An Xin, a front-line criminal police officer in Jinghai City, is constantly in a struggle with the black and evil forces, and is never able to bring the criminals to justice. After the national political and legal team education and rectification work, Linjiang Province sent a steering group to Jinghai, combined with the public prosecution, law and justice departments, to clear the corrupt elements within the political and legal team. This crushed the protectionistic measures the black and evil forces have planted in the system, and in one fell swoop, he managed to eradicate the strong group that has been cooped up in Jinghai for many years. (Source: iQiyi) Edit Translation
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- עברית / עִבְרִית
Where to Watch The Knockout
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The road to perdition.To put it simply, The Knockout knocks it out of the park with its audacious portrayal of an anti-villain as the main protagonist. Spanning twenty years, it is a masterful account of how a struggling everyman insidiously strays onto the road to perdition. The stage is set brilliantly from the get-go to manipulate us into sympathizing with a character who does terrible things. We are blinded by their humanity and blame the system for failing them, forcing the oppressed to become the oppressor.
Gao Qiqiang starts out as a humble fishmonger doing his best to raise his younger brother and sister. When thugs threaten their livelihood, he stands up to them but is framed and arrested. An upstanding young officer An Xi suspects he was bullied, books the case leniently, and tries to keep his tormentors at bay. Ironically with small acts of kindness, An Xi empowers Gao Giqiang and propels him in unimaginable ways. The complex and sincere bond of empathy and indebtedness that is forged between the two men is the linchpin of this story. Their most pivotal character turning points and moments of truth play out on the neutral ground of a humble noodle shop. where much is revealed with few words.
It is clear from the outpouring of accolades that Gao Qiqiang is an iconic portrayal that put the hitherto under-appreciated Zhang Songwen on the map. Gao Qiqiang is a visionary mastermind who draws inspiration from Sun Tzu's Art of War. He is dangerously underestimated because of his amicable facade and his disarming affection for and vulnerability with those he cares for. The way he embraces fashion to please his wife to how he willfully blinds himself to his brother's weaknesses is both touching and relatable. When crossed, threatened, or betrayed, he is unforgiving and cruel to the point of depravity - no one is safe from him. He is chillingly ruthless and implacable when it comes to imposing his own brand of loyalty and justice. Like any good sociopath he oozes regret but in truth has no qualms about sacrificing his generals. He "makes it right" by caring for their families sincerely and with deep gratitude. He is bound by a very misguided code; one that is ruthless and amoral yet oddly authentic and honorable. Zhang Songwen embodies this character so well that some believe he is not acting and insist he should be at least investigated, if not locked up.
An Xi is both Gao Qiqiang's savior and his nemesis. More than anything, he is his biggest victim. This character makes me sad and mad. He is well meaning and does the right thing with all the wrong outcomes. Zhang Yi was reluctant to accept the role of An Xi, feeling he wasn't a good fit and wouldn't able to pull it off. But Zhang Songwen's Gao Qiqiang would not be so compelling without Zhang Yi's An Xi. It is their incredible rapport and ability to silently communicate that makes the small screen seem huge. Zhang Yi's expressive gaze and more subtle style is the perfect foil for Zhang Songwen's flamboyance and charisma. While I admired and sympathised with Gao Qiqiang, An Xi is the one that often moved me to tears. His speaking eyes frequently implore Gao Qiqiang to be a good man and convey bottomless dejection that gives lie to the goofy smiles he flashes at Meng Yu. The aging of characters over three distinct time arcs across twenty years is rarely captured as well as it is here. But it is Zhang Yi that simply nails this part - he is wary and tired but not quite beaten; the righteous flame in his eyes are dimmed but at the core still burns hot.
This drama is impeccably cast and is a who's who list of China's best actors, all of whom deliver immersive performances. The director's incisive lens meticulously peels back the many layers of the multi-faceted characters and their intricate relationships. The female characters are written to be strong and impactful beyond their screen time. Li Yitong really takes her acting to another level as Meng Yu; it is by far her strongest, most memorable role to date. Her screen chemistry with Zhang Yi is unexpected and endearing. And then there is Gao Ye's simply sensational Chen Shuting, the ultimate gangster's moll - cool, stylish and fearless. The way she menaces the wits out of Gao Qiqiang is one of the drama's highlights for me. There is a lot more on-screen violence in this drama than I expected. While the worst of it takes place off-screen, it is so well staged that it is more visceral and blood thirsty in my overactive imagination.
The rich plot builds to a shocking, unpredictable and devastating climax about a third of the way through. Then it loses momentum and in the final ten episodes it limps toward a predictable ending. This is somewhat to be expected as this was produced in partnership with the state, the nationalist message is inevitable.I really did not care about the party's anti corruption task force and yawned through their heroic sweep through Jinghai City to weed out the endemic corruption that had seeped into the cracks at every level of the bureaucracy. It is clear that there were some cuts and at least one character is whitewashed but I don't think it changes the gist of the final outcome. The final confrontation between Gao Qiqiang and An Xi saves the entire arc and there were enough characters I cared about including Meng Yu that it was still overall a decent arc. All considered, I am not as dismayed by the way this ends as others are. The fact that the government always wins is a foregone conclusion and not a spoiler in any crime and/or corruption themed Chinese drama. But in this case, I don't really think it shines that great of a light on "the good guys". I mean where were they for twenty years? And I am not sure the "good guys" win here. Poor An Xi is definitely is not a winner; in fact no one wins. Indeed audiences overwhelmingly empathise with Gao Qiqiang. Thus this is actually a very dark crime story with a surreptitiously bold and critical ending.
This spectacular crime thriller is a must watch. The first 30 episodes feel like a tour de force that can easily be rated 9.0/9.5. The rest are more at the 8.0 level so 9.0 feels about right for my final rating.
A must watch crime drama about corruption within Jinghai Police DepartmentOriginally I was going to drop "The Knockout" after watching about 4 episodes. I found it boring, but I am glad I stuck with it as the story unfolded.
It showed that An Xi was a good and high-standard moral policeman, who had to walk away from being an investigation cop because of corruption, and too many of his friends were killed and hurt. Eventually, he was transferred to the right team from Linjiang province to help and work with him to eliminate the corruption of Jinghai and its high-ranking major and police officers.
Li Yi Tong did not have much screen time in this drama, but I think it was the best acting job that I have seen from her.
Zhang Song Wen, in my opinion, should win the golden eagle award for his role as Gao Qi Qiang. His acting is superb and carries this drama beautifully, and the entire ensemble is excellent. Everyone from minor to major supporting roles.
As it was revealed, the flow of the story was just right, and the production quality was also good. I can see why Douban gave it such a high rating. It is a 9.0 rating for me as well.