This drama came highly recommended by my sister so I finally gave in and watched it despite my busy schedule. (I couldn’t help it, she knew my weakness. She lured me into her room and showed me some scenes with Lee Min Ho in it, and I just caved in.) Anyway, I really enjoyed it so I decided to make a short review.
Just a quick warning : I will be posting A LOT of spoilers below, so if you haven’t seen the show you might want to stop reading now.
Plot summary :
The show begins in 1983 when North Korean soldiers planted a bomb meant to harm the South Korean president during his visit in Myanmar. The president was unharmed, but several high ranking officials were killed due to the explosion. To retaliate, five South Korean officials planned a covert operation to sneak into North Korea and kill several high ranking officials. Twenty one well-trained South Korean soldiers were sent to fulfill the task without the president’s knowledge. However, while the mission was being carried out, the South Korean officials who ordered the attack changed their minds and decided to kill the 21 soldiers on their way back to Korea and hide all evidence of the raid mission. One soldier, Lee Jin Pyo, managed survive after his good friend and comrade, Park Moo Yul, took the bullet that was meant for him. Filled with anger, Jin Pyo managed to make his way back to Seoul and kidnapped Moo Yul’s newborn son, Yoon Sung to make him a pawn for his revenge. He escaped to the Golden Triangle and became a drug lord while raising Yoon Sung as his own and training him to become a strong fighter and bounty hunter of some sort. When Yoon Sung turned 28, Jin Pyo sent him back to Korea to track down the five officials who betrayed him and kill them.
Lee Min Ho as Lee Yoon Sung
So once again I was lured into watching a drama because of this dude. But Lee Min Ho is not just some guy with a pretty face, he’s a decent actor as well. I thought that his acting has improved a lot since Boys Over Flowers. It was a bit hard to tell at first because Yoon Sung’s character is very similar to Goo Jun Pyo’s, but as the drama progresses you can see him add more depth to his role. I was quite impressed with him in the scene when his ajusshi almost died after getting ran over by a car, as well as his final scenes in the last episodes. Yoon Sung was a very conflicted and confused character, and Lee Min Ho portrayed him really well I think.
Park Min Young as Kim Nana
This is the first drama I’ve seen of her, (well, the first complete drama – I tried watching Sungkyungkwan Scandal but I wasn’t able to finish it) and I found her absolutely adorable. I loved Kim Nana in this drama. She was cheerful, kind and strong. She helps out others, is a good friend to those who need her and can even pick herself up when life knocks her down.
I really like how she wasn’t one of those clingy and helpless girls that often appear in dramas. She can take care of herself (most of the time – there were some moments when Yoon Sung had to rescue her despite being a strong fighter) and she’s very honest with herself, which is another thing I liked. When she realized her feelings for Yoon Sung, she didn’t go around denying it or trying to hide it. She went up to him and openly admitted it. And despite being rejected many times, her feelings never wavered.
Lee Jun Hyuk as Kim Young Joo
I thought he looked a bit like Big Bang’s Seungri at first glance, but that’s just me XD He was a new actor to me, I’ve never seen any of his other works before and again I was fairly impressed. (EDIT: I just found out that he was in Secret Garden! I never realized that he was in it until I checked his past dramas on Wikipedia, lol. He played Oska’s friend in one of the flashback scenes.) Anyway, I really liked how he portrayed his character. Sure, there were a couple of times that he was a bit annoying – following Yoon Sung around all the time, trying to prove that he was City Hunter – but that’s just his job.
Like Yoon Sung, he played a conflicted character that was torn between his loyalty to his father and his sense of justice. I think the scene that best showcased his talent was the hospital confrontation with Yoon Sung after his father’s accident. I could really feel his anger radiating from the screen at that point.
Kim Sang Jung as Lee Jin Pyo
He looks happy and peaceful in the picture above but in the drama he was portrayed as a strong military soldier with a burning desire for revenge. He was quite scary and heartless at times, but I thought that he was still very cool. He did a lot of terrible stuff throughout the drama (like stealing Yoon Sung away from his mom when he was just a baby, blackmail, murder, etc), but I still connected with his character in some way, and I’m sure many of the audience did so as well.
I like that you can tell that he cared a lot for Yoon Sung despite his hard exterior. I wasn’t sure about this at first, and there were a couple of times when I started to wonder if he truly saw Yoon Sung as anything more than a pawn in his path to revenge, but it all became very clear in the last episode how much he cared. I don’t want to give too much away, but I can tell you that his final scene in that episode made me bawl like a baby.
Other minor characters that I liked:
- Choi Da Hye – this role was played by the adorable Goo Hara. I’m used to seeing her acting so sweet so it was interesting to see her being a brat in this series XD
- Go Ki Joon – I think all Running Man fans would love this character. I mean it’s Gwang Soo! All he had to do was appear on the screen and I would start laughing like crazy. (But the episode with his younger brother made me tear up a bit – so touching.)
- “Ajusshi”/Bae Sik Joong – he pretty much acted as Yoon Sung’s pseudo-mom in this drama. He was rescued by Yoon Sung in the first episode and remained loyal to him until the very end. I loved how addicted he was to Home TV Shopping, lol. It got to the point that Yoon Sung had to block his credit card to stop him from overspending. (But he unblocked it in the end because he couldn’t resist his loving Ajusshi)
Some of my favorite scenes:
- The scene when the 21 soldiers were shot and killed at sea. Not because I’m evil or anything like that, but because it showcased the friendship between Lee Jin Pyo and Park Moo Yul.
