Veteran Review

Review. Veteran follows a detective as he fights to bring a rich powerful man to justice.

Synopsis. What if you were a smart determined detective that KNEW the rich guy was getting away with a crime? What is the rich guy’s team thwarted you at every turn with his power, influence, and fixers? Would you give up or fight even when everyone wanted you to stop? This is the basis for Veteran.

More Details. Veteran is a 2015 Korean film about pursuit of justice between two central characters – the good cop and the bad wealthy guy. The central players – Detective Seo Do Cheol (Hwang Jung Min) refused to succumb to pressure to walk away from nailing teflon coated Vice President Jo Tae Oh (Yoo Ah In). Can Detective Seo piece together the truth? Will Jo Tae Oh elude justice by utilizing the network of the powerful and a team of fixers?

What I liked about Veteran:

Well written and produced.
Ryoo Seung Wan wrote a compelling story of the “untouchable” rich guy that believed he was above the law and the detective that wouldn’t give up on justice. If you’ve watched Korean dramas or movies, you’ve seen this story. This version told it well and with more depth than expected. Ryoo Seung Wan was also the director and shined in this role. The construction of the scenes, the pace, the immersion into this gritty corner of Seoul was a crucial component along with the story and acting that brought it to life.

Hwang Jung Min as Detective Seo Do Cheol.
Detective Seo was the protagonist with a tribe of fellow officers that had his back. I liked his drive to see justice be served. I liked his tribe of fellow officers that had his back. Hwang Jung Min let Detective Seo be exuberant and determined, his portrayal was not boring. There was humor among his tribe. His wife had a great line “after marrying you, my whole life is a regret”. I chuckled when the police officers “one upped” each other with scars.

Yoo Ah In as Vice President Jo Tae Oh. He was the antagonist with wealth, power, and a tribe to clean up his messes. He was brutal, thoughtless, cruel, and protected by a loyal team. The scene were Jo Tae Oh emasculated and humiliated a regular guy was disturbing and effective. Yoo Ah In let Jo Tae Oh relish his power and “go there” in moments of rage. Yoo Ah In is a beautiful man and having his handsome face front this character you’d not want to spend time with once you peeled back the facade brought to life the phrase “Beautiful People Are Not Always Good”.

What I did not like about Veteran:
Didn’t start humming until the antagonist engaged. The initial 15 minutes set up the protagonist and his tribe. Once the antagonist and his tribe inserted their will, it grabbed me.

Final Thoughts:
Veteran was violent (but not gory), funny (but not comedic), and hopeful (but not sappy). I rooted for the protagonist and his tribe. I wanted to see the antagonist and his tribe get theirs. Once engaged me, I enjoyed all the film offered.

Asian drama fan. I watch and blog dramas on

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Posted in Kmovie, Reviews
21 comments on “Veteran Review
  1. beezrtp says:

    My dilemma when I watched this is I don’t care for the actor playing the good guy and I’m in love with the actor playing the bad guy. lol

    kjt, I’ve been waiting for you to watch/ review this movie so I could call to your attention to how I believe they based the character played by Namgoong min in Remember Son’s War on the Yoo Ah in character in this movie. Not to take away from Namgoong min because he did a great job but Veteran came out first. Both actors did that mesmerizing going from 0 to 200 in temperperment & emotion.

    Yoo Ah in’s character was a horrible person but I enjoyed (so much) seeing him portray him.

    • Beez, glad I finally watched this one. I’ve been missing Yoo Ah In and seeking out his work.

      I went back and checked my review of Remember and said about Nam Gyoo Man (Namgung Min), the rich heir, who was the real murderer but framed Jin Woo’s father. Spoiled, cold, with “anger issues” (he had a scary volcano temper), he believed wealth will get him out of any legal issue (for most of the series he was right). His father was also evil. He believed once you lost value to him, throwing you under the bus or losing your life wasn’t far behind..

      I understand why you think (and I agree) that character was based on Vice President Jo Tae Oh. The parallels are evident. VP Jo was the driver for the movie. I didn’t engage until he started being who he was. Nam was the driver for the series. Without the antagonist, the protagonist wasn’t that interesting (as evidenced by watching but not engaging he initial 15 minutes of the movie).

  2. Jane Tilly says:

    Looks intriguing … Nam Goong Min was a terrific villian in Remember the War of the Son … I can only imagine Yoo Ah In being an excellent villian.

