"Blade Man" is a quirky, dark comedy from director Kim Yong-soo-I ("Sword and Flower", "The Equator Man", "Drama Special - White Christmas") and writer Kim Gyoo-wan ("The Secret of Birth"",Cinderella's Sister"). It's first episode was fast-paced, fun, and full of slapstick comedy that was surprisingly suited to actors Lee Dong-wook and Shin Se-kyung.
The first episode was most definitely geared towards a lot of introduction and set-up. Our hero Joo Hong-bin, who is more of a villain at this point, is possessed of a vicious temper that leads to violence in the workplace, toddler-like tantrums in the middle of the street, and strange midnight lapses that worry his secretary. Lee Dong-wook plays Hong-bin naturally, giving into his tendency to overact and, as a result, playing the part perfectly. The role requires lots of energy and flamboyance. Combined with Director Kim's flare for beautifully dramatic camera work, the character of Joo Hong-bin is almost cartoonish in his execution - and that makes him fun.
Shin Se-kyung's character, Son Se-dong, is quite dramatic in her own way. She is a Candy-like character, but with lots more gumption. The role already shows how much Sin as grown as an actor. Her presence on screen is commanding and no longer meek as it was in her earlier work. The character requires authority as well as an ability to be completely ridiculous to accommodate the over-the-top comedic moments. She also has a sweet chemistry with Jeong Yoo-geun who plays Hong-bin's young son. The presence of his son is an overused plot device, but the way the boy is worked into the fabric of this comedy is endearing.
The plot is made interesting by how zany the characters are and the situations that they find themselves in. The emphasis on Hong-bin's keen sense of smell gives Director Kim Yong-soo-I the perfect opportunity for creative camera work as the camera traces the paths the scents take from their source to Hong-bin's nose. Also, Hong-bin is currently unaware of the magical changes that alter his sense of smell and cause metal spikes to grow from his back. He wreaks havoc at nights on public property without knowing it - a wonderful twist to the rich man/poor girl storyline. Especially since his secretary, Secretary Go (Han Jung-soo) seems to be aware of it and it causes him some distress. It's fun to see Han play an uptight secretary who has a few moments of comedy, throwing the actor out of his normal role of the strong and silent.
If "Blade Man" can continue to weave the ethereal quality through the rest of the show and retain the humor, it will definitely be an entertaining show. The tropes it has begun with set a dangerous trap for it, however. It could fall into a predictable pattern of plot development. On the other hand, if the show continues to subvert the tropes it uses, then it could be an advantage.
Written by: Raine from 'Raine's Dichotomy'
Journalist, drama lover, and foodie, Lisa enjoys exploring Korea, speaking the language, and soaking in all that dramaland has to offer. Her Korean husband laughs that she knows more than he ever will about dramas and K-pop. Lisa Espinosa can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Blade Man" Episode 1"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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