- Seeing Gwang Soo appear for the first time, lol
- The scenes when Da Hye would flirt with Yoon Sung and he would just turn her down
- Yoon Sung and Nana’s first kiss at the club
- Kim Young Joo and Lee Yoon Sung fighting over the wallet that they wanted to give Nana
- The martial arts training sessions. There was always something sweet or funny or dramatic happening during these scenes. And it was always funny to see Gwang Soo getting beaten up in the background.
- The bus scene when Yoon Sung “fell asleep” on Nana’s shoulder and wouldn’t budge. I loved his mischevious smile when she finally gave in.
- The scene when Yoon Sung and Nana were bargaining the living arrangements. I loved it when Yoon Sung asked her how much it would cost him for a kiss XD (It sound a bit pervy and wrong here, but it was actually really sweet the way he said it.)
- This is sort of a continuation of what I mentioned above – the scene where Nana comes back home and sees Yoon Sung staring at her. I loved it when he said “I was just just thinking about how much money I have in my bank account, because you’re so expensive”. Again, some girls might find this degrading, but it was actually a sweet moment.
- The awkward scenes they had when they had to live together
- Yoon Sung acting like a super hero once again and rescuing Nana from some politican’s son. I love it when he said “Do I have to put a sticker on you to let people know you’re my girl?” D’awwwww~
- The scene when Nana fell asleep at Yoon Sung’s house (wearing that “provocative” white long sleeved polo if his) and he tries to steal a kiss. My heart almost stopped when she opened her eyes and caught him in the act, but then she closed them again, silently giving him permission, and my heart just went crazy. Kyaaaaah~
- When Yoon Sung tried to push Nana away by flaunting some cheap girl in front of her. She got rid of the girl (in a non-violent way of course) and told Yoon Sung to “find and date a girl that I can acknowledge”. It was nice to see she knew what he was up to and didn’t turn into some crying mess.
- The crazy chain of spies at the hospital. Get his blood tested, don’t get his blood tested, lol!
- Shin Eun Ah taking a tour of Yoon Sung’s house while Nana was hiding there. I loved the part where Nana had to squeeze herself next to the giant teddy bear and Yoon Sung rushed to cover her. That wink was so hot~ *Drools*
- Gwang Soo’s love confession ❤
- The dramatic scene in the last episode when Lee Jin Pyo made his sacrifice for Yoon Sung. I love it because it showed that he truly saw Yoon Sung as his son and would give up anything for him.
- There was this scene at a hotel when a politician asked Nana to go up to his room, introduce herself to the guards as his bodyguard and get some papers for him, but somehow she ended up knocking on Yoon Sung’s room – which was coincidentally right next door. Now after the dramatic scene where both Nana and Kim Young Ju find Yoon Sung and Young Ju’s ex-wife in the room together (don’t even get me started on how everyone is in the right place at the right time! I’ve never been to Korea but watching this makes me wonder how small Seoul really is for them to keep running into each other like that), the politician’s guards came out of the other room on their own and handed her the forms. It was just a bit weird because she never knocked on their door, so why would they come out. And, she was told to introduce herself, which meant that the guards didn’t know who to give the form to, but they just automatically knew it was her and handed her the papers.
- Another scene was in Episode 7 when Nana found the collapsed guards at the press conference. She checked to see if they were alive then went on ahead to search for City Hunter without even requesting for backup. Hello? You just saw that he was able to take down a whole group of guards on his own, why would you go looking for him by yourself?
- The scene when Nana was hanging on edge of the railing and Kim Young Ju just ran past her. I understand that he really wanted to catch the politician, but c’mon! Someone’s dying in front of you dude! And it’s not even some random citizen (which he should rescue anyway since he’s a prosecutor) but it’s Nana! Someone he supposedly cares about!
- The crazy fight scene which took place at some steamy parking lot/warehouse at the hospital. Yoon Sung wanted to get his blood tested to see if he could save his mother, but Lee Jin Pyo didn’t want him revealing his true identity so he sent his guards to stop him. I understand the stopping him part, but the fight scene was just so random and out of place I think.
- The whole “fanservice” scene when Nana and Yoon Sung gets soaked in the rain and she had to go back to his place and let her clothes dry. She ends up wearing one of his oversized polo shirts (which men find so seductive for some reason). The entire scene was just so full of sexual tension that it made me laugh. Especially the part when she was trying to reach a bowl that was placed high on the shelf. (Grab a chair and stand on it, why don’t you! Instead of jumping up and down like a maniac – you’d probably end up breaking the bowl that way!) But I think the whole point was to showcase Nana’s beautiful legs and also for Yoon Sung to get the chance to come up behind her and use his sexy height to hand her the bowl – while exchanging sultry yet innocent looks with each other, lol. (I don’t often see fanservice scenes like this in Kdramas so I found this very weird, but my sister reminded me that this was based off a manga, which actually explains a lot XD)
- The fight scene in the warehouse where Kim Young Ju was fighting FOUR guys one-handed and texting Yoon Sung at the same time!! Is that even possible??? And that’s not even the craziest part, while this was happening, Yoon Sung was also caught in a fight and getting beaten up, but when Kim Young Ju’s message arrived he had time to reach for his phone and read the message. Tell me that’s not crazy!
- Also, may I just point out that Yoon Sung sometimes behaves a little too carelessly for someone who’s supposed to be a well-trained spy? Sure, he goes around covering his tracks (both from the cops and his father) but then he often walks into a building unmasked and assumes that he would just blend in with the crowd. C’mon~ A guy that tall and that good looking?? He might as well have paraded around with a giant banner that says “I’m the City Hunter! Look at me!” But fortunately in this drama, no one recognizes him and he is able to keep his true identity safe.