10 January 2023

K Drama Review: Money Heist: Korea - Joint Economic Area Part 2 4.25 II 4.25 (2022)

The second part of Money Heist: Korea - Joint Economic Area was finally released in December 2022 or almost six months after the first part came out. I'd be focusing more on how the drama progressed and I'd do away with writing about the characters, except for a few new ones probably. 

Admittedly, we were not too happy with how the second half started. Was the wait too long? We felt that the show lost some of the thrill and spunk it had from the first part. 

Some parts were just downright exhausting. We've seen the group members fight and suspect each other in the first half. And those suspicions dragged on to the second part too. And while the way they resolved this and how they made the traitor come out was quite clever, I wish they cut down on the distrust stuff even if most them appeared to have been staged. 

For a while there, I was also happy that the Professor (Yoo Ji Tae) broke up with Woo Jin (Kim Yun Jin). Their drama was getting quite boring and it was taking time away from the exciting parts of the show. I was actually relieved when Woo Jin discovered the Professor's identity. At least, they didn't have to keep each other guessing. 

I said this about the first part and I still saw this in the second half - our supposed hardened criminals were being more emotional than usual. Their emotions seemed to overtake their sense of urgency even if they knew they had to act and move quickly if they wanted their heist to succeed. Some scenes include those when Oslo (Lee Kyu Ho of Hot Stove League) and Moscow (Lee Won Jong of Ms. Hammurabi) died and the escape scenes, especially the conversations between the Professor and Berlin (Park Hae Soo of Narco-Saints SurinamePersona, Prison Playbook, and Squid Game). I would also add the reunion scene when Tokyo (Jeon Jong Seo) returned to the Mint. 

I also found it quite odd that all of a sudden, Anne (Lee Si Woo), the daughter of an ambassador, was acting like a leader of the hostages. 

And you have all those little loopholes. They didn't seem to have a back up plan in case electricity and/or communication lines were cut down. They had no means of communicating with each other. Or why they let Cha Moo Hyuk (Kim Sung Oh of Fight for My Way, She Was Pretty, and Warm and Cozy), the North Korean task force head, live. Yes, they didn't want to hurt anyone but he was obviously in the way of their plans and he knew way too much about them. I also found the Professor's meltdown towards the end, when they thought they had no other means to escape, quite uncharacteristic. He always seemed calm and in control but he was totally frozen at that time. 

Similar to the first half, I still enjoyed watching everyone's back stories. They really helped make the show more interesting. I loved the story about Oslo's mom. Nairobi's (Jang Yoon Ju) son. And Berlin's illness and how he and the Professor were actually brothers. The motive behind the heist. These side stories truly made the group members more humane. 

I also loved that clever plan to let Tokyo get out of the Mint to reach the Professor and to rescue Nairobi's son (Kim Jun of Hospital Playlist, Hospital Playlist 2, and Summer Strike) who was being held captive by the government. Recording that rescue mission, coupled with Seoul's (Lim Ji Yeon of High Society) revelations to back up Berlin's statements, really got them the people's sympathy. I loved that the show even added Seoul to its list of bad ass girl characters. We're watching Lim Ji Yeon in The Glory and she's doing really great too. 

I also liked the idea of asking hostages to stay in exchange for money. The way they were convincing the hostages felt so exciting. 

The fight scenes were great as well, especially those during the rescue of Nairobi's son. And who can forget Tokyo's dramatic return to the Mint as some of the hostages were being freed. The final battle was also very gripping. 

Denver's (Kim Ji Hoon) dramatic scenes were great too. Glad that he didn't overdo them. 

I enjoyed the money rain scene in the end too. Regardless of the Professor and Berlin's real intentions in doing the heist, I'm happy that they lived true to their pronouncements that they will give back to the people and take the money away from the real robbers. 

And while I was not really fond of her, I was glad that Woo Jin chose to let the Professor get away many times, which was of course essential in making the heist successful. That little Crash Landing on You-ish ending for the two of them was definitely a bonus. 

Over all, the second half started out quite slow but it eventually picked up towards the end. And while it was not consistently good all throughout, it was still entertaining enough, especially if you're looking for a different kind of K drama. 

Oppa says...4.25.

Noona says...4.25.