City Hunter Review: A keen hunter with a heart craving for love

City Hunter Review

A series that was yet to unfold its final outcome, leaving you with a feeling that an episode is missing. While it does have an ending, it culminates without offering resolution or time for results. Endings are akin to strawberries on dessert; a good one can salvage the entire series, just as a bad ending can mar the enjoyment of the previous 19 chapters, much like in City Hunter.

Certainly, I'm not alone in this sentiment. As I delved into various forums, I witnessed numerous pages reflecting the audience's disappointment. Even the director felt compelled to publicly clarify that Lee Min Ho's character was not a ghost and there was no leap in time.

The truth is, the ending is vague and confusing, leaving no one entirely satisfied. It neither provides a happy conclusion nor a tragic one. It brought to mind a quote from Confucius, "To get revenge, dig two graves." Revenge is the central theme of this drama, and its influence isn't lost on me.

Lee Min Ho's performance is undoubtedly praiseworthy! His acting prowess, combined with his striking beauty and undeniable sex appeal, adds significant charm. The fight scenes are executed with precision, yet they fall short of redeeming the ending. Ultimately, you're left with a lingering "what happened?" in your mind.

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City Hunter Trailer


The absence of romance is palpable; it feels like the director skipped 20 chapters, as if the pursuit of revenge took precedence and love was left by the wayside. Yet, something transpired.

As always, Lee Min Ho's wardrobe is exceptional, with a great display of shirt necklines. He exudes demureness, with his shirt buttoned up. The entire cast delivers outstanding performances, and the action scenes contribute to making it an enjoyable drama with good pacing and speed.

For those unfamiliar with the plot, here's a brief summary:

In October 1983, Lee Young-sung, influenced by his father's quest for revenge, decides to confront five individuals involved in the disappearance of members of the South Korean special forces. To participate more effectively, he becomes part of the national communications team at the Blue House (South Korea's presidential palace), where he encounters Kim Nana, a bodyguard who lost her parents in an accident and had to endure a series of misfortunes.

The Cast

Lee Min Ho as Lee Yoon Sung

Once again, Lee Min Ho has drawn me into a drama with his captivating performance. Witnessing his growth since "Boys Over Flowers," I appreciate the nuanced portrayal he brings to Yoon Sung. Although the character initially echoes Goo Jun Pyo, Lee Min Ho infuses Yoon Sung with more complexity as the narrative unfolds. His standout moments during his mentor's near-fatal accident and in the final episodes showcase his impressive acting skills. In portraying Yoon Sung as a conflicted and perplexed character, Lee Min Ho delivers an excellent performance.

Park Min Young as Kim Nana

In my first experience watching Park Min Young in a full drama (after a failed attempt with "Sungkyungkwan Scandal"), she proved to be absolutely endearing as Kim Nana. Her portrayal exuded cheerfulness, kindness, and resilience, steering clear of the cliché of a clingy and helpless female lead. Despite occasional rescues by Yoon Sung, she showcased self-reliance, earning my admiration. Her openness about her feelings for Yoon Sung, despite facing multiple rejections, highlighted her honesty and steadfastness.

Lee Jun Hyuk as Kim Young Joo

Reminiscent of Big Bang's Seungri at first, Lee Jun Hyuk made a strong impression as a new actor to me. His portrayal, though occasionally seeming slightly annoying due to his relentless pursuit of proving himself as City Hunter, was compelling. Like Yoon Sung, he depicted a conflicted character torn between loyalty to his father and a sense of justice, notably showcased during the hospital confrontation scene with Yoon Sung after his father's accident.

Kim Sang Jung as Lee Jin Pyo

Despite his happy appearance in the image above, Kim Sang Jung portrayed a formidable and ruthless character as a strong military soldier seeking revenge. Despite committing unforgivable acts throughout the drama, his palpable connection to Yoon Sung revealed a layer of concern beneath his tough exterior. Initially uncertain of his motives towards Yoon Sung, the final episode unveiled his deep care, eliciting an emotional response from the audience.

Other Characters:

Choi Da Hye, portrayed by the adorable Goo Hara, deviated from her typical sweet roles, displaying a brattier side in this series.

Go Ki Joon's character, cherished by "Running Man" fans for his role as Gwang Soo, injected humor into the series. However, his touching episode with his younger brother evoked a more emotional response.

"Ajusshi"/Bae Sik Joong served as a paternal figure to Yoon Sung in the drama. His loyalty and addiction to Home TV Shopping, requiring Yoon Sung's intervention to prevent overspending, added a humorous touch to the series.

Production

  • Original Work: Tsukasa Hojo “City Hunter” Manga
  • Producer: Kim Young-sup, Sebastian Dong Hun Lee
  • Director: Veronica Hyuk gi
  • Writers: Hwang Eun Kyung / Choi Jin Soo (최수

Awards

  • 2011 Korea Drama Festival Awards: Best Actor Lee Min Ho
  • Award 2011 Korea Drama Festival Awards: Hallyu Star Award for Lee Min Ho

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