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Friday, December 21, 2012

City Hunter (2011)


Country: South-Korea
Format: live-action drama in 20 episodes
Genre: action, romance
Cast: Lee Min Ho, Park Min Young, Lee Joon Hyuk, Kim Sang Joong,Yang Jin Sung,  Lee Kwang Soo, Chun Ho Jin, Choi Jung Woo, Choi Il Hwa, Choi Sang Hoon, Lee Hyo Jung, Kim Sang Ho, Jung Joon, Sung Chang Hoon, Hwang Sung Hee, Goo Ha Ra
Synopsis: In year 1983 21 Korean special agents are killed on a secret mission by their own country. But actually Lee Jin Pyo survives and killing five men assemble, who had promised to protect their solders with their lives, becomes his life-mission. He steals his best friend's 1 month old baby to include him into the bloody circle of revenge.  28 years later Lee Yoon Sung becomes a member of MIT and works in Blue House, searching for the five man assemble and their mistakes. 
Rating: 5/5
That drama made me understand why Lee Min Ho is loved by everybody and that when the original story is non-shoujo manga, then it might turn into really great Korean drama.
Lee Min Ho stars as Lee Yoon Sung - a hottie who has grown up in Triangle (Thailand) and lived in USA for 7 years and has ended up as a clean freak arrogant "flower" boy, which is common in Korean dramas. Gomen, I promised not to talk only about negative things. He acted all his fighting scenes himself (so did Park Min Young). They had a harsh martial arts practices and all fighting scenes were filmed as the last ones in 5 or 6 AM, which made them rather exhausted and sleepy, so that Lee Min Ho actually fell asleep during filming one scene were he was hit on the ground. I have read the first chapter of manga and it is difficult to compare the two characters - some people who have read the whole manga have said that actually Ryo
(his original name in manga) was much funnier and turned into complete fool and pervert around women. Of course Ryo was actually a "sweeper", but to say it easily then he was just a hitman. But back to drama, Lee Min Ho and Park Min Young have a great chemistry in the drama and most of us know they had the chemistry in real life too as it lead to MinXMin couple official relationship for half a year. As I said, I did not like that they had given him the flower boy image, but gyoza how I love the scenes were his roof flies off because of Kim Na Na. Until now, I thought that Lee Min Ho is overrated actor, but I admit that I was wrong.
Park Min Young was great in drama and she did well with her role, but I do not find her character so outstanding. I liked her as long as she was independent woman, but she disappeared from the scene after she constantly kept telling Lee Yoon Sung that her feelings belong to herself and interferes into his business. But it is so cute when she spends more time at his place than at home. Park Min Young also has mentioned that in this drama she had the most difficult and nerve-wreaking moment and it was nothing else than her almost kiss with Lee Min Ho on the sofa. You ask why? Well, I bet her heart was racing like crazy in real life.  
Kim Young Joo aka Prosecutor was played by  Lee Joon Hyuk. He was one character who tended to be a little bit annoying, but he was too great to hate. He is the perfect example of guilt, career and how people understand the most important things in their lives when it is already too late. Also he is rather naive to think that law can punish all people, even though we all know that high officials get away with everything due to bureaucracy and bribery. I think it is not a spoiler if I tell you that he turns out to be "Long Leg Ahjussi/ Daddy Long Leg" and I was so annoyed with that name, especially because they did not tell "WHY???!" From all the possible names that are able to come up with, you must choose so annoying name?
Lee Jin Pyo aka Steve Lee was definitely the scariest character, because I never knew what he would do next. He was the character who would kill everyone on his road, even when that someone turns out to be "his son", who he has raised for so many years. Even though, he was scary and his actions made everything worse, I could not hate him. It is the weirdest thing that "City Hunter" is Korean drama and they have not added 4-5 ANNOYING characters.
From other characters, I want to mention that I do not know if Goo Ha Ra (as a president daughter) was made to dance so horribly in the club or she is dancing so in real life too. It is rather funny, because as a idol she should know how to dance. From male characters.. it was a "Ikemen" paradise XD All male actors were looking rather hot, especially Sung Chang Hoon how played the part of Suk Doo Shik (Cheon Jae Man's best hitman). Most of the time I called him "Damn sexy bastard" and shivered from head to toe. 
Funny thing is that when usually Korean drama needs 6-7 episodes until the real thing starts, then "City Hunter" starts with action since the first episode and it lasts until 13th/14th, then the excitement goes down and it gets rather predictable. Most of watchers have said that the end was a BIG let down.
The end leaves many things open and unexplained. Just to mention that it reminded me "Zorro" because of his mask and how people thought of him as a savor. And of course he was not captured on any CCTV camera not that most of the places have them.. especially places like Blue House and expensive hotels. Drama has a really great OST, especially I liked the Kim Bu Kyung's "Suddenly".
For the last thing I want to say some things. Firstly, people who have actually read the manga or watched the anime, then this drama is not for you - too many changes, especially about the main character. Secondly, if you have read manga, seen anime and watch the drama too, then PLEASE(!!!!) do not insult Lee Min Ho, because he is just an actor, the scriptwriters were the ones who changed Ryo into so called "emo-gay" character (I prefer saying "Flower boy image" to "emo-gay"). I hate when people are insulting actors in things that are not included to their work - Only thing in what you can comment actors is acting! and Lee Min Ho is great actor.
I add a little video about first two episodes, so there is no big spoilers, but just to show the action side of the drama.



SPOILER-review: As I said, last 6-7 episodes were not that great. I know if it is interesting or not by the way I act - when I am starting to make ironic and sarcastic comments about drama and almost fall asleep, then it is not so exciting anymore. But it still made me cry when Prosecutor was killed. I knew he was going to die, but damn I got so angry when he really died and to tell you the truth, then I got even more angry when Lee Yoon Sung did not die in the end. Do you really think he was able to live a happy life knowing that Prosecutor and Lee Jil Pyo had died because of him, I am not telling you that he killed them, but he was a bit guilty of those deaths. I do not think that he had a happy life after that. Beside, he got gunshot near to heart.. and he was able to survive it like nothing was wrong? I am just saying my opinion that I would have liked it much more when in the end he would have died - but it is Korean drama so of course they cannot kill the main character. But all that dieing leads to another question - what did people think of the idea that "City Hunter" was killed? Yeah, you might tell things like officials said that he was trying to kill the president, but until the end City Hunter had citizens favour. Many watchers have wanted a "more romantic" end, like with a kiss scene or how Yoon Sung finally gives the ring to Na Na, but as I am really unromantic for most of the time, then I would have wanted him dead and if they had gone with the kiss-scene then I would have asked to shoot ME dead...

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