‘Bloodhounds’ Review: Fists Against the Chains of Capitalism

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In just a few years, South Korea has become one of the world’s powerhouses for entertainment. The South Korean industry has invested a ton of money and other resources into making the best possible environment for Film, Television, and music to thrive. The video game industry is even finding its own giant strides in the Asian country. It seems nothing can stop them, and Netflix has seized the opportunity to become the hub for South Korean entertainment in the West. The streaming platform releases one or more South Korean productions each week, so there is always something to watch for fans of this kind of content. Bloodhounds is just the new South Korean drama to arrive on the platform, and it is a good one.

Bloodhounds is a TV series developed by Netflix and directed by Kim Joo-hwan. The series cast includes Woo Do-hwan, Lee Sang-yi, Park Sung-woong, and Huh Joon-ho. The series tells the story of Kim Geon-woo, a young boxer looking to help her mother and her business pass through the rough patch of the pandemic. However, when her mother gets involved with some ruthless moneylenders, it seems that everything will come crashing down in the worst possible way. Thankfully, Kim Geon-woo, meets another boxer named Hong Woo-jin, and together they will bring justice to those who need it.

Bloodhounds Review

The action genre has gone through many phases, not only when it comes to the technical level of the performances and the insane leap the new technologies have experienced but also when it comes to the storytelling aspects of it all. Right now, the action genre seems to be going back to basics. For a time, many filmmakers had the sensation they needed to add complicated stories that, in the end, were only fluff to accompany the impressive action sequences. Right now, that way of doing things seems to be gone. Instead, the genre is moving to simpler stories with more characters. The entirety of the John Wick franchise is built on that, just to give an example.

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So, when you start watching Bloodhounds, you can definitely feel that this is an action show, with fights and great characters, but with a very simple story that allows the characters to be as direct as their fist. This is a classic story of good buys against bad guys; we wouldn’t want it any other way. There is just something beautiful in the simplicity of the story, there are some twists and turns here and there, but nothing too surprising or that will leave you scratching your head. Instead, the show chooses to make you care for the characters and the battles they have chosen to face. The result is an easy-to-binge story that easily becomes memorable.

Bloodhounds Review 2

The main strength of the show is the simplicity of its story because this allows the characters to shine at every single moment. Our heroes, Kim Geon-woo, and Hong Woo-jin are very different from each other, and yet, they find things in common that quickly make them friends. The dynamic duo is extremely fun to watch, and their friendship becomes one of the show’s highlights. Both actors do an amazing job. Their chemistry is really powerful. They also manage to do very solid work regarding the more serious scenes. When you have a great group of protagonists, any story becomes a must-watch; these two are doing an excellent job here.

Even our main group of villains is quite effective. The group is quite diverse, and the actors do a fantastic job of being the worst humans you can encounter. This group of villains represents the worst of the capitalist ideals in today’s society. Their only interest is to make more and more money, even if that means hurting people to get it. The series never goes fully into political commentary, but it is definitely there.

For all its beautiful landscapes and economic growth. The gap between those who have and those who have not seems to be a very common subject in South Korean media. A reflection of real life. There is always a dark side to every good thing, so it feels genuine when South Korean media goes the extra mile to show it.

Director Jason Kim is no stranger to action and comedies, and it shows. Regarding the fight sequences, the direction really manages to permeate the scenes with the energy needed for things to feel serious. Managing to make the audience feel the stakes of every fight is a challenge, but Kim manages to do it most of the time. His consistency really helps the show move along at a nice pace. The same goes for the comedic bits. The story is quite serious and deals with serious topics, but Kim knows there needs to be humor to balance things out.

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In the end, Bloodhounds ends up being quite a fun watch. The series consists of only 8 episodes that run for about an hour each. So, the time commitment is quite short. Which is great. Sometimes you just want to watch a short story. The action is pure, and the characters are fantastic. As the story progresses, rooting for our heroes to dispatch these terrible villains becomes easy.

This series might be very South Korean regarding its ideas, but most of them can be expressed in universal ways, which is why Bloodhounds will probably find an audience worldwide. This might not be the next Squid Game, but its quality is high enough to be just one more example of how the South Korean entertainment industry is here to dominate.

SCORE: 8/10

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