Note from KTVB 27/1/17: Another blog post I dug up from 2013- finally posting this to share with everyone- enjoy!
I thought Sniper Standoff was a pretty decent TVB series for 2013. It had a good storyline (relatively fast-paced), and kept me watching and wanting to find out more. The most interesting characters (and personal favourites) are Michael and Kathy’s characters. They have the most interesting back stories and character development. I felt sorry for their characters and have always hoped they would get a good ending.
Like Tiger Cubs, Sniper Standoff is based around SDU (Special Duties Unit) , however as the title suggests, focuses on the Snipers (namely Eddie Cheung, ex-SDU Sniper Michael Tse, and newbie female SDU member Eliza Sam). The two “brothers” Eddie and Michael were the top Snipers in SDU, trained together under the same master (Kate Tsui’s father); whom worked extremely well as a team. Unfortunately, due to Michael disobeying orders by exercising his own judgement during an operation (and Eddie pointing this out), Michael ends up being kicked out of the SDU leaving him with nothing. His dreams of being able to bring justice to the world and to protect the weak/innocent has been robbed from him and he can no longer be in the police force. As a result, Michael ends up secretly working for ‘Kei Dim’ Corporations as their assassin, run by Alice Chan’s father. The large corporation is involved with many illegal dealings and activity, which the cops (Kate’s Team) are constantly on the tail of.
Eddie Cheung: A nice decent guy but nothing too interesting about his character. I haven’t seen Eddie for a while so it was good to see a fresh face on screen. Personally I wasn’t too interested in his character- he was a bit boring for my liking. At the start of the series, he gets close to Kathy because he wanted to make up for accidentally shooting her in the head during one of his duties; but later falls in love with her. He plays the typical righteous cop, well respected by his followers and holds the championship title in shooting competitions.
Michael Tse: While he looks just like Laughing-Gor here, I actually think Michael fits this role and it still feels refreshing watching it. I think this type of role suits Michael. I feel for his character and can’t help but hope things work out for him. I think Michael had a good heart, and while he may appear to be ‘twisted’ in his thoughts, he stands up for the weak and executes the bad guys who deserve to die but the police cannot get rid of. Those who he kill “deserve” to die despite the on-going theme that he is not the judge and should not be the one to punish. Michael is always competitive and wants to be the ‘best of the best’ and hates to lose. Being an orphan at a young age, Michael learned the ‘need’ to fight back in order to survive. There is bitterness and rivalry towards Eddie and I can’t blame him. I never really felt the bond with him and Kate/Kate’s dad. While they say they treat him as part of the family, I felt it was slack when they were watching the shooting competition between Eddie and Michael and it was clear Kate/Kate’s dad were rooting for Eddie only. When Michael displayed his talented skills and seemed to have the upper hand, Kate and her dad were disappointed and clearly wanted Eddie to win.. why are they so bias? I liked watching Michael and Kathy’s friendship although at times it seems they’re more like acquaintances. No love relationship there…
Kathy Chow: I really liked Kathy’s character. Despite seemingly a bit older to play the sister of two; there was always that mystery around her. She appears so innocent, with nothing to hide: Defensive about her past and wanting to move on live a normal life.
The story starts off with Kathy recovering and coming out of hospital. Her ex-boyfriend was involved with illegal dealings. During the action scene Kathy’s ex-boyfriend gets killed and Eddie, who was the sniper back accidentally shoots her in the head, leaving her in hospital with a bullet in her brain. She has a younger brother who is studying abroad and a younger timid sister. Kathy and her sister try to start their new lives together while Eddie tries to get close to her to do everything he could to help her, including introducing her to his brother’s insurance company so she could get a job, without her knowing. He also helps her sister start up a cafe shop, and let them rent in a new place next to his. Their friendship grow and eventually Eddie falls for her.
Unfortunately, the bad guys who were linked to her ex-boyfriend constantly harass Kathy thinking she has the $50m of “black money” that went missing. She ends up losing everything, including kidnapping and ransom and her brother being shot. I really thought Kathy was going to die in the end (so Kate can have Eddie).
Kate Tsui: She did OK in her role but nothing too challenging. I didn’t feel much towards her father’s death nor the scenes of flash back/and grieving over him. Her character was normal. I was quite shocked when she died in the finale..it was unexpected. Somehow I thought Kathy would die leaving Kate with Eddie but it didn’t happen that way. I also didn’t feel much chemistry between Kate and Michael as ‘siblings’ until the finale when Kate was telling Michael her final words.
Eliza Sam: First proper role, and still not a fan of her. I found her character quite annoying. I thought she looked up to Michael, but when he died at the end it became a bit strange to see Alice crying like mad over his death, while she just stood there with rest of the SDU teams..
Alice Chan: Second TVB series I’ve seen her in (after Friendly Fire) where she also played a villain. I think villain roles suit her. I got a bit bored when she became repetitive in telling Michael how she feels that her father doesn’t value what she’s done for him etc..(The ending could have been better though…)
I can’t stand the SDU team >.< Unlike the SDU members in Tiger Cubs, Sniper Standoff SDU members appear very incompetent, inexperienced, immature, unprofessional and lacking team spirit. I honestly did not like a single member in there and even by the end of the series. None of them really had a personality either so it was bland to watch, and watching them make fun of each other, smirking at Eliza made me feel how childish/foolish they were. Steven (from Boyz) was screaming for attention and I found his character super annoying. And does this Steven guy actually like Eliza? I doubt it because he falls asleep every time she’s venting. I totally understand Eddie’s worries of not being able to train up talented members lol.
In the finale, TVB made them say they were excellent and worked harder etc, but I’m not convinced at all. I disliked Eliza’s character too. She spent most of her time whinging that she doesn’t get a chance to be a part of the operation but doesn’t do anything to actually prove herself.. It surprises me that Eliza became the first female SDU so easily just because of her shooting skills, while Mandy in Tiger Cubs who is a lot more fit and competent, went thru so much barriers etc to make it through. Overall, not impressed with SDU Team in Sniper. It seemed like the bunch of them are so useless as well, and often one of them outshines everyone (e.g Eliza in the shooting one), “hero” saves the day, not because of team effort. Why is it that nothing happens to Eliza when she disobeyed orders and shot the bad guy, while Michael did something similar and he had to get kicked out of SDU? Seriously….
Kate Tsui- I’m sure most of you would have picked up this one. Several occasions throughout the series about 5 times- of flying from near explosions Kate is absolutely fine..some kind of superwoman..It really made me feel that Kate’s character would not die at the end because she seemed invincible. She died from a shot. The clothes that she wears to work seems quite inappropriate as well. Why is she wearing such high heels? She dresses so casually like a tom boy at home (often hanging around men- her dad, Michael and Eddie) so it does not make sense for her dress code to be like that. There was a scene where Kate was following Alice, and she took off her blazer to attract a man’s attention to let her into the VIP restaurant. And why would she wear that?