally helpless.

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    • AC replied:

      Yes, HKTV will never do this because they will never get their license. 🙂

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      • sandcherry replied:

        Good point!

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  18. jujubean says:

    Quoting from Miriam, “Jason… perpetually lost…” HAHAHA. Could not have said it better. Thumbs up!

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    • To be honest, why TVB does not let him spend a few more years in less important roles so he can improve before going out and annoy us?

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  19. key says:

    This drama make me wana be lawyer xD

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  20. daisuke says:

    thought this drama was one of thr best of the year. although i hated the ending, the ladt 30-45 minutes felt rushed, the lady admitted she was the killer so quickly.

    few points

    -wished the sire ma and jason circle was more emotional
    -less wayne and christine, he always met up with her and asked her about court stuff, like wtf this happened like 20 times
    -this drama reminded me of “the other truth” when wayne and moses get kidnapped…. but w.e it was funny
    -moses reminded me of when he played in “yes sir, sorry sir” in the funny moments

    i was never going to watch this drama cuz i hate watching wayne and moses unless hes in a comedy for some reason, but i was really impressed by them and flew by the drama in 4-5 days

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