My Name: a South Korean revenge thriller

Han So-hee in My Name

My Name brings bloody action and retribution in a revenge thriller starring a terrific Han So-hee. If you like the women kicking butt genre, this show will be right up your alley. The original title was Undercover, which makes a lot more sense. It’s a Netflix series.

My Name is an 8 part series, which gives it room to be more than a straight revenge action story. There’s plenty of time to develop character, stage many many many well choreographed fight scenes, insert plot twists and surprises, and drench everything and everyone in fake blood.

Han So-hee stars as Yoon Ji-woo, who later goes by the name Oh Hye-jin. Her father Yoon Dong-hoon (Yoon Kyung-ho) is killed right outside her apartment door on her 17th birthday. Ji-woo thinks her father is a member of a drug gang called Dongcheon. She thinks he was killed by a cop.

The drug lord

Ji-woo goes to see Choi Mu-jin (Park Hee-soon), the head of Dongcheon. He agrees to take her in, train her to fight, and help her get revenge. To get his help, she has to agree to join the police force and be a double agent for him inside the police department.

Her training is arduous. She trains in a Dongcheon gym full of men. One of the men, Do Gang-jae (Chang Ryul) tries to rape her. She beats him off. Choi Mu-jin throws him out. He starts a rival gang and several episodes go by before Ji-woo can get even with her wanna be rapist.

The relationship between Ji-woo and the gang boss Choi Mu-jin is complex. He protects her and helps her. Her father once saved his life and he regards him as one his best friends.

Within a few years, Ji-woo is a police officer going by the name Oh Hye-jin and working in the narcotics division.

Ahn Bo-Hyun and So-hee Han in My Name
Two cops hard at work

Ji-woo works with Jeon Pil-do (Ahn Bo-hyun) and several other cops who want to bring down the drug gang and the gang boss. She’s pretty sure the cop who shot her father is one of the cops she works with. Pil-do isn’t him. Pil-do takes a liking to her and sticks by her side in some questionable situations.

Ji-woo soon realizes that nothing is what she thought it was. Plot twists and unreliable characters keep the danger and the action moving as she tries to find the real person responsible for her father’s death.

To kill a bad guy you must become a bad guy yourself. Several times when faced with a knife or a gun, Ji-woo’s opponent of the moment will ask her if she’s ready to be a monster and kill. Pil-do even says, “The price of revenge is becoming a monster.” Ji-woo is determined. No amount of stab wounds or beatings can keep her down. The question is, can she figure out the real killer she wants to get even with?

I thought the actors were very good, except for the occasional high emotion scenery chewing that is common in K-drama. The story was well told and the fight scenes were excellent.

Poster for My Name

Here’s the trailer. It barely hints and how violent and bloody the series is.

2 thoughts on “My Name: a South Korean revenge thriller”

  1. I watched it, I enjoyed it and I watched again because by the time these Korean flicks are half way through, I’ve forgotten some of the people at the beginning of the story. There is one flaw. Not just in this movie but in all action movies. The injuries sustained are too severe to recover from without months of physio therapy, if you can ever recover from them. When Ji Woon gets stabbed in the leg, she’s only limping in two scenes after that. In reality, she should have been using a cane and limping for years. That guy who gets the sword drawn across his face should have had his nose cut right in half down to the upper jaw just by the weight of the sword alone.

    The people that get beat up and killed in this movie and in others of this genre, don’t generate any criminal charges, investigations or court cases. That would slow the stories down but would prolong the plots and make a good story terrific.

    When I wrote my aborted Season 2 for La Niña, it didn’t take long before I was researching what kind of injuries Belky could sustain and still remain mobile. I’m a stickler for accuracy. I made models and drawings to sort out who was where and could do what from where they were and what weapons could be used so that people who were injured could survive and carry on. That was incredibly difficult because there are not many places a slender person can be shot or stabbed without the injury being lethal or permanently disabling.

    Spoiler coming. Stop here if you haven’t watched yet.

    Choi was playing a dangerous game with Ji Woon. He must have had a death wish. He didn’t put up much of a fight in the end even though his demise could be put down to overconfidence. I think for a bad guy, he had a conscience and there were times where his empathy for his gang and even the police captain showed. It was in his best interests to be much more lethal than he was.

    Ji Woon, being able to defeat men who were twice her size was not realistic in the way it was portrayed. Most of them in real life could have picked her up and wrung her neck with no need for finesse. Their hand strength alone would have crushed her simply because her hands aren’t big enough to carry the bone and muscle to make her competitive. She would have been better off using Judo techniques backed up by a weapon, preferably a gun and more believable as well.

    While her dad was being shot outside her door, Ji Woon was struggling on the other side. However, she had the lock knob on her side. That knob defeats a key every time. She could have just turned it and opened the door by putting some weight into it. So that scene was poorly thought through. I almost turned it off when I saw that.

    I didn’t because I wanted to see how a person who was supposed to look 17 but was really 10 years older would pull that off. She did pretty well. Or rather her make up people did.

    She was better in her fight in class than she should have been. At 17 and not schooled in fighting she should have been massacred. I witnessed several girl fights in school of that nature and the reality is harsher than what My Name portrayed. Girls are way dirtier than guys are when they fight and that’s why girl fights are called cat fights. Apart from that, a girl whose father is reputed to be a gangster as hers was, should have generated fear and respect. She should not have needed to fight. The bully in this case was typically what a person in Ji Woon’s position should have been in. It was a case of role reversal. I’ve never seen that in real llfe either.

    The weapon used to kill Dong-hoon was a toy. A professional killer would not take a toy like that if he was really intending to kill the victim and the victim was also a pro.

    The failed attempt to kill the Cha Gi-ho was complete idiocy. The Captain should not have lived. Tae-ju could never have become a second in command with Mickey Mouse skills like that.

    Other than those things, it was fast paced and fun to watch. And yes. I do enjoy seeing women getting pay back against bullies and morons.

    1. LOL – none of them should have survived any of the injuries they got. This kind of one-woman-army plot can never be realistic. Really, stabbing someone repeatedly and they just get up and walk off – no way. A hundred pound woman leaving six guys K.O.ed on the floor – no way.

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