Showing posts with label Big Mouth (Kdrama) 4.4 || 4.5. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Big Mouth (Kdrama) 4.4 || 4.5. Show all posts

19 September 2022

K Drama Review: Big Mouth (2022) 4.4 || 4.5

We were very thrilled to hear that Im Yoon Ah and Lee Jong Suk were going to star in a drama together. And while the show was not a genre we usually watch, we knew we had to see it because we loved the lead stars. I'm happy to say that we loved most parts of it. 


Big Mouth tells the story of a lawyer, Park Chang Ho (Lee Jong Suk), who has a very low success rate. He likes to talk big, hence, the monicker Big Mouth. He lives a poor but happy life with his wife, Ko Mi Ho (Im Yoon Ah), and his father-in-law (Lee Ki Young of Extraordinary Attorney Woo, Happiness, and Vagabond). Until he was tapped by the mayor of Gucheon, Choi Do Ha (Kim Joo Hun of Train to Busan, Extraordinary Attorney Woo, Soundtrack #1, Now, We are Breaking Up, Start-Up, Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol, and Encounter), to be the lawyer of a group of guys who were accused of murdering a doctor. Chang Ho's world then turns upside down as he's suspected of using illegal drugs and then later on accused as Big Mouse, a notorious criminal in the area. The drama takes us through how Chang Ho tries to survive life in jail and in the outside world as he gets embroiled with big-time criminals who pursue their goals at all costs. 

Lee Jong Suk as Park Chang Ho

Lee Jong Suk was such a revelation here as Park Chang Ho. I appreciated the cutesy stuff he showed us in Romance is a Bonus Book (with a cameo in Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo). But it was so amazing to see him all tough and badass here. And he was great in his dramatic scenes too, especially when he was all weak and vulnerable with Mi Ho. He did so well in that torture scene too when he was injected with the truth serum.  

I liked how he embraced the role of a fake Big Mouse to help him survive in jail. And that alliance with Chairman Yang (Song Kyung Cheol), which deceived a lot of their fellow inmates, was brilliant. And his transformation after he was released from jail. I loved the sleek, new office, how he was leading his team, and how he made gangster life look so cool (he totally rocked the trench coat paired with distressed denim look!). 

But of course, I still prefer the simple Chang Ho. I loved the flashback scenes which show us that he's a very good person, like how he used to get all the expiring milk in the convenience store where he worked in high school so he can take them to the kids in the orphanage where he came from. I super get why Mi Ho fell in love with him. 

I super loved Lee Jong Suk here and I hope he'll do more dramas soon. 

Im Yoon Ah as Ko Mi Ho

Yoon Ah was also a revelation in this show. We've seen her mostly in not so serious roles like in Exit, Miracle: Letters to the President, and Confidential Assignment, so it was refreshing to see her in something more serious. 

Yoon Ah was perfect as the tough and brave Mi Ho who's willing to do anything to protect and save Chang Ho. Yes, there were times when she was too daring for me, as if she had no concept of self-preservation at all. Like when she tried going to the secret lab in the Gucheon Hospital all by herself or when she followed the model inmates to that secret cave where they went to work. But I guess Mi Ho's just really wired that way. And the thing I like most about her is how she can still look so pretty and fresh after going through all of those things in her life. 

I loved Mi Ho because even if she looks so feisty, she actually has a very kind heart. I loved her friendship with the alleged serial killer inmate, Prisoner Tak (Yoo Tae Ju of Happiness, Do Do Sol Sol, and Crash Landing on You). Everyone's scared of Prisoner Tak because they thought he was mentally unstable. But not Mi Ho. She took care of him, especially after she found out he had leukemia. And how he repaid it by protecting her during the jail riot. And she did the same when she saved him during the sinkhole incident. And she stayed with him until his last breath. 

I didn't like how Mi Ho kept her illness from Chang Ho. Yes, I get it that the show was aiming for an explosive revelation. But I just found it inconsistent with how open they were with each other. 

