Heartless City is the tale about pains of love and the twisted fate of two men and a woman, as a man working undercover in a drug cartel clashes against the policemen after him. A newly appointed underboss of the drug cartel, Shi Hyun is, in fact, an undercover detective who is tasked with conquering the criminal underworld. If he advances just one more step, he can bring in the legendary drug kingpin Chairman Cho and return to being a cop. Yet, the uppermost echelons of the cartel since the impending threat and strike back. At the same time, narcotics squad leader Hyung Min loses his girlfriend, Gyung Mi, in an operation meant to bring in Shi Hyun. The desire to take revenge on Shi Hyun consumes him. He sends Soo Min, who was like a sister to Gyung Mi, as an undercover to Jin Sook, who is an associate of Shi Hyun. Under Jin Sook, Soo Min has an intense encounter with Shi Hyun and falls in love with him without realizing who he is. She suffers a torturous dilemma, unable to hold on to him, yet unable to let go of him either. Will Shi Hyun have his revenge in the Heartless City, a world wracked by the infighting of drug cartels and the competing interests of corrupt prosecutors and cops? Will he be able to protect Soo Min?
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Writing for this series remained consistent and strong throughout, even maintaining good pace. Characters rarely failed to behave in an intelligent manner. The much-lauded, flooring twists are just as crazy as you've heard (and better yet, even supported by prior evidence in the story). What is most impressive to me though, is that the script remains faithful to itself and the spirit of the genre. We are shown a seedy, pessimistic world which is…well, cruel. Potential viewer expectation aside, this kind of darkness is what we were promised from the first and delivered at the last.
Nearly every lead was dynamic, from Shi Hyun and Hyung Min to Jin Sook and Safari. Even the hardcore villains had strokes of complexity which made most more than mustache-twirling monsters. These grounding factors may not cease our hatred of them, but at least add some level of understanding. Yoon Soo Min likely is the weakest link of the main cast, her arc included; she needed a bit more weight to contend on equal footing with the other plot lines. The completion of her journey manages to be satisfying nonetheless.
Jung Kyung Ho shines brilliantly as both star and main draw of Cruel City. Decadent charisma pours from him in droves, lending his Doctor’s Son an impossibly fierce magnetism. The most compelling action sequences belonged to Kyung Ho also; I quickly fell in love with his sharp knife skills and cat-like elegance. It's important to note he filmed the final episodes with a nasty back injury; his epic performance is not only a product of talent, but dedication and hard work. This drama was also very kind to Lee Jae Yoon, whose slowly developing Hyung Min I gradually gained affection for. He portrays the team leader as smart, sympathetic, and steady -- with a shot of menace to prevent him being a boring goody-two-shoes. Honorable mentions go to Kim Yoo Mi and Yoon Hyun Min; their respective characters Jin Sook and Hyun Soo are over the top cool and attractive. To say I became deeply invested in the fate of both of them is an understatement.
“Love is dead,” according to one of Cruel City’s most recognizable themes: Kim Young Jin’s “Wound.” My love for the music will never die, though. It is stirring and atmospheric, always well-utilized in show. Even instrumental tracks are memorable, though the rare vocal was always delicious. Many fans here at MDL went crazy trying to find out their artists and song titles before the soundtrack was released.
This show made me jump, scream, laugh and cry, my husband asked me if have turned nuts;). One second your thinking Is he a gangster? other your thinking OMG no he can't be, he must be undercover, then ooh no he is sooo bad and next OMG HE IS. It's not limited to the main leads but also to all of the supporting casts, they seemed all to be so very good planned out.
Chemistry between all of them was really nice, the bro-chemistry, the family-chemistry and the love-chemistry. No sloppy violence.
I'm sure i'm not alone thinking that its nice when a show ends in a realistic manner or unexpected. But some shows, you just wish they could end the way you want it, somehow Kdramas and especially this use the ending to make you keep thinking about the show over and over again after its done. I LOVE IT.. can't stop thinking about an alternative ending in my head.
Im out of praises, watch it and you will love, it.