Title: The K2 (더 케이투 or Deo Keitu) (2016)
Written by: Jang Hyuk-Rin
Starring: Ji Chang-Wook, Song Yoon-Ah, Im Yoon-Ah, Jo Sung-Ha, Kim Kap-Soo, Lee Jung-Jin, Shin Dong-Mi, Song Kyung-Chul, Lee Jae-Woo, Lee Ye-Eun, Yoo In-Hyuk, Jee Yoon-Jae, and So Hee-Jung
Country of Origin: South Korea
Original Language(s): Korean
No. of Series: 1
No. of Episodes: 16
Genres: Action, Political Drama, Romance, Thriller
Running Time: 60 minutes
Original Network: tvN
Kim Je-Ha (Ji Chang-Wook) is a former mercenary soldier for the PMC Blackstone. While in Iraq, he gets framed for the murder of his lover, a civilian. As a result, he runs away and becomes a fugitive. He returns to South Korea and by chance, gets offered to work as a bodyguard by Choi Yoo-Jin (Song Yoon-Ah), the owner of JSS Security Company and wife of the presidential candidate, Jang Se-Joon. He accepts the job in exchange of the resources that he needs in order to get his revenge on another presidential candidate, Park Kwan-Soo, who previously ordered the killing of his lover. In the meantime, Je-Ha gets assigned to guard Go Anna (Im Yoon-Ah), the hidden daughter of Jang Se-Joon, whose life is always threatened because of Yoo-Jin, her stepmother. Anna, who has been reclused and lonely all her life, starts relying on Je-Ha, who shows concern for her and protects her at all costs. They slowly fall in love with each other, which makes Je-Ha torn between having to work with his ally, Yoo-Jin in order to get his revenge and protecting his new-found love, Anna, against his own ally.
It’s been awhile since I watched Korean drama. The last Korean drama that I’ve watched is Prosecutor Princess (2010), so I am pretty excited to watch The K2. I once asked my sister whether she has watched any Im Yoon-Ah’s drama because I haven’t and I intended to watch on, Not long afterwards, this drama came out. Pretty exciting, I must say and that is why I decided to watch it. I finished it within three days.
When I watched The K2, the first thing that comes to mind is Yong-Pal (2015). Somehow The K2 reminds me of that Korean drama and I don’t even know why. In a matter of the story, it is pretty different but the point is quite similar somehow. A girl that was hidden by her family and being protected by a bodyguard. Well, in Yong-Pal case is not a bodyguard but a doctor. Even the advanced technology is kind of similar though not the same because, in The K2, the technology is more advanced and somehow cooler and more fascinating than in Yong-Pal. Up to that point, the story is pretty similar. However, the overall story, it is indeed different. Yong-Pal is more medical drama, whereas The K2 is more political drama. Unfortunately, I don’t understand about South Korean’s politics and therefore some of the stories are a bit confusing to me. Nonetheless, I still enjoy the overall story. The action, the romance, the daily conflicts or the conflicts that don’t involve political issues. Even though the political issues are simpler than in IRIS (2009) or IRIS II: New Generation (2013), still, I am not a South Korean citizen, therefore I don’t really understand some of the conflicts in The K2.
“Fine. Sure. We’re bad people. We’re bad people who have confined you and watch over you. But, you know, I’d like it if you acknowledged our efforts to protect you too!” – Kim Je-Ha a.k.a. K2
I have never watched Im Yoon-Ah, so I didn’t know how good is she in acting. She is good in singing, no doubt in that. She’s a member of Girls’ Generation after all. To those who don’t know about K-Pop, Girls’ Generation is also known as SNSD. They are a South Korean girls group consist of eight members, including Yoon-Ah. Every K-Pop lovers must know them or at least hear them. I am not a K-Pop lover, but my sister loves to hear K-Pop songs, therefore I know of them. Anyway, I must say, Im Yoon-Ah is definitely very good in acting too! So it is not just singing, she can actually act! You can see her sincerity in every act she did. Even when she cries in The K2, you can feel her emotion. She is very good at crying. Her cries look very much real. She is a great actress, indeed. And I love her when she sang Amazing Grace in one of the episodes. She really sings it beautifully. You can actually feel really touched by her singing. As for Ji Chang-Wook, he is also really great. His fighting skill is so assuring and convincing. It is always not easy to do fighting scenes, but Chang-Wook did it in a great way. He’s a great actor, indeed. I like Je-Ha not just because he is very good at fighting but he is very smart too. It makes his character more charismatic somehow. From what I’ve heard, Ji Chang-Wook did all the stunts himself without a body double. I think that’s terrifically great. That is proved that Ji-Chang Wook is a great actor indeed.
