Goodbye Mr Black


This is hopefully a one-off, or at least will not be a common occurrence. This is only happening because I’ve temporarily lost my marbles and watched my first k-drama in three years (since 2013’s Heartless City). The lack of logic pervading Goodbye Mr Black should have warned me to stay away, and indeed I tried, but alas, the pretty was too hard to ignore this time round.

Cha Ji-won (Lee Jin-wook), a UDT officer of the Navy Special Operations Force, is a positive and happy-go-lucky sort who seems to have everything going for him. However, his father suddenly dies and Ji-won is betrayed by his best friend, Min Sun-jae (Kim Kang-woo), accused of a crime he did not commit. With the help of Swan (Moon Chae-won), Ji-won narrowly escapes death and returns with a new identity to exact his revenge… Continue reading

Day 9: Best Villain

Mmm… since most villains end up as lame ducks, it’s difficult to pick one that is completely badass. But I guess I’ll go with these three since they have some potential.


Yuki Michio (MW)
The potential comes largely from the manga, where Yuki is one destructive murdering sonofabitch who doesn’t bat an eyelid whether he’s chopping up body parts or fucking people (all puns intended) and their lives. Yet, Yuki can be playful, needy, coy and nice. It’s all pretty sick, but there’s a delicious thrill in having a villain who is so diabolically fun. The film diluted Yuki to a fanatical terrorist, but still, I thought Tamaki Hiroshi did a great job with the very limited material (he just needed a much better hairstyle). The fact that Yuki survived the plane crash means he can continue his plans to end the world, which is actually kinda awesome.


Chae Do-woo (Story of a Man)
Do-woo is really only awesome for the first half of the drama, but still, Kim Kang-woo played him with such delicious understated malevolence and complexity that I ended up rooting for Do-woo rather than the hero of the drama. Again, Do-woo survives the people who were out to take him down, and the open ending makes it seem that he is actually the one who gets the last laugh. Yum.


Dongfang Bubai (Xiao Ao Jiang Hu)
For the uninitiated, he is a character from one of Jin Yong’s wuxia stories Xiao Ao Jiang Hu who practised a kind of martial arts that required castration, and thus he became an effeminate person who then set out to rule the martial arts world (and also took on a male lover). The castration and effeminate bit meant that actors both male and female have played this character (eg: Brigitte Lin in Swordsman II & The East is Red). I don’t have much love for either the story or character, but well, you’ve got to hand it to the guy who willingly sacrifices his little brother in favour of world domination. That takes some real guts.