Thursday, April 11, 2013

Forensic Heroes II Review (2008)

Drama Rating: ****
Personal Rating: Enjoyable

The police investigation team led by Madam Leung from Forensic Heroes I returns with their forensic science division partners led by Officer Tim. Kevin Cheng and Charmaine Sheh join this series as bomb disposal expert Yeung Yat Sing and Senior Inspector Madam Ma respectively to help out on a new set of cases requiring the aid of the forensics team.

*Spoiler warning*

As with most crime dramas, the cases in this series were quite interesting and presented forensic science in a manner that was easily understandable by the masses. However, the screenwriter avoided the challenge of creating a case that spanned the entire series (ie. Vampire Prosecutor, Phantom and Shinzanmono) and stuck with individual tried and true cases that only spanned a few episodes. This was a tad disappointing, especially with the lack of true suspense, but didn't take too much away from the interesting, self-contained cases. The fabric that kept everything together instead focused on the personal lives of the characters which was reasonably well developed but lacked the captivating nature of the suspense usually associated with police dramas.

As most of the cast was retained from the initial series, the camaraderie and chemistry between the cast members was on display a lot more and quite evident, particularly when compared with the first series. Most of the main cast was fairly solid led by veterans Kevin Cheng, Charmaine Sheh, Bobby Au Yeung, Frankie Lam and Yoyo Mung. Charmaine's Madam Ma was a slight cut above the rest. The main weakness for this drama was in the guest actors that were used for some of the cases. Their acting felt forced at best and definitely not professional; a real shame considering the relative strength of the regular cast.

The drama soundtrack was rather unsatisfying. There weren't any individual issues with most of the selected themes and songs but there was a lack of cohesiveness between the pieces. There was one piece though that did stick out: at times, especially at particularly suspenseful moments, the music turned oddly freaky with a woman's ghostly wailing. The resulting effect was rather unsettling and completely hindered the build up of suspense.

A reasonably well-thought out crime drama that presented a number of engaging and appealing cases. Although at no point did I feel as engrossed as when I was watching Phantom, this series is quite solid and was definitely a pleasure to watch. The cast interactions were a bonus and I was rather amused by the choice names selected by the screenwriter for some of the criminals. All in all, good crime drama fare to watch.

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