AKA: Gunman in Joseon / The Chosun Shooter / The Joseon Gunman / The Joseon Shooter
Genre: Period, Revenge, Melodrama, Action, Romance, Suspense
Broadcast period: 2014-Jun to 2014-Sep
Cast: Lee Joon Ki, Nam Sang Mi, Jun Hye Bin, Han Joo Wan and Yoo Oh Sung.
“Third year of Emperor Gojong's reign. The Liberals and Conservatives were in fierce opposition in Joseon. The Confucian Scholars who advocated for Emperor Gojong's enlightenment policies and their doubts for gunmen holding a new type of gun were being brought down one by one...” (intro of drama)
Park Yoon Kang (Lee Joon Ki) is the son of the magistrate, but much to his fathers' dismay, he is quite the party boy. His father had taught him swordsmanship, but due to Yoon Kangs carefree life, he spends most his time entertaining gisaengs. The two don't see eye to eye, as Yoon Kang doesn't have any interest in his future, and his father spends most time away from home. All this changes, as notable people get shot in the middle of the streets, and the magistrate is unable to apprehend the gunman. Soon enough their family becomes a target, and the family goes into hiding with the Jung family. While there the daughter of the Jungs, Jung Soo In (Nam Sang Mi) and Yoon Kang, recognize each other, due to an earlier altercation, but soon they become close. As the situation with the gunman escalates and the magistrate dies, becomes labeled a traitor, and the rest of the family as well. Yoon Kang’s sister is sent into slavery, and while trying to run away with the help of Soo In, he is shot in the chest and falls into water - presumed dead.
Three years later, a Japanese business man called Hasegawa Hanjo, looking exactly like Yoon Kang emerges on the shores of Hanyang. Even though he is refuting everyone’s claim that he is Yoon Kang, Hanjo in the matter of the fact Yoon Kang - but has decided to pretend to be Hanjo; in order to clear his father’s name, save his sister from slavery, and exact revenge on his father’s death. But that is easier said, than done…
I started this drama because of Lee Joon Ki, since it was his first after military release, but it took me quite a while to finish. This drama reminds me of the typical Korean dramas that are too new to be ‘classics’ and too old to be ‘revolutionary’ - they are those ‘inbetweeners’ that bores both new and old crowd. While watching I expected it to be a “typical”, but they decided they wanted to make it different, and kind of ruined most of it. I felt that it dragged on for a very long while, and the ‘main story’ had a dumb ending. The second half was just unnecessary, and it ended, for me at least, as if the main cast were unlikeable antagonistic. I get what they were trying to do, but they were just unlikeable at the end, and I didn’t like any part of it - meaning I ended up not feeling bad for anyone at the end. They tried to make it reasonable and failed.
I didn’t enjoy Lee Joon Ki in this, and I felt that he was stuck in his bad old routine - I hope he snaps out of it soon. The female cast I forgot as soon as they left the screen - so I had situations where I forgot who the main actress it.
All in all, a drama bored people might enjoy, but not a drama to watch for excitement.
☆☆☆½ / 3½ out of 5 stars
♥♥♥ / 3 out of 5 hearts