My Name on Netflix, A Korean Drama With Crime, Fighting, And A Departed-Style Twist

The Korean drama My Title (Netflix) places a younger lady searching for vengeance for her drug vendor father’s dying by the hands of an unknown assailant on the radar of the kingpin who ran her dad’s group. He teaches her the methods of vengeance, which entails quite a lot of punching. However he additionally schemes to insert his new cost into the native police drive…


Opening Shot: Ji-Woo (Han So-hee) is 17 years previous at present, and, as has change into the norm, she wakes up in an empty condo. Her absentee father’s boxing and martial arts trophies line the partitions as Ji-Woo does sit-ups, tunes cranked.

The Gist: Ji-Woo wakes up a forlorn, bullied highschool scholar in the beginning of this eight-episode Korean drama, and earlier than 40 minutes have rolled by she’s holding her personal in a vicious last-fighter-standing battle royale in a dockside coaching fitness center for underworld thugs. To say My Title travels in its introductory section is to place it frivolously. However let’s again up a second. Ji-Woo has been on her personal since her single dad Dong-hoon (Yoon Kyung-ho) stepped out three months earlier than. Rumors of his involvement with a felony group referred to as Dongcheon canine Ji-Woo — “Junkie fool! Get misplaced!” — and finally she places a number of of her bullies in place earlier than dropping out of college completely. When she takes Dong-hoon’s birthday name, he’s drunk and stuffed with platitudes. “The place are you?” she rages. “The cops who’re after you will have been following me for a month.” However Ji-Woo’s anger will get via to him, and he arrives at her door. And his daughter watches via the keyhole, terrified, as a masked assailant shoots Dong-hoon lifeless.

On the funeral, Dongcheon’s kingpin arrives, rolling deep with an 8-man henchman element. Choi Mu-jin (Park Hee-soon) tells Ji-Woo that Dong-hoon was his most trusted good friend and brother, however it’s little solace — the cops drop the homicide case, and he or she is alone. Taking to the streets with “Witnesses! Reward” fliers, Ji-Woo is almost killed by avenue toughs earlier than Choi rescues her. All she needs is vengeance for her father’s homicide, so he provides her a route: the Dongcheon boss inducts Ji-Woo into his group as a beginner on the combating fitness center. Cue the struggle coaching montages, and the large “show your self” last battle.

Picture: Netflix

What Exhibits Will It Remind You Of? Netflix goes fairly deep on Korean dramas. My Title joins the ranks of Jo Pil-Ho: The Dawning Rage, which additionally meshes cops and crime and private justice, and The Lies Inside, the place a lady left alone after the dying of her father and husband joins the Korean Nationwide Meeting.

Our Take: With punches and kicks to spare and a quickening tempo to go along with Ji-Woo’s coronary heart price as she trains to change into Dongcheon’s latest, most vengeance-driven warrior, My Title affords a rewarding opening to its festivities with this thrilling first episode. Han So-hee additionally retains a flashing anger in her eyes that accommodates Ji-Woo’s fast transformation right into a rock ‘em sock ‘em punching machine. However what’s actually fascinating about My Title is what’s about to go down: Ji-Woo will quit her identification and change into Oh Hye-jin, member of the police drive and Cho Mu-jin’s hand-picked, personally curated Malicious program. It’s a twist worthy of The Departed that apparently will nonetheless permit Ji-Woo to hunt out her father’s assassin, at the same time as she performs either side of a battle between jaded cops and ruthless gangsters who’re all out for every others’ necks.

We’ll must see how Ji-Woo/Oy Hye-jin does on this see-saw. For now, let’s concentrate on the fights. From Dong-hoon shortly dispatching the 2 surly cops on stakeout at Ji-Woo’s condo — he grabs one man’s neck by smashing via a automobile window along with his fist — to Ji-Woo taking out three bullying ladies with a wild collection of roundhouses, My Title has an actual really feel for gritty struggle sequences. And that’s all earlier than the primary episode’s last sequence, which features a 360-pan on Ji-Woo crushing a a lot bigger male opponent that’s worthy of the John Wick motion pictures.

Intercourse and Pores and skin: Plenty of fighters stripped to the waist and punching one another of their abs, if that’s a draw.

Parting Shot: Ji-Woo, or “The Rookie” as she’s recognized on this henchman coaching fitness center, wipes blood and sweaty hair out of her eyes, raises her fists, and units her toes. She’s considered one of solely two fighters left standing on this battle royale, which suggests she’s nonetheless obtained some work to do. Thwap!

Sleeper Star: Park Hee-Quickly is ideal as Choi Mu-jin, the stoic crime boss with immaculate threads who takes Ji-Woo into his group as each a favor to his fallen good friend and brother and as a mission of his personal design. “You’ll be able to’t win like that,” he tells Ji-Woo, who’s simply blindly kicking a heavy bag. He removes his graciously minimize camel-colored swimsuit coat with the 1930’s lapels, and begins to spar along with his new cost.

Most Pilot-y Line: Choi can see the hearth in Ji-Woo’s eyes, and is aware of she has no love for the regulation. The daughter of a gangster, nonetheless grudging she was about her dad’s job, nonetheless is aware of the rating. And so he comes to a decision to harness Ji-Woo’s flame. “When you’re actually decided to seek out and kill him,” Choi says of Dong-Hoon’s assassin, “you should be somebody able to killing others.”

Our Name: STREAM IT. My Title guarantees bigger intrigue forward after establishing its protagonist’s very private motive for revenge. The criminals, the cops: can anybody tame Ji-Woo’s rage?

Johnny Loftus is an unbiased author and editor dwelling at massive in Chicagoland. His work has appeared in The Village Voice, All Music Information, Pitchfork Media, and Nicki Swift. Comply with him on Twitter: @glennganges

Watch My Name on Netflix | Stream It or Skip It?


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