    • beezrtp says:

      Hi, JT. We all know I’m biased, (not only biased because of Yoo Ah-in, but biased because Veteran was released well before Remember so I view Veteran as the original and inspiration) – but I felt Namgoong went from 0-60 in his anger, sometimes it felt to me like I could hear the director say “Now! Go! You’re suddenly angry”. Did Namgoong do that well? Yes. But with Yoo Ah in, I believed that the scene before is what made him angry. I saw a subtle shift in his evil countenance that he was about to go “there”. I can’t explain it exactly but… I believed.

      • But with Yoo Ah in, I believed that the scene before is what made him angry. I saw a subtle shift in his evil countenance that he was about to go “there”. I can’t explain it exactly but… I believed.
        I agree with your assessment. I’m biased too, but the more nuanced and deeper performance came from Yoo Ah In. If I wrote a blog post “Who Did the Role Better?” I’d give it to Yoo Ah In.

        • Jane Tilly says:

          “If I wrote a blog post “Who Did the Role Better?” I’d give it to Yoo Ah In.” -KJT

          While I haven’t seen “Veteran”, I believe both of you that Yoo Ah In played it better. I’ve found Yoo Ah In to be BELIEVABLE in EVERY role I’ve seen him in, which evidences his excellent acting abilities.

          Nam Goong Min has excelled at every antagonist role I’ve seen him in, but even though I find him to be attractive, I cannot think of ANY romcom that I’ve seen where I was drawn to him. I was surprised how much I liked his nice guy character in “Sensory Couple”, ✳️SPOILER ALERT✳️ until we discovered he was a sadistic serial killer. Nam Goong Min seems to be more believable as a villain than a hero.

          • I’ve found Yoo Ah In to be BELIEVABLE in EVERY role I’ve seen him in, which evidences his excellent acting abilities.
            Agreed. I couldn’t get into and didn’t finish the 2018 film Burning, but that was about the odd story which didn’t appeal, not Yoo Ah In’s acting.

          • beezrtp says:

            And I’ve seen Namgong min in far more second banana (no pun intended, but there it was😆) roles than part of the OTP. I am glad he was finally able to move up from always the second male romantic lead who never got the girl.

            I agree with Jane Tilly (and for a long time it seems, HallYu did too) that he’s a better fit as a villain.

          • Jane Tilly says:

            Yep, Nam Goong Min makes a better antagonist than a protagonist. I thought I would give him another chance as a protagonist in “Handsome Guy and Jung Eum” … He just wasn’t believable as a sweet nice guy or maybe it also was affected by leading lady Hwang Jung Eum, who typically overacts … I can only take her screaming in small doses.

            Too bad he doesn’t seem to transition to a nice guy like Kim Jae Wook, who was a pure evil serial killer in “Voice”, but was charming and loveable in “Temperature of Love” and “Her Private Life”.

            • beezrtp says:

              I enjoyed Namgoong min as a “good” guy in Chief Kim. He was hilarious. He was okay in Beautiful Gong shin.I dropped that one you’re talking about after the 2nd or 3rd episode.

              Hwang Jung Eum was in the first Kdrama I ever watched. I remember my son saying something about “what’s with all the screeching in those Korean shows you’re watching?” lol

              • Jane Tilly says:

                I haven’t seen “Chief Kim”, it is on my short list … I’m glad I can still have hope for him to be good in a protagonist role…

                • beezrtp says:

                  Welllll, no spoilers because I know the series descriptions of Chief Kim say he starts out as unscrupulous. But he’s kind of delightful even when he’s being bad and he’s recruited for good and his unscrupulous ways are what make him uniquely qualified to bring down the bad guys. 🙂

                • beezrtp says:

                  P.S. You’ll enjoy Chief Kim more if you’re not looking for romance.

              • Jane Tilly says:

                Good thing Hwang Jung Eum wasn’t in the first Kdrama I saw, I might have been put off on the whole genre.

                Now I’m prepared if I choose a drama that she is in.

                • beezrtp says:

                  Haha! Yeah, it was challenging but despite the screeching she was adorable. Oh! And I just realized that Namgoong min was the second banana in that show! (Although, technically not “banana” as he wasn’t part of the love triangle but he was second male lead.) It was “Can You Hear My Heart”.

  3. beezrtp says:

    You guys, I’m so excited for this movie Bad Guys

    If you haven’t watched the Kdrama series “Bad Guys”, I highly recommend it. (Although, beware, the sequel wasn’t very good which maybe that’s why they’ve made the movie.)

    • Love the title “Bad Guys Reign of Chaos”. That trailer got me pumped! Thanks!

      I haven’t seen the kdrama series. Will add it to the list.

      • beezrtp says:

        Typical of Kdramas, the ending isn’t very satisfying but you grow to love these really bad guys with a heart. And Park Hae Jin’s character is really something. Else. He played this just before he blew up big. And he played it well. Very, very well.

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July 2019

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