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Thread: Review : Iljimae(Starring Yi Joon Gi)

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    Unhappy Review : Iljimae(Starring Yi Joon Gi)

    Title : Iljimae
    Starring :
    Yi Joon Gi as Iljime the Outlaw Bandit
    Han Hyo Joo as Eun Chae the Business Woman
    Lee Young Ah as Bong Soon the Con Woman
    Park Shi Hoo as Shi Hoo The Noble Half Brother of Iljime that opposes Iljime
    Synopse : A story of lone bandit robbing the wealthy nobles to give to the poor.

    Review : This show share a striking resemblence to earlier Hong Guil Dong drama story and concept wise, both based on classical novels about legendary bandits who steal from the corrupt government officials to give to the poor, and takes place back to back(The young king that Hong Guil Dong helped to take the crown is the evil king that Iljimae battles in this series). They also share strikingly similar support characters, such as con woman sidekick like Bong Soon(equivalent to Hu Inok played by Sung Yuri) and Shi Hoo the noble half-brother out to get Iljimae(equivalent to noble half-brother of Hong Guil Dong out to get him).

    In spite of its similarity to Hong Guil Dong, this show isn't as good as the former. Granted Yi Joon Gi looks far far better than the actor who played Hong Guil Dong, but the plot is rather boring, supporting characters are underwhelming, and art is average. It was the fine acting of supporting characters like Seung Yu Ri's Hu Inok and Jang Goon Suk's the crown prince, plus excellent art design and wonderful script by Hong sisters that made Hong Guil Dong such a stand out show. On contrary, this show is pretty much Yi Joon Gi's one man show and it pales compared to Hong Guil Dong in every other aspect. But that doesn't seem to matter to TV viewers because it is rating higher than Hong Guil Dong did, presumably because it has Yi Joon Gi. The lesson of Iljimae is that it is pointless to invest in production quality; all you need to do to achieve high rating is just cast a male actor that TV viewers(housewives) want to see.

    It is kinda dissapointing to see Yi Joon Gi choosing this dissapointing project right after the Hour Between Dog and Wolf, arguably the best drama of 2007. But Yi Joon Gi fans will be watching this show nevertheless.

  2. #2
    Senior Member sunnysnow's Avatar
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    Watched the first couple of episodes and didn't really like the beginning bits. The plot isn't exceptional (its boring even at certain parts) and some of the acting is very exaggerated. Maybe the series will improve as the story shifts from the protagonist's past to his present.
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    Senior Member shellie's Avatar
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    i haven't finish episode one yet... i was really looking forward to this...i'll try again later.

    in terms of ljk's dramas, i think it'll be real hard to surpass his "time between dog and wolf".
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    Ok, the show's over.

    click to show/hide spoilers
    Well, it's an open-ended conclusion. Yi Joon Gi's Iljime who entered the palace to assassinate the King(his uncle) is seen as being attacked from the back by the King's bodyguard whose life Iljime spared after a fierce final duel. The bodyguard is then slain by Shi Hoo, the bodyguard's own protege and Iljime's half-brother. So Iljime's technically dead.

    Four years pass, things are back to being normal. Then the show shows the glimpse of Iljime running over the rooftop. Is this Yi Joon Gi's Iljime? Somebody else? It's left upto the viewers to decide.


    The show itself was a great success in terms of ratings, mostly owing to lead actor Yi Joon Gi's strong performance(It is rare that a "pretty boy" actor can actually act like a pro).
    Last edited by JonDoe; 07-24-08 at 11:14 AM.

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    Senior Member sunnysnow's Avatar
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    Personally, I think the director/scriptwriter did a horrible job towards the end. They set episode 18 at such a climax and it was really disappointing to watch the mess they hastily tried to get themselves out of in the last 2 episodes. Scenes were much too rushed and choppy, probably due to the lack of time as well since i heard they only finished filming the last episode a day before it was aired.

    It's not bad to have an ending open to interpretation but in this case, so many things were left unexplained and unresolved that it was clear that bad planning/lack of time was the reason behind the so-called "open-ending".
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunnysnow View Post
    It's not bad to have an ending open to interpretation but in this case, so many things were left unexplained and unresolved that it was clear that bad planning/lack of time was the reason behind the so-called "open-ending".
    Well, the sword that the king's bodyguard picked up to slay Iljime in the back was Iljime's own(Iljimen threw the bodyguard's sword far away), which doesn't have any blade edge. The king's bodyguard didn't know this.

    So if this scene was not a production mistake, then Iljime's alive. If this was a production mistake due to lack of time, then well....

    click to show/hide spoilers
    The director confirms that it was Iljime's sword and was not a production mistake. Hence Iljime can return if the decision is made to shoot the second series. However, this depends on Iljime's ratings in Japan..
    Last edited by JonDoe; 07-25-08 at 08:13 PM.

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    OMG. Looks like not a great show after all.

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    atlantean0208
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    I don't like it so much with Korean *wuxia* setting, they just kind of feel light hearted and the fight choreography seems amateur compare to HK/China. I only watch modern setting for KDrama, especially if romance are abundant LOL such as Snow Queen, Green Rose or Cloud Stairs.

