City Hunter is an action-packed Korean drama series that stars Lee Min Ho. It is basically a revenge story. The series started when a group of elite soldiers were betrayed by their own country and were ordered to be killed during a mission in North Korea.
It could have been a perfect crime except one of the soldiers, Lee Jin Pyo (Kim Sang Joong) managed to survive. He raised his best friend’s son Lee Yoon Sung (Lee Min Ho) in the Golden Triangle and trained him as they prepared to take revenge against the officials responsible for the massacre.
Years passed and Lee Yong Sung, or John Lee as he is now known, took a job in the Blue House. This is the Korean equivalent of the White House. He is a mild-mannered computer expert hired to keep the president’s computer system secured. But what they don’t know is that he tracks down the five men responsible for the sweep mission that killed who he thought was his father.
While in Thailand living in the Golden Triangle, he saved another Korean, Bae Shik Joong (Kim Sang Ho). He became his sidekick and in return he wanted Yoon Sung to take care of Kim Na Na (Park Min Young). Her story is as interesting as Yoon Sung’s. Her mother died in a car accident that also left her father comatose. She had to accept odd jobs to make ends meet. Her break came when she was accepted as a bodyguard at the Blue House. Yoon Sung is attracted to her but he pushes her away to protect her from the truth.
In 20 episodes, Yoon Sung has to find the five officials responsible for the sweep mission. To make the series more interesting, he had to hide his actions not just from the Korean authorities but with his foster father as well. Jin Pyo, or Steve Lee, wants the people responsible dead but Yoon Sung has other plans for them. He just wants to destroy their reputation by turning them in.
This is the cue for District Prosecutor Kim Young Joo (Lee Joon Hyuk) to enter the picture. The young prosecutor is the lucky recipient of the City Hunter’s arrests. But he still wants to capture the City Hunter, especially after his father died. His father, Myung Moon University president Kim Jong Shik (Choi Il Hwa), was one of the officials responsible for the mission.
City Hunter has the perfect mix of action, drama, romance and family drama. Its character development is solid and each episode ends with a cliff hanger. Though it is full of Korean drama clichés, it still had people at the edge of their seats praying that Yoon Sung and Na Na can come out of it alive.
Park Min Young is a sight for sore eyes. First time I saw her was in Sungkyunkwan Scandal and she didn’t disappoint me in this one. Her character is one of the best Korean drama heroines I’ve seen in quite a while. She had my attention since episode 2 and I wished that I was the one receiving her body throws instead of Lee Min Ho.
Lee Min Ho proved that he can act. But I got a beef with his stylist. I mean, who would break in into an enemy’s lair in leather shoes? Action-wise, City Hunter is good. The action sequences were well choreographed and they didn’t shave costs in the special effects department.
Goo Ha Ra played the president’s daughter. Her role is irrelevant and I guess she was casted to make Kara fanboys watch the series. She was not challenged by the role given to her. All she had to do was to act cute around Lee Min Ho. Maybe we get to see her act in future projects.
City Hunter is based from a Japanese manga of the same title from the 80s. I read it and the only similarity I can find between the manga and the series is the title. The manga City Hunter is a skirt chaser and the only skirt that Lee Min Ho chased in the Korean drama version was Park Min Young’s. But don’t let this stop you from watching this series. Trust me, it is a good one.