The Knockout is a Chinese drama that has a good storyline, characters, and execution. It is about a long-standing corruption case within the Jinghai Police Department that a good policeman is trying to uncover. Check out the full The Knockout review below
Title: The Knockout ( 狂飙 )
Release Date: January 14, 2023
Genres: Action, Adventure, Romance, Drama
Original Network: CCTV, iQiyi
Available On: iQiyi
Synopsis and Plot Summary
The storyline of this Chinese drama follows An Xin, a frontline criminal police officer in Jinghai City, who constantly struggles against dark and evil forces. But never able to bring the criminals to justice.
Once, after the education and improvement work of the national political and legal team, Linjiang Province sent a steering group to Jinghai. Those dispatched joined the prosecution, law, and justice departments, to purge corrupt elements within the political and legal team.
It then destroyed the protectionist measures that the black and evil forces had instilled into the system, and in one fell swoop, he managed to eradicate the powerful group that had been cooped up in Jinghai for years.
The Knockout Chinese Drama Review
The Knockout is a Chinese crime drama about corruption that you should probably watch. This is the incredible story of how everyone who struggles secretly gets lost on the road to destruction.
Here, the stage is cleverly set from the start to manipulate us into sympathizing with a character who does bad things. We are blinded by their humanity and blame the system for failing them, forcing the oppressed to become oppressors.
Gao Qi Qiang’s character was originally a humble fish seller, doing his best to raise his younger brother and sister. When thugs threaten their livelihood, he fights them off but ends up being framed and arrested.
A young honorable officer, An Xi, suspects he is being bullied and takes the case lightly, trying to keep his tormentors away. Ironically with a small kindness, An Xi empowers Gao Qi Qiang and encourages him in unimaginable ways. The complex and genuine bond of empathy and debt that exists between the two men is at the heart of this story.
I love Gao Qi Qiang who is belittled for his friendly looks and crippling compassion and vulnerability for those he cares about.
The way he embraces fashion to please his wife to how he willfully blinds himself to his brother’s weaknesses is both touching and a joy to watch.
When crossed, threatened, or betrayed, she is unforgiving and cruel to the point of depravity – no one will be safe from her. He will be extremely cruel and stubborn when it comes to imposing his own brand of loyalty and justice.
Like any good sociopath, he harbors regrets but actually doesn’t hesitate to sacrifice himself. He “fixed it” by taking care of his family with sincerity and deep gratitude. He is bound by cruelty and immorality, yet he is strangely authentic and honorable.
We have to give credit to actor Zhang Song Wen who has embodied this character so well and wonderfully, that some people believe he is real.
For the character, An Xi is Gao Qi Qiang’s savior as well as his nemesis. More than anything else, she was his biggest victim. This character will make you sad and angry. He meant well and did the right thing with all the wrong and inappropriate results.
Zhang Yi for the role of An Xi, I initially felt that he was not suitable and would not be able to pull it off. But it turned out wrong because Zhang Song Wen’s Gao Qi Qiang wouldn’t be so interesting without Zhang Yi’s An Xi.
It’s their incredible connection and ability to communicate silently that make the small screen seem big. Zhang Yi’s expressive gaze and more refined style were the perfect foil for Zhang Song Wen’s flamboyance and charisma.
While I admire and sympathize with Gao Qiqiang, An Xi is a person who often makes the audience cry. His talking eyes often begged Gao Qi Qiang to be a good man.
He also conveyed a lie’s baseless disappointment at the goofy smile he gave Meng Yu.
The aging of characters over three different time arcs over twenty years is rarely captured as well as it is here. But it was Zhang Yi who did this – he was alert and tired but not too tired. An amazing character with an amazing cast.
In terms of cast and acting, this drama stars perfectly and is the drama with the list of China’s best actors, all of whom deliver immersive performances.
The director’s sharp lens carefully peels away the many layers of multi-faceted characters and their complicated relationships. The female characters are written to be strong and influential outside of their screen time.
Li Yi Tong who played Meng Yu really improved his acting; this is by far his strongest and most memorable role to date. Her on-screen chemistry with Zhang Yi was both unexpected and charming.
There is also a female supporting character, Chen Shu Ting who is very sensational, played by Gao Ye. It has the best gangster molls – cool, stylish, and fearless.
The way Chen Shu Ting threatens Gao Qi Qiang’s intelligence is one of the highlights of this drama for me. There’s a lot more on-screen violence in this drama than I expected.
The plot of the series is climactic, rich and surprising, unpredictable. This is to be expected as it is produced in partnership with the state, an unavoidable nationalist message that has seeped into the cracks of every level of the bureaucracy.
The confrontation between Gao Qiqiang and An Xi saves the entire arc and there are quite a few characters I care about including Meng Yu which is still a decent arc overall.
The fact that the government always wins is a certainty and not a spoiler in crime and/or corruption in Chinese dramas. But in this case, I don’t think it really shines a light on the “good people”.
I mean where have they been for the last twenty years? I’m not sure the “good guys” win here. Poor An Xi is definitely not a winner and no one actually wins. And indeed the audience really empathized with Gao Qi Qiang.
So this is actually a very dark crime story with a bold and quietly critical ending. I’m not disappointed with the way this ended like others.
Then, is The Knockout Chinese drama worth watching? Well worth it, it has a perfect storyline and great acting, and the production quality is also great. I’m sure of course you won’t go through this.
The Knockout Chinese Drama Cast
Zhang Yi as An Xin
Zhang Song Wen as Gao Qi Qiang
Li Yi Tong as Meng Yu
Zhang Zhi Jian as Meng De Hai
Wu Gang as Xu Zhong
Ni Da Hong as Uncle Tai
Han Tong Sheng as Li You Tian
Li Jian Yi as Ji Ze
Shi Zhao Qi as An Chang Lin
Li Jian as Li Xiang
Gao Ye as Chen Shu Ting
Lawrence Wang as Yang Jian
Hao Ping as Cao Chuang
Jia Bing as Xu Jiang
Lin Jia Chuan as Tang Xiao Long
Su Xiao Ding as Gao Qi Sheng
Long Ni as Gao Qi Lan
Alan Aruna as Li Hong Wei
Bao Da Zhi as Zhao Li Dong
Overall, The Knockout is one of the spectacular dramas of 2023 and is a must-watch. Again, I recommend this for you to watch. This is very nice. My rating for The Knockout Chinese drama review is 8,9/10.