philosophy at age eight

“If you cannot control your peanut butter, you cannot expect to control your life.”
~ Judah-ism

Saturday, July 30, 2011

city hunter (korean drama)

City Hunter  (2011)
Director: Jin Hyuk
Starring:  Lee Min Ho (Boys over Flowers), Park Min Young, and Lee Joon Hyuk (Secret Garden and The world that they live in)

Synopsis, found here (with a few updates by me):
The story started in 1983 when a bomb exploded while the South Korean President and his delegates were visiting Myanmar. The explosion killed some of the high ranking officials but not the president. To strike back, 5 high-ranking officials of South Korea planned for an underground operation to go to North Korea and kill North Korean agents. With the South Korean President unknowing, Lee Jin-pyo (Kim Sang-joong) and Park Moo-yul (Park Sang-min) who work as bodyguards for the Blue House, organized the 20-men troop who would execute the plan. During the plan's execution, the 5 high-ranking officials changed their minds and aborted the plan.

As the troop swims to the submarine, which would take them back to South Korea, a sniper (at the behest of the 5 high-ranking officials) came out from the submarine and started shooting each troop member. With Lee Jin-pyo as the only survivor of the ambush, he swam back to South Korean shore.

With a promise of revenge to his fallen comrades and his best buddy Park Moo-yul, he snatches Moo-yul's newborn son and took him to the mountains of Thailand. There, he taught the child combat skills to become an elite soldier. After an attack on their village in Thailand, Lee Jin-Pyo confessed to the child, Lee Yoon-sung (Lee Min-ho), about his long-term goal of revenge.

7 years after the confession, with an ultimate plan to take revenge, Lee Yoon-sung comes back to South Korea and enters the Blue House (presidential palace) as an IT expert under the National Communication Network Team. Warned not to fall in love, Lee Yoon-sung will meet Blue House bodyguard, Kim Na-na (Park Min-young). Then the story of love and revenge begins.
Not mentioned in the synopsis is what a hard, ruthless man Jun-pyo is. And of course, the fact that nothing is what it seems.

From left to right: Jin Soo Hee, Kim Young Joo, Kim Na-na,
Lee Yoon-sung & Choi Ha Dye
Also not mentioned:  Lee Joon Hyuk plays a prosecutor, Kim Young Joo, who is dedicated to finding out the identity of the City Hunter, while at the same time, slowly developing a respect and trust for the work the man is doing. All the main characters were well-played, and the characters were 3-dimensional and believable. Lee Yoon-sung was played by Lee Min Ho, who also starred in the extremely popular show "Boys over flowers".  I didn't care greatly for Lee Min Ho as an actor after that show (though Johnny liked him), but have since changed my mind on that score. :)

An appealing fact about the show is that the main female lead, Kim Na-na, is hardly the wilting-flower type, but one of the presidential bodyguards who frequently makes the main male lead's life difficult. And I do mean painfully difficult (see video below.) You go, girl.

Spoilers of the first episode ahead

The production value and action scenes in the show were of great quality.  Here's a sample of pictures from the first episode, found here.

Lee Yoon-sung, a motherless boy growing up among druglords
in the mountains of Thailand, yearns for motherly affection and
forms a bond with a woman in the village.

Grown now, Yoon-sung saves the life & adopts into his
"family" a fellow Korean man, who tells him stories of his
mother country and has a picture of a young girl
(about whom he is very cryptic).
Their village is attacked in retaliation for Yoon-sung snatching
away the Korean man...
...and Yoon-sungs "mother" is killed. Enraged, he chases them
through the fields surrounding their village...

Where Yoon-sung's hot-headedness lands him on a landmine
from which Jun-Pyo, his "father", saves him.
At the cost of Jun Pyo's leg.
While the doctor worked to save Jun-Pyo, he told
the remorseful Yoon-sung about his real father's betrayal &
death, and the revenge they must effect together.
Yoon-sung learns that his mother is not dead. However,
Jun Pyo told him that he was abandoned by his mother
instead of the truth: that Jun-Pyo had snatched him from her.
Seven years later, Yoon-sung arrives in Korea for the first time,
an MIT graduate and primed for revenge.

I actually truly enjoy the soundtrack to this series, specifically "Suddenly" by Kim Bo Kyung:

Here are a couple MVs that represent the feeling of the show:

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