This part covers 2011 Drama City Hunter.
*Spoiling the show beyond this message, brought to you by yours truly*
Dramabeans was raving about how good the show was but somehow, I wasn’t impressed or invested in City Hunter. It could be that I was expecting good things but then again, 49 Days didn’t disappoint me. Well, sans the last episode. Why did I have to recall it?! 😦
The Storyline in brief and my opinions.
Lee Min Ho plays City Hunter Lee Yoon Seong (err..shouldn’t he actually use a fake name?) who sets out on a revenge mission against the Big 5 as a result of a dark past that involved his
late father living drug lord of a father father s. With such a project, he has to stay away from affairs of the heart as much as possible. As if that’s possible. The other party isn’t simple. She’s (Park Min Young/Kim Na Na) a bear Blue House bodyguard!
And as though he doesn’t already have enough on his plate, he has a righteous prosecutor (Lee Joon Hyeok/Kim Young Joo) in hot pursuit as well as a bloodthirsty father(Kim Sang Ho/Lee Jin Pyo) hell-bent on dealing a deadly comeuppance on the Big 5.
With Politics heavily involved coupled with the drama’s dark nature, City Hunter is not for the casual watcher. Myself being one, City Hunter proved to be a challenging watch. But ultimately, the show is about Yoon Sung’s revenge on the quintet. And by revenge, the writers/directors mean City Hunter making use of Big 5’s missteps in politics/evidence against these high-ranking officials to put them behind bars. Not kill. Or murder.
Lee Min Ho and City Hunter the character
Speaking of revenge in action, I don’t see Lee Min Ho as a fighter. (He’s too skinny!) When I saw his action scenes, it had no impact on me. His fighting scenes just somehow lacked ‘oomph’. Worse still, I didn’t get any satisfaction when he defeated his opponent. His bad ass wasn’t bad ass-ery enough for me. lol.
Also, as a vigilante, how could Yoon Seong walk to his enemy without a mask when he’s going to send them to jail at the end of the day? Wouldn’t identifying him be super easy?! It’s absurd that there was no obvious effort in masking his identity. Even period drama vigilante iljimae wears a cloth on his face! [He did but only in some scenes.]That’s not the only thing – the lack of gloves. Isn’t fingerprint also a form of identification? And please, wearing a cap draws attention. Especially if it’s black in colour. The lack of logic was right in the face. There’s no way I’m excusing such mistakes.
One more thing I didn’t like about city hunter was how successful he was in every mission. [You can’t say that Jin Pyo is an obstacle because both are after the same thing. Just different thoughts about the execution.] It’s quite incredulous, actually. I found it hard to believe that a vigilante’s path could be so smooth. Well, if you were to include his gunshot injury, yes he IS vulnerable but he STILL gets back his form and keeps his identity a secret. He’s just TOO lucky. It’s all very unrealistic. I have no qualms with his intelligence or risky moves, it’s just that it’s too easy for him to get his way EVERY time.
The worse of all for the series were its cliff-hangers. Or should I say the lack of them. Cliff-hangers are actually very important for a show and that’s why I felt that one of CH’s failures for me, were its little to no suspense when the episode reaches the end of its run. As a viewer, I am disappointed with the ending of each episode because it failed to motivate me to watch the next episode. Of course, the storyline keeps us intrigued on things like how YS will rid-off the big 5 and how the YS-NN love-line will go. But without such build-up question marks, I would have already allowed myself to give up on this drama without any hesitation.
What I liked about the show. Warning: I’m a romcom nut.
The one thing that struck me the most was the drama’s love-line between Yoon Sung and Na Na. They were beyond adorable, making me smile whenever they were in their love-mode. It was so awesome that when they ended the show without a happy ending for them, I was hit badly. Show, you are evil. It’s true that not all things have a perfect, happy ending. But then again, as a viewer, I’m deeply crushed. You put them together, throwing all the cute and lovely in, have me supporting them at every angle possible and then you end with them apart. =.=
I couldn’t accept how the main OTP ended the way it did. My heart and head was so heavy it felt like I needed another episode, maybe a special short episode or an alternative, to give Yoon Seong and Na Na a chance together. But there wasn’t. And like a person that just got dumped, I quickly seek comfort in another drama. LOL.Another thing I liked was the drama’s conclusion to Yoon Seong and Jin Pyo’s relationship. During the finale, Jin Pyo takes the fall for Yoon Seong, admitting he’s the city hunter before he dies. Quoted from DB, ‘Jin Pyo’s death was expected because death, in itself would be a peaceful ending for such a revengeful, bloodthirsty character. But it’s only in death, that Yoon Seong finally knows that Jin Pyo actually loved him as a son.’ Very complex, but an act so meaningful and suitable for the characters.
City Hunter had an interesting premise. The gripe I had for the show was in its lack of logic and flaws that I couldn’t dismiss. Also, I felt that Lee Min Ho didn’t fit the role of City Hunter. His cheeky side was believable, just not the on-revenge-mode side.
If you asked me whether I enjoyed the show, I can only say I cried during the emotional scenes (like Young Joo’s death) and laughed at the comedy (Oh the joys of home-shopping~). It’s just somehow the series didn’t work out for me. I just couldn’t get onto the City Hunter ride. After every episode, I’d ask myself, ‘is City Hunter hitting on the right buttons for me?’ And sadly, none did. Maybe I was too slow for the show, I don’t know.
As for the acting, I think the veterans did a great job. Lee Joon Hyuk was ok. Lee Min Ho and Park Min Young’s acting were just average. PMY needs to improve on her emo scenes. Her crying scenes were awesome-ly cringe-worthy. Although Lee Min Ho deserves praise for choosing such a genre, I don’t think he suits the character he played. I don’t want to comment on Hara‘s acting. It has only been 1 drama too early to say. And her first one at that. (Her Jap drama debut doesn’t count.) City Hunter’s also my first drama with Lee Gwang Soo, who was a joy to watch. Hwang Sun Hee shows great potential as an actress, after seeing her in Sign.
A daring project that however, disappoints.
Conclusion: It’s obvious my answer is no. But if you like politics, you may want to try it out 😀
Credits to Dramabeans(.com) for the pictures.
Thanks for reading and hope you enjoyed reading! This ends the series of reviews:) Hope I can complete the ones I have yet to add.