k-drama · Review

Bad Guys Is An Old-School Crime Drama With A Charming Psychopath

With just 11 episodes Bad Guys manages to keep you entertained and have you rooting for a convicted serial killer and gangsters fighting crime – if you’re intrigued our review today will tell you more about this 2014 hit k-drama.

My mom was back home for a few days and we decided to spend our evenings finally watching a drama that has been on our to-watch list for quite a while now. Bad Guys seemed like a perfect fit for this short visit – it has 11 episodes all lasting around one hour and the action and the plot move very fast and you get immersed into the story right away. The premise was what originally piqued our interest – a special unit made out of convicted criminals that solves other crimes? Sounds like one hell of a ride and Bad Guys was exactly that. Old-school but so entertaining as you’ll read in the review below.

From MyDramaList: To combat rising violent crimes, the Police Chief asks Detective Oh Goo Tak to form a team consisting of criminals. Detective Oh Goo Tak is currently suspended from the police force for using excessive force. Detective Oh Goo Tak gathers team members: Park Woong Cheol who is a gangster, Lee Jung Moon who is the youngest serial killer with extraordinary intelligence and Jung Tae Soo who is a contract killer. Also, Police Inspector Yoo Mi Young joins the team. She tries to have the guys work as a team by dealing with them rationally and sometimes emotionally.

Minor spoilers ahead:

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If it was a movie, Bad Guys would be an action meets crime flick. It’s very old-school in its approach and one would argue that the characters come across as different types of typical crime stereotypes but somehow the drama or better said the cast of it make it all work. There are a lot of graphic scenes of violence which is to be expected and a lot action so if that’s not your thing I don’t think this will be a drama for you. However, the entire premise of these criminals (one of them being a serial killer) being gathered together by the mysterious and obviously very troublesome (suspended) detective Oh Goo Tak had me so intrigued to give this a go. Oh Goo Tak was a character that annoyed me the most and I have to say without spoiling anything that I’m glad his actions had repercussions although a bit late. It’s obvious his demons got the best of him and that what we see now is the shell of the man and the detective he used to be. Be ready to be frustrated though.

The criminal trio is probably the highlight of the drama although one of them did really disappoint me after his story was revealed. The man the legend Ma Dong Seok as Woong Cheol was so good. He really portrayed that man in the best way possible and I loved his action scenes even though I’m not that big of a fan of those in general. He simply makes them fun and thrilling to watch. Jo Donghyk as Tae Soo was first of all the resident hottie of the cast because whew, he was serving punches and looks left and right. That buzzcut rough look somehow looked amazing on him the entire time. Tae Soo was a bit more questionable for me as a character because even though you learn right away that he killed someone and went to the police station on his own the entire story behind it was dragged out until the very end and you end up feeling confused and lost half of the time. Can’t say I didn’t cry like a baby because of him in those last few episodes when we get to meet his pre-prison crew.

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Now, the title of the review already told you that the biggest star of the drama for both mom and me was our resident serial killer who only killed… well, about 15 people. Fantastic Park Hae Jin as the psychopath Lee Jung Moon was honestly stealing the spotlight the entire time but it also makes sense as you will realize quite early on (although for some reason they tried to make this a plot twist? or it could be that the inspector Mi Young was just very slow the entire show) that he’s connected with the main plot of the drama. The thing is that they pretty much arrested him without any major evidence but a testimony and the fact that he got like a 38/40 score on a psychopath test and so the entire drama keeps you wondering – is this very silent, very broody, very intelligent man actually behind all of this? I think this was the most thrilling aspect of the drama for me and it really kept us going because we needed to know what will happen next and what evidence they will find next.

The squad isn’t your typical one – they’re obviously all wary of each other and everyone is hiding their own secrets but there is a form of comradery between the three criminals that was interesting to observe. It was even funny how sometimes they seemed a lot more rational and loyal until they have actual proof than our detectives. Which brings me to the absolutely horribly done character of the inspector Mi Young. This was definitely not Kang Ye Won’s best acting work because not only was she giving me CSI: Miami Calleigh Duquesne level of stiffness but she also genuinely made me wonder if she’s just plain dumb. This catastrophe of a character falls partly on the back of Kang Ye Won’s not so stellar performance and partly on the back of the screenwriter for investing zero effort into this potentially cool character. She could’ve been so much more instead of someone switching sides every minute and taking 5 episodes to actually dig into things.

Overall, without spoiling anything because I think that’s the best way to get into this, Bad Guys was extremely fast-paced, intriguing and thrilling to watch. It’s a drama you can finish in just two days or so if you have free time and if the synopsis seems like your thing – go for it. Both mom and I agreed to give it a 8.5/10 which is more than solid. Park Hae Jin owned this though. Worth watching for him if nothing else.

Header Image Source: OCN

2 thoughts on “Bad Guys Is An Old-School Crime Drama With A Charming Psychopath

    1. I only found out through Park Haejin and honestly it was worth watching for him. I don’t think you’d enjoy this genre much anyway but you know mom and I are too into it lol! ❤


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