Kim Je Ha is a former mercenary soldier known as “K2” who suddenly turns into a fugitive when he is wrongfully accused of killing his girlfriend while he is serving in Iraq. He finds his way back to Korea and gets a job as a bodyguard for Choi Yoo Jin, the owner of JSS Security and the wife of Jang Se Joon, who is running for president.
Je Ha uses his new job to plan his revenge on Park Kwan Soo, the leader of the current ruling party and Se Joon’s rival, whom Je Ha believes ordered the murder of his girlfriend.
When Je Ha is assigned to guard Go An Na, the reclusive illegitimate daughter of Se Joon, they begin to develop feelings for each other. But what happens when the person who wants to harm An Na the most is Yoo Jin, Je Ha’s boss, and revenge ally? Where will Je Ha’s loyalty lay?
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The K2 is ambitious, it wants to be intriguing and captivating but too much pressure has underwhelming results. The drama is a weird combo of action, political drama and romance that doesn't really work. There are 4 main characters, all of them perfectly demonstrated and completely 3-D, each of them has a story of revenge or ambition about the future and all their stories get entangled to set the plot. The characterization is the best part of the drama.
The base story is there and it's quite well-thought-out once you get to grasp it (takes a few episodes - or more than a few), however the K2 was one of those dramas that even though you enjoy it, only drawbacks come to mind when you think of it, sadly.
The drama felt 50% superman, 30% boring political talk and no act and 20% forced romance.
Most surprising thing about this drama is that the biggest and most critical asset of it, the action scenes, ended up working against the whole thing. Ji Chang Wook was immaculate in them, it's not his fault that after 2-3 episodes my initial enthusiasm turned into yawning. It was certainly not his fault. The directing and editing is to blame here. They overplayed the scenes so much, they quickly lose their spark and interest; unnecessary slow-motion, gratuitous weird angles and more made them look overly cheesy. What's more, it quickly felt that the drama pays too much attention in CJW doing his thing than to the plot itself which made the drama feel increasingly superficial and shallow.
Furthermore, what is the korean obsession with making their male leads look like superman? As the episodes continue CJW's character felt more and more unreal. Humans have their limits, that's their charm. Striping them of that feature makes them look fake. I didn't sign up for a hero film, sorry.
Another really awkward thing is that each episode is packed with action, or scheming, plotting, romance, so many things going on, but when i stopped to think what had actually happened after the end of every episode, how the episode contributed to the overall story, i came up always with nothing. In retrospect, nothing actually had happened. Amazing isn't it? The story is there but there is no real development until the end. Dissapointing, what a letdown.
Continuing, the drama is defined by its political aspect. I'm not into political dramas, so once this part kicked in i was inevitably bored. However, I'm usually very much into scheming evil characters and backstabbing and this drama has plenty of it, but the build up to all this was lenghty and quite tiresome to watch.
Additionally, i'd like to talk about the dissapointing romance. CJW is paired with Yoona here, and while they do look good together, their romance felt thorougly forced and wasn't given adequate time to grow and develop. On the contrary CJW and Choi Yoo Na's chemistry was effortless and off the charts. I think i can safely speak on behalf of almost every viewer when i express my dissapointment in the writer's persistence to shove the former couple down our throats when the latter was there and was spotless since the very first moment.
Drawing my rant to a conclusion i'd want to talk about the misuse of Yoona (Anna) as a character. She was either running, crying screaming or taken hostage throughout the whole thing, while she barely appeared in the first half. She basically made CJW's character look like super mario trying to save his girlfriend, unrealistic and cringy.
At this point i feel inclined to mention and stress the significance of Song Yoon Ah's character who probably makes the drama worth watching on her own. Finding characters that are 3D and not carricature versions of real life people is difficult in kdramas. Here, all the character were well-created but Choi Yoo Jin was the perfect villain or more like the anti-hero. There are several layers of her character that go deep and are visible little by little. She was the perfect villain who everyone grew fond of quickly and she deserved better from start to finish. You'll love her believe me.
The acting was dazzling.
Yoona who is seemigly the weakest link of the main cast was way better than expected. She suited the character perfectly and was completely satisfying in her every scene even though severely misused.
Ji Chang Wook executed his action scenes spotlessly, and to be honest that was his character's main goal. I have nothing else to add, he was manly and a worthy main lead, but he deserves better as an actor.
Jo Sung Ha was also spectacular in his twisted role, but the real queen of the drama was Song Yoon Ah, hands down. Her character was disturbed, easy to misunderstand, but she made us all care for her and see beyond her evil mask. Loved her completely. Star quality actor.
Overall, the drama wasn't bad, it is one of those dramas that blow up in the beginning but never come up with the goods. It was enjoyable for the most part (let's exclude the boring political talk), and entertaining. If you are into hot guys playing superman in fight scenes, like evil characters scheming and double-crossing as well as some kind of romance in the sidetracks, do give this a chance. Having low expectations will surely result in higher pleasure. My 8 is kind of a stretch, consider this a 7.5 + 0.5 for the perfect poetic ending! I will never rewatch this.
The very first episode is at best, laughable, but at worst, unbelievably arrogant of the writers. We are supposed to buy that rich Korean conglomerates have that much influence and power outside of their country, in other continents and can even order around the Catholic Church and a police force in a European country?! Even Samsung doesn't have that much power! :p I was ROFL! However, I was mildly disturbed as I got to thinking. Does the average Korean who has never travelled outside of Korea really believe stuff like that? Something to ponder.
The rest of the drama doesn't get much better. It is from the same writers of Yong Pal, so even though not the train wreck that drama was, it is obvious that they were both born from the same simple and way too overconfident minds. As the story progresses, you can quickly discern the unbalanced character development. Our hero, Je Ha, should be a character with much depth and personality. Unfortunately, the writers apparently did not create him for that purpose at all. The character's sole purpose was to beat people up and to have a little love story with the main female. Poor Ji Chang Wook was totally wasted here. The whole first half of the drama, he barely has any dialogue. All he does is kick ass, kick some more ass, bleed and show his abs. The main female Anna is written so typically that she could have been plucked from any cliched K drama and just inserted into this one. She is sweet, innocent and always in distress. In fact, out of all the characters in this drama, only two show any interesting personalities, depth and growth. Those are Choi Yoo Jin and her brother. Those two characters were the only highly developed ones and I was mesmorized by both whenever they were on the screen. How much better would this drama had been had it focused solely on the schemes and manipulations of those two, instead of adding all that other crap to the mix. >_< Instead, the ending result was nothing but a big mess with an ending left with many loose ends and unexplained things.
I can't recommend this drama to anyone. Well, I take that back. I do recommend episode four. Episode four alone, though. Teehee.