THE K2 REVIEW
Nutshell Summary: The K2 is a 2016 kdrama about a former soldier who sees a Presidential candidate in a compromising position. This makes him a target. The Presidential candidate’s wife orders him eliminated. He turns the tables and gains leverage over the candidate’s wife. Following the adage, keep your enemies close, he is hired to be a bodyguard to the Presidential candidates’ daughter. His focus becomes two fold – seek revenge for the murder of his former finance by the rival candidate and protect the daughter. Along the way he fascinates the Presidential candidate’s wife, becomes a love interest for the Presidential candidate’s daughter, and learns to reach beyond his lone wolf mantra.
1. Compelling powerful woman. Watching a world ruled by men can be boring. Spicing it up with a powerful woman that men fear and want to destroy was a wonderful change of pace.
2. Loner hero that fought with his fists and brains, but cared with his heart. A cold hearted hero creates distance, but this warm hearted hero drew you in.
3. Instrumental tracks of the OST. These tracks set the tone for many of the scenes and were hauntingly lovely.
1. Marginalized leading man. I watched this series because Ji Chang Wook was the leading man. But the writer, Jang Hyeok Rin, downplayed the leading man in favor the leading lady. I relish strong women all day long, but balance is equally important. This imbalance between lead characters also happened in Young Pal (review), the series that Writer Jang wrote before The K2.
2. Puppy dog romance with limited reasons why our couple got together. Proximity and our hero’s need to save a damsel in distress drew him to her. She responded with a school girl crush that evolved into a mutual sweet relationship. They had cute moments but this pairing seemed junior compared to the rest of the story.
3. The story and production was good but not great. This could be said about the majority of kdramas out there. So why am I flagging this? Because the unrealized potential was obvious. The story had gaps and missed opportunities to make the characters and plot even richer. The producer (Kwak Jung Hwan from the stellar series Chuno) lingered too long on romantic moments and bashed our hero to bits during the fight scenes.
Do I recommend this series? Yes. I enjoyed this show. I enjoyed the fights. I enjoyed the powerful woman that made men cower. I enjoyed the hero with a heart.
The umbrella scene embodies everything great about this series. A fight with a nod to the iconic single shot fight scene of Oldboy, our hero Je Ha rescuing Yoo Jin not only physically (by extracting her from a menacing situation) but also mentally (by giving her kindness and “chin up” support). Swoon!!! My favorite instrumental song of the OST “Anemone” (track 20) underscores the latter part of this compelling scene.
The Characters that worked for me.
1. Kim Je Ha (Ji Chang Wook) our hero with a kind heart and iron fists. I watch the shows that Ji Chang Wook graces. He has “that something” that draws me in. A smile, a bit of self depreciation, a controlled presence that has undertones of even greater strengths you can’t see, etc. In short, I’m a fan. His character, Je Ha was the lone wolf that evolved. He found his most compelling relationship was not with his love interest. Ji Chang Wook’s chemistry with Song Yoon A could not be denied.
2. Choi Yoo Jin (Song Yoon A) the fascinating powerful woman that ruled the men in her orbit and lusted after our hero. Her desire for Je Ha was evident and why not? He protected her, he treated her with compassion, and he went against her when he didn’t agree with her. Theirs was probably the most normal relationship she had ever had.
3. Agent So (Lee Soon Won), Je Ha’s first line supervisor, who initially loathed Je Ha’s loan wolf ways. He learned that Je Ha was the best member of the team and worth supporting. I went fan girl on the moments Agent So (aka my honey) was on screen.
Characters that missed the mark
1. Anna aka Ko An Na (Yoona), the damsel in distress, who was manipulated by everyone and had limited power.
2. Assemblyman Park (Kim Kap Soo), the ever smiling laughing opponent that had Je Ha’s finance killed and sought to win the Presidential election by hook or crook.
Best Fight of The K2. I can’t help myself, I’ve got to include the best fight scene of the series. Check out the superb first fight scene where Je Ha saves Anna from being captured in the Barcelona Spain subway.
The OST has 5 vocal and 15 instrumental tracks. See dramawiki for details. My favorite is song is “As If Time Has Stopped ” by Park Kwang Sun (track 6). My favorite instrumental track is the female voiced “Anemone” (track 20). The playlist is embedded below or check it out via the link.
1. The K2 Main Theme Various Artists
2. Today Too Kim Bo Hyung of SPICA
3. Sometimes Yoo Sung Eun
4. Amazing Grace Yoona
5. Love you Min Kyung Hoon of Buzz
6. As Time Stopped Park Kwang Sun of Ulala Session
7. Anemone Various Artists
8. The Witch And The Girl Various Artists
9. Mirror Mirror Various Artists
10. Wolf Knight Various Artists
11. When The Body Dies Various Artists
12. Wolf’s Song Various Artists
13. Serenade Various Artists
14. Witching Hour Various Artists
15. The Witch’s Advice Various Artists
16. The Knight of the Rose Various Artists
17. Against the Odds Various Artists
18. A Queen Of The Forest Various Artists
19. Anna’s Passionate Various Artists
20. Anemone Various Artists