K-drama review: Han So-hee transforms as an action star in 'My Name'

Fred Hawson

Posted at Oct 22 2021 03:31 PM

Han So-hee in 'My Name.' Handout 
Han So-hee in 'My Name.' Handout 

Teenager Yoon Ji-woo (Han So-hee) heard her estranged father Yoon Dong-hoon (Yoon Kyung-ho) being shot to death outside the door of her apartment. Driven by rage and guilt, she sought the help of her father's friend and gang boss Choi Mu-jin (Park Hee-soon) to help her seek revenge. After training her to fight, Choi sent her to infiltrate the police department under a false name as a narc in order to kill the policeman behind the murder of her father.

The career of beautiful 26-year old actress Han So-hee is on quite a roll with three consecutive lead roles in major TV series. She landed lead roles in "The World of the Married" (2020) and "Nevertheless" (2021), as young women in various romantic predicaments. This transformative role of Ji-woo in "My Name" is her most physically brutal and exhausting role so far, pushing Han's acting chops and versatility even further than ever before. 

Park Hee-soon played Choi Mu-jin, an impeccably-groomed, cool-as-a-cucumber drugs kingpin who can be both benevolent and ruthless. Kim Sang-ho played Cha Gi-ho, the chief of the narcotics department who knew more than what he was saying. Chang Ryul played the crazy goon Do Gang-jae who can't accept that he was beaten in a fight by a girl. Ahn Bo-hyun played Ji-woo's police partner, whose discernment could be clouded by concern. 

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Those realistically-painful, bone-crushing, blood-splattering hand, knife and gun fight scenes were staged in various backdrops, from messy gyms and gambling rooms to elegantly-furnished condos and offices. The lighting, camera work and editing of these fights were done in a way that made them look so brutal and deadly. I have to admit though that Ji-woo was obviously favored to win her fights no matter how impossible the odds were against her. 

Revenge plots have been a familiar staple in TV drama series. "My Name" gives its basic revenge story one twist after another because it was based on secrets and lies built upon older secrets and lies. I cannot say that the ending was not entirely predictable, the series remained engaging to watch, as all the protagonists and antagonists were instrinsically-flawed, making their intentions, plans and next steps unpredictable.

This review was originally published in the author's blog, "Fred Said."