I totally loved how Mi Ho accepted her role as Mrs. Big Mouse with the way she was ordering people around during the fish farm scene. It was so cool to see the gangsters obey and respect her. 

Mi Ho and Chang Ho

I loved all the Chang Ho-Mi Ho high school flashbacks. Lee Jong Suk and Im Yoon Ah look so good together. That's why I felt quite bad when Chang Ho was sent to jail because I wanted more screen time for him and Mi Ho together. 

I loved their relationship. How they were always there for each other. How Chang Ho really tried his best and how Mi Ho accepted all of his flaws. And it was great to see how much their relationship matured as they went through tough times together. Yes, it was short-lived but I'll get to that later. 

Kim Joo Hun as Mayor Choi Do Ha

I'm usually neutral when it comes to Kim Joo Hun. But I was prepared to really like him here, especially during the start, when I thought he was going to be helpful to Chang Ho. However, as the show progressed and as Mayor Choi's real identity was revealed, I found myself disliking him more and more. It was so unfortunate that he ended up exactly like the people he wanted to take revenge on for killing his grandfather. 

Mayor Choi was my number one suspect as Big Mouse. And the show tried to give us that vibe in that scene where he went to a warehouse with gold bars. It was quite a relief when it turned out to be untrue because I pegged Big Mouse as someone more humane and less evil. 

Kim Joo Hun was doing okay until he had to act all two-faced and sinister like when Mi Ho confronted him when she thought he killed Chang Ho or during Elder's (Jeon Gook Hwan of Confidential Assignment, Hot Stove League, Crash Landing on You, My Mister, and Angry Mom) wake, or when he found out Mi Ho was sick. I suppose all those sinister laughter and smirking were meant to depict him as someone devilish but most of the time I found them comical. 

Honorable Mentions

I loved Mi Ho's dad, especially his relationship with Chang Ho. It was cute to see him love him more than his own daughter. Although I know he deeply cared for Mi Ho as well. 

Another surprising actor was Yang Kyung Won (Vincenzo, Crash Landing on You, and Fight for My Way) who was perfect as Gong Ji Hoon, member of Mayor Choi's group, NR Forum. We're so used to seeing him in hilarious roles so it was refreshing to see him act quite sinister. He was so scary and evil during the initial episodes that I thought he was going to be the main villain. But I liked how he ended up harmless actually and how he eventually teamed up with Chang Ho. I found myself rooting for him in the end and I was happy that he didn't inherit anything from the Elder, freeing him from liability for all of the Elder's crimes. 

It was nice to see Kwak Dong Yeon (Vincenzo, Fight for My Way, and Our Beloved Summer) in another drama. I love the variety of roles he's been playing so far and how he's doing great in each of them. 

When all the conspiracy theories about who Big Mouse was were floating on the Internet, I admit that Jerry as Big Mouse was the one I found most plausible. There was something about his sincerity and loyalty towards Chang Ho that endeared him to me. It's just unfortunate that he resented it when Chang Ho suspected him of being Big Mouse. He felt so betrayed that he agreed to drug Chang Ho. But all's well when he redeemed himself when he saved Chang Ho from that mental facility. 


We were hooked with this show right from the start because it had a very thrilling pilot episode. Although the flashback was not immediately clear, I felt that things were cleared up towards the end of that first episode. While things can get quite confusing at times, the show tried its best to explain things every now and then such that all those confusions were clarified. And the great thing was how the show managed to sustain the thrill and excitement from the very beginning until the end. 

I liked the show's type of humor like how Chang Ho wouldn't die regardless of what he did like inciting a riot or trying to escape. He even ended up defeating tough guys in jail that everyone feared him and believed he was Big Mouse. 

Prison life, as expected, was filled with corrupt officials, inmates who greatly valued the hierarchy among them, and how everyone had to lookout for himself. 

Gucheon Hospital was just as creepy though. The hospital staff covered up for each other. That innovation center looked so scary and mysterious. And all the unauthorized blood works sounded so suspicious. 

