Narco-Saints (2022)

Profile
Drama: Narco-Saints / Suriname (수리남)
Network: Netflix
Episodes: 6
Release Date: September 9, 2022
Country: South Korea

Plot:
A businessman who goes to Suriname to import skate to Korea ends up helping the NIS on a mission to capture an evasive druglord.

Main Cast
Ha Jung Woo – Kang Ingu
Hwang Jung Min – Pastor Jeon Yohan
Park Hae Soo – Choi Changho
Yoo Yeon Suk – David Julio Park
Jo Woo Jin – Byun Kitae

Review
This drama feels like an extended movie. Turns out it was supposed to be a movie, but they decided to make it into a short drama. To be honest, the story is nothing new, but it was an intense 6 episodes of anticipation and thrill. There were lots of double crossing, guns, gore, and drugs. Surprisingly, no nudity except for 1 short scene. The stellar cast of Ha Jung Woo, Hwang Jung Min, Park Hae Soo, Yoo Yeon Suk and Jo Woo Jin made the story more larger than life than the usual drug movies/drama.

I love that Ingu as the ML is very smart and capable, quick thinker, calm even when lying, and plays well with the big guys, even outsmarting both drug lords and NIS. HJW made Ingu work very well, and any other actor may not have made Ingu sympathetic. I love that there’s always this doubt if he is really working with NIS or getting tempted by Yohan or if he has his own agenda. That final fight scene with the pastor was a long time coming and felt satisfied seeing him punch and strangle the pastor after ruining his life. (And HJW looked so hot holding the gun lol) Ingu has been very calm and biding his time ever since he got out of prison, so seeing Ingu finally snapped and fight — I was also thinking, that is HJW that I love!! Ingu may not be as buff as the others but he made up for it with his judo moves, smart strategies and fancy suits.

Pastor was so magnetic and powerful. And weaselly enough to not get caught over the years, but he didnt seem as smart as I expected him to be. He was easily played or maybe he trusted Ingu too much and thought they could really be partners. I loved how sick it was for Pastor to create a church, get the blind believers to follow him, feed them drugs and make them dependent on him.

Byun was bad ass and it was obvious he was going to be the secret agent. That fight with the bodyguard was fantastic. Poor David and Chen Zhen.

There’s a lot of conversations so some found the episodes boring but I loved them (or maybe I was so mesmerized with HJW every time he’s onscreen) — yes, I’m completely obsessed with HJW.

Some thoughts on the ending (spoiler alert):
I wonder what happened to the girl and the rest of the cult. I wish there was a short resolution to them. Were they also arrested? Was the girl able to go back to her family?

At first, I thought the ending would be Ingu taking over the coca farm – that would have been fun for a season 2. He is so smart, he can probably do better than Yohan, but I don’t want Ingu to fight with Changho or get arrested and die. But still, I was okay with the ending since they neatly closed the drama with Ingu finally back and reunited with his family. I laughed when Ingu told his wife, “wow you got prettier!” and the wife responded with, “why did you get uglier?” HAHAHA. Ingu learned to treasure what he has and not get too greedy. And also, don’t trust the government. Like seriously, Ingu risked his life to help NIS, but NIS didn’t pay him cash like they promised. Also, interesting thing about the baseball. Yohan really did trust him and wanted him to be his partner.

Here’s fun promotion /game from the cast in case you want to get to them more:

Rating: 8.75/10 (9 less 0.25 for the unresolved cult)

The King (2017)

Profile
Movie: The King (더 킹)
Release Date: January 18, 2017
Runtime: 134 min.
Genre: Crime / Drama
Distributor: Next Entertainment World

Main Cast:
Jo In Sung – Park Tae Soo
Jung Woo Sung – Han Kang Sik
Bae Sung Woo – Yang Dong Chul
Ryu Jun Yeol – Choi Doo Il
Kim Eui Sung – Kim Eung Soo
Kim A Joong – Lim Sang Hee
Kim So Jin – Ahn Hee Yeon

Review:
This movie is mostly from the side of our lead, Park Taesu, who narrates his childhood until becoming a criminal prosecutor, and getting into Han Kang Sik’s world. The story is predictable but I loved how entertaining the story was. A lot of the shots are also very slick and vibrant that kept me interested to find out what will happen to Taesu. This is a long movie but I didnt feel bored at all. Or maybe Jo Insung is just so darn good looking.

Felt sad about his friendship with Choi Du il. Why Ryu Junyeol always takes the role of a tragic character and does it so well? I also liked how they were able to weave real life events into the story. Jung Woo Sung is so handsome and looks so untouchable in this movie. And Jo In Sung nailed his character, even when he was acting as a high schooler, looking so timid in front of Kangsik or when he finally stood up against Kangsik. I’d like to believe that he won the elections 😏.

Rating: 8.5/10

Collectors (2020)

Profile
Movie: Collectors (도굴)
Release Date: November 4, 2020
Runtime: 114 min.
Distributor: CJ Entertainment
Country: South Korea

Main Cast
Lee Je Hoon – Kang Dong Gu
Shin Hye Sun – Curator Yoon
Jo Woo Jin – Doctor Johns
Lim Won Hee – Sabdari

Review:
The movie is about a grave robber trying to attempt a big heist in the middle of Seoul.

I liked the first part but the second part dragged a bit. Mostly because there were too many characters to follow. There were also more action in the first part. The comedy also fell flat sometimes. I like the twist at the end where they showed how they successfully pulled off the heist.

Rating: 8/10

1987: When The Day Comes (2017)

Profile
Movie: 1987: When The Day Comes
Release Date: December 27, 2017
Runtime: 129 min.
Distributor: CJ Entertainment
Country: South Korea

Main Cast
Kim Yun Seok – Park Cheo Won
Ha Jung Woo – Prosecutor Choi
Park Hee Seon – Jo Han Kyung
Lee Hee Joon – Yoon Sang Sam
Kim Tae Ri – Yeon Hee
Kang Dong Won – Lee Han Yeol
Yoo Hae Jin – Han Byeong Yong

Review:
This movie is based on actual events called June Democratic Uprising in Korea which happened in 1987.

It all started when a college student was tortured and killed by anti-communist group and they tried to conceal his death.

I love how the director was able to tell the story through different people, starting from the prosecutor who demanded autopsy, to jail guard who passed on info to the opposition, the reporter who tried to reveal the truth to the public, and to the students who bravely rallied against the government.

Not for the faint hearted. It’s moving, horrifying and inspiring. The extra romance between the two college students slightly felt out of place but the end made up for it.

Rating: 8.5