One of my favorite comic book heroes is Batman. Dark, broody, a little bit handsome, and sometimes sassy, he overcomes his tragic childhood through pure grit, then uses the resources he has available to make life better for the people around him, even if they don’t appreciate it.
Now let’s put City Hunter into that paragraph: One of my favorite kdrama heroes is City Hunter. Dark, broody, a little bit handsome, and sometimes sassy, he overcomes his tragic childhood through pure grit, then uses the resources he has available to make life better for the people around him, even if they don’t appreciate it.
Yep, it works.
Amber-Unni recommended City Hunter when I told her I was pleasantly surprised by Lee Min Ho’s performance in Heirs, especially as I hadn’t liked him in the two episodes of Boys Over Flowers that I had watched. But I’m learning that Lee Min Ho is very good at what he does, especially when he has a character who is quick-witted, competent, and skilled in the martial arts (STILL BATMAN).
But what elevates City Hunter over Batman for me is his pairing with Kim Na Na. She can hold her own against him, and does so rather ably. Rachel Dawes doesn’t even come close to being as capable as Kim Na Na (IN MY OPINION) and often made me roll my eyes. In City Hunter, I was rooting for Kim Na Na to succeed at the tasks in front of her, and at taking down the City Hunter/Lee Yoon Sung, even as I was rooting for them to fall in love.
The push-and-pull between Kim Na Na and Lee Yoon Sung was pretty well played out. Their romance was overshadowed by Lee Yoon Sung’s real purpose for being in Seoul—rooting out and exposing the corrupt politicians that were responsible for his father’s death. Both stories played against each other very well, with the romance doing a good job of highlighting Lee Yoon Sung’s softer side.
Kim Sang Joong did an excellent job portraying Lee Yoon Sung’s adoptive father and the main driving force behind the revenge scheme. I hated him and felt sorry for him by turns, and I never questioned that he was fully in charge of himself and the events around him. He was such a good antagonist.
I also loved the character of Kim Young Joo, the dogged prosecutor who is chasing the City Hunter and gradually becoming aware of the corruption stewing around the country’s politicians. His character was so well-balanced between tender and workaholic that I was conflicted—I really wanted him to succeed, but I also wanted him to team up with City Hunter. They would obviously be a fantastic force for good.
Rounding out the cast are a few more female characters I liked (but to tell you too much about them would be spoilers) and Ahjussi, Lee Yoon Sung’s personal assistant/chef/best friend. I loved Ahjussi so much. He was a lot of fun.
The plot was well-thought out and executed; I often found myself wanting to watch another episode even though I didn’t have the time (I can’t sacrifice sleep anymore—it’s too precious to my functionality!). The ending was satisfying except for one aspect, but I can’t yell about it here because spoilers.
So, would I recommend City Hunter? For quality, yes. For good actors and acting, yes. If you don’t like violence, this is NOT the show for you. If you want a series that’s solely focused on romance, don’t even look this direction. I give it 8/10 stars.
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