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    Watched the first three episodes. The plot is quite interesting. Little Eun Chae is so adorable.

    1. How is Iljime's father related to the King and the bad guy?
    2. From the prohecy by the blind fortune-teller, there will be another king soon?

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    Quote Originally Posted by atlantean0208 View Post
    I don't like it so much with Korean *wuxia* setting
    Because there is no such thing as Korean Wuxia. They call it "historical dramas" where martial arts are merely a tool of trade to achieve objectives, not the core of the show. Shows like Iljime(thief), Daejangeum(Cooking and medicine), and Hwangjini(Geisha) are all called historical shows.

    they just kind of feel light hearted and the fight choreography seems amateur compare to HK/China.
    Korean audiences have an aversion against Wuxia, and none of actors are formally trained in martial arts.

    Quote Originally Posted by wkeej View Post
    1. How is Iljime's father related to the King and the bad guy?
    The king is Iljime's uncle. The king eliminated Iljime's father his cousin to secure his power.

    From the prohecy by the blind fortune-teller, there will be another king soon?
    The prophecy meant a "popular hero" or the "hero of common folks", not an actual kingship.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JonDoe View Post
    The king is Iljime's uncle. The king eliminated Iljime's father his cousin to secure his power.


    The prophecy meant a "popular hero" or the "hero of common folks", not an actual kingship.
    Thanks, JonDoe. Somehow, I am glad to hear that it is a "popular" hero. IMO, if Iljime becomes the king, then Eun Chae will be a better choice for him. If he is just a hero, then Bong Soon will be a better choice.

    The scene whereby his sister died is quite sad. Hopefully, not too many sad scenes later.

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    Can someone explain to me the scene whereby Iljimae hid behind the mask? That is, how he manage to get into the room. Thanks.

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    The series have become a bit draggy, e.g. Going to so many houses to steal/find. Also, got a feeling tha Bong Soon will die in the end.

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    Thank goodness that Bong Soon did not die.

    I was fine with the ending. But there should be some reasons why Iljimae only strike 4 years later. Currently, my only take is that he is in coma for 4 years.

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    Moderator Suet Seung's Avatar
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    Another Korean Network, MBC is produced another version of Iljimae called The Return of Iljimae (http://wiki.d-addicts.com/The_Return_of_Iljimae) ---at first I thought this was a sequel, but it appears to be another adaptation of the comic.
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    Senior Member Han Solo's Avatar
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    Currently starting the series- will comment later but episode 1 is ok but not stirring.

    The plot-line has too many lazy elements.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bliss
    I think they're probably at the same level as or one level below Ah Qing, which is about the level of a 2nd or 3rd generation Quan Zhen disciple.
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    Senior Member Han Solo's Avatar
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    Just finished the show.

    I don't think that i would highly recommend this to anyone. Some of the initial attempts at robbery is fun, but gets draggy after a while.

    Like i said, too many lazy elements in the plot like the wise old man who teaches you martial arts, young woman who will sacrifice for you, evil ruthless killers etc.

    The last few episodes have a ?huh feel towards that. A few ppl stealing so many stuff from a palace, and the stupid fight under the cherry blossom- one could see that Ilijimae will be "killed".

    The only plus point for me was Han Hyo Joo, She's pretty.
    Plus she got a friendster account http://www.friendster.com/photos/579...ic=01190254446

    Han Solo
    Last edited by Han Solo; 02-10-09 at 11:55 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bliss
    I think they're probably at the same level as or one level below Ah Qing, which is about the level of a 2nd or 3rd generation Quan Zhen disciple.
    Troll Control

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    Moderator Suet Seung's Avatar
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    Hmm...Dr. Han, would you try watching The Return of Iljimae by MBC and see if its any better than SBS's adaptation of Iljimae. Apparently, MBC and SBS each made their own adaptation of Iljimae.

    JonDoe have any say on MBC's version? I haven't seen SBS's version so I can't compare. But I'm giving MBC's version a try.
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    Moderator Suet Seung's Avatar
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    I'm watching episode 2 of Return of Iljimae(MBC) and they're telling his story from the time he's a baby to youth/adulthood. He gets adopted into a Chinese family during the Ching Dynasty. But the costume and hairstyle of the Ching dynasty period is terribly wrong. The hairstyle should be a long braid in the back for men, but there's like a mixture of Ming and Ching hairstyle. I'm just .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Suet Seung View Post
    JonDoe have any say on MBC's version? I haven't seen SBS's version so I can't compare. But I'm giving MBC's version a try.
    SBS Version : This show was single-handedly saved from disaster by Yi Joon Gi's performance. The script and production value was terrible, but Yi Joon Gi's acting was incredible. Which is odd because Yi Joon Gi is not an actor demanding high salary for roles he takes, prefering to make his money from shooting commercials and product endorsements instead.

    MBC Version : This version has a higher production value and quality than SBS version, but the lead actor can't be measured upto Yi Joon Gi's.

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