I also really like the chemistry between Im Yoon-Ah’s character, Anna, and Ji Chang-Wook’s character, Kim Je-Ha. Although I am still confused how the love starts but still, we can’t ignore their chemistry as the story goes. The way Je-Ha protects Anna and treat her is just so sweet! It’s not too much but still very sweet in every way. The smallest thing Je-Ha did is somehow sweet. I think Korean drama is very great in making a sweet romantic story. I wish there are more scenes between Je-Ha and Anna because, despite all the sweet romantic scenes that happened between them, I think they are just not as many as I hope for. However, the chemistry between Kim Je-Ha and Go Anna is undeniable. They are really sweet together.
As for Song Yoon-Ah, I have known her from Hotelier (2001). To tell you the truth, she looks very different! Not on the face, but in her role. She used to play the main protagonist, now she plays the antagonist. I am not saying she is a villain because I don’t think her as a villain. More like an antagonist. And I am very surprised that she is looking really great playing an antagonist. It is a very different role from what she used to play in Hotelier. I praise her for that. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen her and I am surprised to see her again. It’s a good surprise, though. The affection of her character, Choi Yoo-Jin, towards Kim Je-Ha was very well shown as well.
The K2 is another story that makes you don’t know how you feel about the antagonist. You are sure that you are not going to like him or her, hate them even, but then again they did something that will make you pity them and question them whether they are actually good or bad or just pitiful or anything in between. It’s a bit confusing and playing with your feeling. I think it’s a smart choice. Therefore we won’t be able to predict the ending whether he or she is actually a good person or a bad person after all. I like it when the ending is unpredictable. Because a predictable ending is not something you’re waiting for when you watch a film or a TV series, right? You may want some ending to happen but you don’t want the outcome is too predictable and finally made you kind of lazy to continue watching. Like IRIS, The K2 really plays your emotion, turns your feeling upside down. Even though the way both Korean dramas play your emotion is not the same, but still, The K2 really can make your feelings turn upside down. I don’t think it’s a bad thing. On the contrary, it’s a good thing that the scriptwriter has done because it’s not an easy thing to do.
Speaking of the ending, I don’t know whether I really like it or just so. I think some things are left uncertain and unanswered. I won’t say that because it will spoil the story. I did expect more of the ending. I think The K2’s ending ended pretty quick. However, I am glad it doesn’t choose a similar pattern of ending like the usual Korean dramas. By means of the usual pattern is where the main male character and female character went apart for a few years and after that few or several years, they met again. No, that kind of ending pattern is not in The K2 and I am so glad about it.
There are some things that I don’t really understand in the drama. Like the background story of some characters that weren’t told clearly. Or the end story of some characters as well. Even the relationship between some characters was not told clearly. Why they were so loyal towards a certain character or why they have a bad relationship or hate a certain character as well. I am still wondering because they didn’t tell it in the story. However, the overall story itself is not bad and I really like the chemistry between Ji Chang-Wook and Im Yoon-Ah. They really are very good together.
Well, despite some things left unfinished, I still think The K2 is a very good drama. You can definitely enjoy it. The political issues may be somewhat confusing but I still can understand most of it and still can enjoy the overall story. The romance between Kim Je-Ha and Go Anna is not too much and still very much sweet. The chemistry between them looks so real.
I give The K2 8 out of 10 stars.