Never engage in cat-and-mouse games if you’re the mouse!

phantom ghost

Instead of a man of peace and love, I have become a man of violence and revenge

Hiawatha

 

Title
Phantom (2012)
Also known as
Ghost
Genre
Action,    Crime,    Mystery,    Thriller
Written by
Kim Eun-hee
Directed by
Kim Hyun-shik   &   Park Shin-woo
Starring
Country of Origin
South Korea
Episodes
20

oh!  brief

Kim Woo Hyun, a distinguished detective and the only son of a former high-ranking police officer, becomes embroiled in the cat-and-mouse games being played by an unidentified enemy. He is a member of the Cyber Investigations Unit and this kdrama starts with the apparent suicide of a high-profile actress. Detective Kim begins to investigate the suicide while simultaneously tracking a skilled hacker known as Hades.

oh! talks drama

This is going to be short and sweet!

There isn’t a lot to not like about this drama. I totally enjoyed watching it. It is fast-paced, intense in the right places and the storyline is not only well-written but believable, incredibly so.

The writer Kim Eun-hee, did a fantastic job with the storyline which is solid. The narration is well-thought out and the lines are good for each of the characters. I think this drama was a realistic portrayal of what the public assumes computer hacking and cyber espionage to be. The characters themselves were well-developed as the drama progressed.

I particularly liked that the revenge theme while crucial to the overall story isn’t as obvious in the beginning. The espionage and mystery are far more important to this kdrama, and lots of attention is paid to these aspects, even in the many flashbacks.

I really appreciated a drama without the romance. Romance can be very distracting to a storyline, especially one like this genre. Kudos for leaving it out for the main characters!

The story comes full circle very nicely, with the ending mirroring the beginning naturally and not forced or staged. Justice is meted out to those who need it and the lives of the detectives involved continue.

I would watch a second and third season or continuation of this drama only if, the writer remains the same – it was that good!

The cast was well chosen. I was partial to the actors and actresses and their various roles. I found their portrayal of their characters was believable and sincere. I particularly enjoyed how the various characters interpreted the investigation differently and you could tell it by the facial expression (again, well written).

I think both male leads, So Ji Sub and Daniel Choi delivered rock solid performances. My only criticism is that there should have been some disfigurement, even though there was facial reconstruction. That didn’t make sense to me. The ‘accident’ would have caused excessive burn damage and it just didn’t appeal that there wasn’t some sort of disfigurement, especially when I believed there was going to be. Was So Ji Sub too vain to allow for his dashing good looks to be ruined?

The cinematography was what it was – crisp and clean. There were no exotic locations, no sweeping scenes, it was all about computers and following signals and chasing suspects. The technical aspects were mostly believable, the director and writer did their homework and tried their best to paint the right kinds of scenes. It wasn’t perfect, but it was well done!

Detective Kim’s character faces an identity death and his return would have been more believable if they had gotten around to some disfigurement (as previously stated). So Ji Sub’s portrayal of his character was flawless, organic and natural. He has a very understated style of delivery but it worked so well with Detective Kim.

Lee Yeon Hee who took on the role of Yoo Kang-mi was good. She wasn’t award-winning in her delivery, but she came across well as the smart, sassy, intelligent detective that she was.

Kwak Do-won was superb as the ‘Mad Cow’ character Kwon Hyuk-joo. The bullish, old-school kind of cop, who really appears to have little street-smarts or smarts for that matter, but grows on you over time. The foolish, mostly bumbling man was delivered with excessive facial expression, over-the-top bewilderment and it suited the character so well. Great job!

Our revenge-filled, shallow villain was the one who I had a hard time with. Um Ki-joon played the character well enough, but his face was far too pleasant half the time and his delivery was flat or expressionless. I’m guessing this is the way he was directed to perform, but someone with so much hatred that they are willing to kill off anyone, and I do mean anyone, in their path would have more anger boiling over and excessive outbursts. He was placid, but a good placid I guess?!?!

oh! sidekicks!

While there were many great characters to write about, as the cast was exceptional in this drama, my favourite sidekick by far was Choi Seung-yeon, the spunky and fearless reporter/net journalist. She was crucial to the story but well portrayed by Song Ha-yoon, who is another great actress-in-the-making.

oh! that’s a wrap

I found this drama to have the right balance of story, narration, plot and came together very well. I was impressed from start to finish and will definitely watch this again.

You’ll enjoy this drama if Cruel City appealed to you.

oh! tidbits

In 2012, the actors from this drama were nominated and in some cases won awards at the various local Korean awards shows.

The National Digital Forensics Centre was established in 2008 by the Supreme Prosecutor’s Office, the Republic of Korea.

oh! soundtrack 

Ghost

oh! … gallery

oh! trailers

 

 

oh! nooz

“200 Million Won Invested Into a One-Minute Explosion Scene in So Ji Sub’s Ghost”

“So Ji Sub Was Attracted by Uniqueness of Ghost”

“So Ji Sub on Ghost, “It Was My Most Challenging Work to Date”

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