I loved the various power plays among the characters - Chang Ho and the Jail Warden (Jeong Jae Sung of Confidential Assignment, Money Heist Korea Joint Economic Area, Hospital Playlist, My Mister, and Prison Playbook); Mayor Choi and Ji Hoon; and Chang Ho and Mayor Choi. 

What made the show really effective was how it kept us guessing who Big Mouse really was. My suspect kept on changing every episode. 

And how Chang Ho made a very good fake Big Mouse and how he used that fake power to instill fear among the inmates or even Mi Ho's mean colleagues from the hospital. 

The way Chang Ho and Big Mouse communicated through tarot cards and the confessional was really smart. It made things even more intriguing. And how Big Mouse appeared to be really helping Chang Ho and how Chang Ho thought he could use Big Mouse. 

Even the way the show muddled up the villains was clever. Was it Mayor Choi? Ji Hoon? The Warden? Jerry? 

I admit, however, that when the real Big Mouse (Yang Hyung Wook of Vagabond) was revealed, I found things quite anti-climactic. He died right away. And I felt like the show failed to fully establish how jail room leader Noh Park amassed all that fortune to be as powerful as Big Mouse. I didn't doubt his motive for going after Mayor Choi's group. I just wish the show gave us a bit of background as to how he got to where he was. 

Things got crazy when Big Mouse died and appointed Chang Ho as his successor. I feared for Chang Ho's life and I was concerned that he'd move on to the dark side. But I'm glad that he stuck by the good Big Mouse persona that Mi Ho wanted him to have. 

Yes, he ran for mayor. And yes, he was using some violent means as well like how he threatened the Warden when the latter ordered his guys to kill Mayor Choi. But I liked how Chang Ho always tried to use his power wisely and with restraint. It was a bonus to see him fulfill his promise to make Chairman Yang's life comfortable after he was released from jail. 

I was not too comfortable seeing Chang Ho act as a double agent for the Elder and for Big Mouse's group. For a moment there, it felt as if both sides might go unpunished because Chang Ho was working with both of them, with the ultimate goal of simply punishing Mayor Choi. Yes, Mayor Choi might have been the biggest fish but I felt that both sides had to pay for their crimes too. 

I loved how the Warden remained loyal to Chang Ho and that pretend killing of Chang Ho was very cleverly done. 

Of course, I was not happy that Mi Ho got sick. But if that were the only way to expose Mayor Choi, then that might be an acceptable trade off. Although I still wished for her to have a comfortable and stress-free life after what she's been through. 

The show went for a very climactic ending. A lot of things remained unresolved until the final episode. I was afraid that it won't be able to close the loop on everything with the limited time it had. But surprisingly, the show managed to give us a satisfying ending. 

Yes, it was unfortunate that Mi Ho died. But I appreciated the solemn way it was done - with just her and Chang Ho minus the heavy drama. 

I found it quite disappointing too that Big Mouse's group seemed to be weaker than before. It could not protect Mayor's Choi's wife, Ju Hee (Ok Ja Yeon), when she promised to testify against her husband. The only time the group flexed its muscle was when Mi Ho got a police escort on her way to the TV station during the debate for the candidates for mayor. 

I also wondered about what happened to the Elder's son and the plan to exhume the Elder's body for autopsy. The show gave us the impression that these would be vital in weakening Mayor Choi's power. But these were built up for nothing - without any semblance of closure or explanation about why they didn't push through in the end. 

I'm not so sure about what to feel about the show's final message of achieving justice through extra-legal means, in a way advocating for an eye for an eye kind of justice. I admit that it was clever to see Mayor Choi suffer the same fate as the people he killed because that's probably the worst and most cruel punishment you can give him. But I wanted to see some legal consequences too. And I wanted to see the wastewater dumping and radioactive chemical issues fully resolved. In the end, however, the show still managed to give us an entertaining and action-packed drama with a refreshing take on how justice can be achieved, and we enjoyed it thoroughly.

Oppa says...4.4.

Noona says...4.5.