Ok, taking a break from Rooftop Prince. It’s killing me. I know, Yong-Sool will just have to wait but dammit, I can only devote so much time to a one dimensional character!
Just one post to City Hunter. That’s it. One post and I will close the door on that fool forever. Also, this post will be unnaturally short because its late and past my bedtime.
Eugenie underlined this kdrama a million times on The List so it had better be good. Or else.
Cast: (Jesus Christo, its unusually large)
- Lee Min Ho as Lee Yoon Sung / John Lee / Poo Chai
- Park Min Young as Kim Na Na
- Lee Joon Hyuk as Kim Young Joo
City Hunter Clique
- Kim Sang Joong as Lee Jin Pyo / Steve Lee
- Kim Sang Ho as Bae Shik Joong / Bae Man Deok
- Jung Joon as Kim Sang Gook (Jin Pyo’s henchman)
The Blue House
- Lee Seung Hyung as Song Young Deok
- Baek Seung Hyun as Park Ho Shik
- Yang Jin Sung (양진성) as Shin Eun Ah (bodyguard, Na Na’s friend)
- Lee Kwang Soo as Go Ki Joon
Group of Five
- Chun Ho Jin as Choi Eung Chan (President)
- Choi Jung Woo as Cheon Jae Man (Haewon Group’s president)
- Choi Il Hwa as Kim Jong Shik (Myung Moon University’s president, Young Joo’s father)
- Choi Sang Hoon as Seo Yong Hak (Minister of Defence)
- Lee Hyo Jung as Lee Kyung Wan (senator)
- Hwang Sun Hee as Jin Se Hee (veterinarian, Young Joo’s ex-wife)
- Goo Ha Ra as Choi Da Hye (President’s daughter)
- Kim Mi Sook as Lee Kyung Hee (Yoon Sung’s mother)
- Kim Byung Choon as Jang Woo Hyun
- Shin Young Jin (신영진) as Kim Mi Ok (investigator, Na Na’s aunt, Young Joo’s subordinate)
- Choi Sung Ho as Jang Pil Jae (investigator, Young Joo’s subordinate)
- Sung Chang Hoon (성창훈) as Suk Doo Shik (Cheon Jae Man’s henchman)
- Maeng Bong Hak (맹봉학) as Na Na’s father (cameo)
- Park Sang Min as Park Moo Yul (Kyung Hee’s husband) (cameo)
- Min Young Won as Min Hee (cameo)
- Yoon Ye Hee as Mrs. Yong (First Lady) (cameo)
I will recognize two people in this kdrama. This is good.
Real quick recap…
This show starts out in 1983 right when the USSR was causing mad drama with the US and its allies…shooting down planes, rattling sabers, making dogs and cats live together…all out anarchy. Anyway, while visiting a foreign country, the South Korean president’s life is almost taken during a bomb blast planted by the North Koreans. (really, NK? Why you gotta be like that?)
As for retaliation, the South Korean government decides to send 21 super elite soldiers to sneak into North Korea and cause havoc. In the middle of this operation, the US tells the South Koreans to knock that crap off (killing North Koreans) and so the South Korean army decides to cover its ass and kill those 21 soldiers to hide the fact they did bad things. Well, 5 men made the call. They will be the ‘villains’ of this nonsense.
What they don’t realize is one of those 21 soldiers survived. He sneaks back into South Korea and kidnaps the month old child of his friend and now dead soldier in order to put into place an intricate and drawn out plan for revenge.
Flash forward 17 years later. The sole survivor, Lee Jin Pyo, and the kidnapped child he raised as his own, Lee Yoon Sung, are living in the middle of the jungle with their own little army. Yes, their own army. They’ve turned into drug lords.
Yoon Sung was brought up to believe his mother died ages ago and that’s left him with crazy mommy issues. While in the process of missing his mother (who is actually still alive) he’s become a fairly brilliant ass kicker. Along the way he’s gained a portly best friend/cook that saves him from many unfortunate siuations.
As the time comes in every young man’s life, it was time for Yoon Sung to go to The United States under a false identity and get a doctorate from MIT. Normal stuff. He then flies back to South Korea and gets a job in the Blue House (to be a computer geek) where he meets struggling bodyguard-to-be, Na Na.
I did not know this, but apparently in The Blue House, the bodyguards get assigned a computer geek to train in the art of ‘beating people up’ or as they call it, “martial arts”. Na Na has to teach Yoon Sung how to ‘beat people up’ without realizing that he’s a far better ass kicker than she is.
