In this post, I will try to give a sincere perspective about Bad Guys. I think it’s an interesting theme because OCN is choosing the cast for the second season of this drama.
The plot has a simple idea. There is a serial killer, who kills women in rainy days. During the investigation, the detective responsible for solving the case is killed. Then, the police chief decides to call a veteran, retired detective, Oh Goo Tak, to find the assassin. To do it, this detective returned to the police force and formed a group of dangerous criminals. With this first successful result, the group is established. Oh Goo Tak and the inspector Yoo Mi Yeong will manage this group and solve the cases.
The basic premise of this drama has similarities with Suicide Squad – the comics and the movie.
Also, if you like this kind of idea, I really recommend “Squad 38”, another OCN Drama.
Actors and characters:
Kim Sang Joong plays the detective Oh Goo Tak, who is the leader of the Bad Guys group. He accepted the job with the expectation that he could find his daughter’s murderer.
The actor is talented. In my opinion, he did a better performance in Rebel: The thief who stole the people (2017), but that doesn’t mean that his acting in Bad Guys was poor. I enjoyed his work a lot, but sometimes he exaggerated a little bit and his character became caricatural. However, it didn’t disturb my experience.
His character had a twist in the last episodes. [Spoiler] Until a certain point in the drama, we thought that Goo Tak was a righteous detective and a devoted father who suddenly lost his daughter. I thought that he had brought together the criminals to discover why his daughter had been murdered and who had killed her. He could do it because one of the criminals is also the most probable suspect, but he has amnesia. So, working together could be a way to discover the truth about his amnesia and answer the questions about that case.
However, we discovered that everything bad that happened to Goo Tak had been caused by himself: he had accepted a bribe to pay for his daughter’s studies abroad. As we discovered it just on episode 9, two episodes away from the end of the drama, that twist was a little frustrating, because other better ideas could have been executed. I felt like the author chose the easy and fast way.
One of the criminals, the suspect of murdering Goo Tak’s daughter is Lee Jung Moon, played by Park Hae Jin. I am not a big fan of his, but he did what was expected from him.
His character is considered the best in this drama. From my perspective, Jung Moon is interesting but not is my favorite. We will find out who I liked best. 😊
Jung Moon was a high school student when he witnessed the killing of his parents; from this moment on, his psychopathy became evident and, very soon, he was accused of being a serial killer. However, he never accepted the charges because he couldn’t remember any of the victims.
[The firsts scenes of this character reminded me of Neal in White Collar (US series). Both escape from the police, went to meet their ex-girlfriend, who had participated on their arrest. Because of the movement was too obvious, the police could find them and arrest them again. However, they were too necessary to solve the case; so, the police negotiated with them again.]
I will not tell his story because it would be a very frustrating for you. Watch the drama, I can guarantee that his story was very interesting. Is he the murderer? Can’t he remember anything at all? What is behind his behavior? There are many intriguing questions about him and all answers were satisfactory. Trust me.
Ma Dong Seok is one of my favorite actors and he played Park Woong Cheol, who is the sub-chief of a gang of loan sharks. He is not very smart but he is strong. As always, his character looks very simple but he is complex and his ambiguity makes him very interesting. I think his plot wasn’t as exciting as the others, but his unpredictable behavior will conquer you.
NOW! The most wanted moment: the revelation of my favorite character! For me, the best was Jung Tae Soo, a professional killer who turned himself to the police and accepted all the punishment for his crimes. He is amazing because each episode helped me to understand his motivations and discover about his past. When he finally closed the circle of crime-regret-punishment, he could try to find some redemption. He loved, he suffered, he cried, he was a badass (I loved his actions scenes), he was elegant and he was tender. The whole package of a tough and hot character. His relationships were the most complex and well developed too, which contributed to create a bond between him and us.
Kang Ye Won… I’m not pleased by writing this, but to be sincere I couldn’t enjoy her acting or her character. She was very artificial in her performance. Also, Yoo Mi Yeong was that kind of woman who thinks she is smart and she has the control of the situation but, in fact, she is trying to control the others and she is being foolish because the truth is, she is so blind because of her own narrow mind that the evil is controlling her perception and she can’t realize it despite the many signals of alert in front of her. When she discovered her mistake, it was too late and we can’t feel empathy because she was just stupid.
Some drama authors can’t define clearly what makes a woman tough, then many similar characters become stupid people to whom we can’t relate at all. Another factor that contributed to my perception was her lines. Sometimes I couldn’t believe she was saying such senseless comments and the actress delivered her lines as if she was defending the world peace in a UN Assembly.
Kim Tae Hoon played Prosecutor Oh Jae Won and Kang Shin Il played the Police Director, Nam Goo Hyun – the authority responsible for the Bad Guys group.
My final considerations
Bad Guys was broadcasted by OCN in 2014. It means 3 years ago. These years represent a huge difference in terms of production for this channel’s dramas.
We should recognize and praise OCN for all its development in this area. The first episode of Bad Guys required patience from me because some scenes had poor direction and production; for example, bad lights, bad angles of cameras, etc. On the other hand, I liked the fight scenes. I love to see all the physical fights scenes 😊 they were fun.
As for the ending, without any spoilers, it was satisfactory. I was angry about the thoughtless Mi Yeong, but it was the only thing that I disliked about the last episode.
I agree that the second season has to find new actors and repeat the formula: bad guys with interconnected relationships among them and with their own personal issues trying to find redemption by helping the victims and punishing other bad guys.
Now, let’s think about justice, moral and all other complex questions that Bad Guys discussed. Here, we saw an illegal group of dangerous criminals who regained partly their freedom. This decision exposed the police and justice system meant a risky exception because people who were separated from society were in contact with civils again. This time, they are not totally free, but it was a deal: they could be free and reduce their punishment, if they helped the society.
The author is saying, as in other many dramas in different languages and using other metaphors, that justice and law need a “special” or “extra” help from outside of the own system to work as they should. In Bad Guys, the problem is not exactly the corruption (there’s this issue too, but it’s not the focus), but the high level of violence in our society. It’s not the system which is not working, but the people.
So, the author believes that just a dangerous criminal can understand and stop their fellows because regular police officers are simply men wearing a uniform, they can’t fight against monsters. Also, there is the notion that monsters can be human again if they learn to feel empathy and solidarity for the others.
If, in jail, the criminal should be punished (with the loss of his freedom) and gain some knowledge to be reinserted in the society as a useful person (this is why some prisons have schools and workshops inside). In Bad Guys, they are becoming useful by helping the society to find other criminals. In that way, they are learning empathy for the others and they are learning how to help rather than harm. They are reducing their jail time too, which is a bonus as the probation time for good behavior. They are not learning a new job but they are learning how to be human again. This is the idea.
There is an idealistic vision: dangerous criminals can be recovered. There is rough perception of violent criminals as inhumane. There is the cynical vision of the legal system as unable to find and arrest those monsters/criminals. However, at the end, the result is an optimistic vision of the world: the human justice isn’t flawless but, it’s better than the “animal justice”, that is, the violence of “An eye for an eye”.
(In my opinion, Squad 38 is (much) better than Bad Guys).
My score is: 9 – [Squad 38 is 10!]