But here is the real jist of the story. Yoon Sung is undercover as a Korean-American named John Lee. His goal is to seek revenge on the men who killed his father (by this point in the story Jin Pyo tells Yoon Sung, “Hey, not really your dad. He was killed. By the way, you have to kill the people who killed him.”) There are 5 men in total he has to seek revenge on.
First major conflict of the story. Jin Pyo wants the five men dead. Yoon Sung wants them to get justice via the law. They never see eye to eye on this. They beat each other up over it many times. (wtf)
The first villain gets caught and delivered to the District Attorney in a very public manner. As a result Yoon Sung gets the nickname ‘City Hunter’ (but when its pronounced it sounds like something my immature mind can’t resist giggling at) for the rest of the show the ‘City Hunter’ is either praised as a hero or jeered as a vigilante. I can’t help but want to call him the Korean Batman.
The Second Villain gets video taped confessing all the bad stuff he’s done, his reputation gets ruined, and is also delivered to the DA. In the process of doing this, Yoon Sung kills a henchman WITH A SPOON! (AMAZING!)
The third villain (and also the DA’s father) has his reputation ruined and he tries (and fails) to commit suicide.
Fourth Villain is a wealthy business man whom Jin Pyo forces into bankruptcy (hes a drug lord, remember? he’s got loads of cash) before Yoon Sung also delivers to the DA. Oh, and he also killed Na Na’s parents in a car accident 10 years prior. In short, this guy is a jerk.
The Fifth Villain is actually the sitting President. AND get this, he’s also Yoon Sung’s real biological father. That’s right. The drama keeps coming. Jin Pyo kidnapped Yoon Sung and put together this super elaborate plan of revenge to get the Presidents own son to kill him. Jin Pyo is some kind of mega evil.
Somewhere along the way, Yoon Sung and Na Na fall in love. He dumps her ‘to protect her’ a few times and she stupidly keeps going back to him. Honestly, the chemistry between these two characters was severely lacking and I didn’t buy it for a minute. (Sorry Eugenie!) So ultimately, I don’t care about this part of the kdrama.
There is one storyline I did care about though and that involves Yoon Sung’s mother. She was alive the entire time! And because he loves his mom, Yoon Sung gives her some of his bone marrow because she’s got the Leukemia. (tears!)
The story ends with a standoff between Na Na, Yoon Sung and The President on one side and Jin Pyo on the other. He’s pointing a gun at them all. Soldiers come in with rifles to protect the president. In one final act of awesomness or selfishness, depending on how you want to look at it, Jin Pyo confesses to being the City Hunter. (I like to think its awesomeness because he wants Yoon Sung to live a suspicion free life with his main squeeze Na Na)
BUT in the melee that occurs after Jin Pyo confesses, lots of shots are fired and Yoon Sung is hit. Will he survive? Won’t he?
In the lamest of endings, after flashforwarding a few months, Na Na is leaving work and goes to a museum of some sort and we see Yoon Sung standing there alive an well. THE END!
That’s it? The end? What? No closure?! GAHHHH!
1. I hated the character Gu Jun Pyo in Boys Before Flowers. Soooo silly. It was really awesome to see Lee Min Ho act like someone other than a love sick puppy with bad social skills.
ON THE OTHER HAND, Park Min Young played a much more likeable character in Sungkunkwan Scandal than she did in this kdrama. Na Na is not as awesome. Just sayin’. Written as a bodyguard who is physically strong but emotionally weak. Shame on you, screen writers. Or menga writers. Or whoever.
2. Death by spoon: OMGLOLWTFBBQ the most amazing death ever! Who knew such an innocent eating utensil could be so deadly. Yoon Sung knew. 😉
3. Ok so, there were no souls being switched or girls dressed in drag to sing in a boy band but a lot of the situations were still implausible. And I loved them all!
4. City Hunter got incredibly interesting and I was about to give Eugenie a high five for an epic recommendation but after episode 10 it all went downhill. The feeling and flow changed. The same thing happened in Boys Before Flowers too, half way through it was almost an entirely new Kdrama. I have now idea how they did it, but the Koreans managed to fit two kdramas into one show. So now, I will give Eugenie an accusatory glare…if I ever see him again.
7/10 because I wasn’t able to play the Kdrama ‘Cherry Coke’ drinking game as much as I’d like to with this show. =(