Believer (2018) Ending Explained – Does Won Ho find the elusive Mr Lee?

Believer Plot Summary

Believer is a South Korean Film released in 2018. This action thriller boasts of a talented cast led by Cho Jin-woong, Cha Seung-won and Ryu Jun-yeol. Jin-Woong plays the role of Detective Won Ho, who starts investigating an anonymous drug lord called Mr Lee. This case becomes personal as Won Ho moves to uncover Mr Lee’s identity.  

How do Won Ho and Rak meet?

At the film’s start, Won Ho starts looking into the new drugs circulating in Seoul. He recruits the help of his young informant to find out more about a certain Mr Lee, the biggest drug syndicate. He has been pursuing Mr Lee for two years but feels he is getting close this time. Unfortunately, his young informant is killed, but before she dies, she gives him a clue into who Mr Lee might be. 

After the death of his informant, one of Mr Lee’s drug labs is bombed, and a new witness emerges. The witness turns out to be Rak, a low-level drug dealer working for Mr Lee. To get a minor sentence, Rak agrees to work with the police to shake Mr Lee out of his hiding. With an upcoming drug deal with a Chinese-Korean supplier on the line, the police believe they can finally arrest the drug lord.

How does the investigation unfold?

Of course, it is not an easy investigation to lure such an intelligent and far-sighted drug dealer like Mr Lee. Won Ho is forced to go undercover and meet the Chinese-Korean supplier and nearly dies from an overdose. Throughout the investigation, he has several brushes with death, but like a cat with nine lives, he survives. 

Rak proves to be helpful to the case, giving them a few clues and leading them straight to the man believed to be Mr Lee. As expected, the police suffer some tough losses throughout the case. This only pushes them to work harder and get justice for their dead colleagues. 

Who is the real Mr Lee?

Initially, the investigation leads Won Ho and his team to Brian Lee, a chaebol. Brian is the director of an industrial company and secretly runs an illegal drug-testing lab. Brian poses himself as Mr Lee and convinces Won Ho that he is the elusive drug lord he has been chasing for the past few months. However, Brian is lying, and all this is a ploy to take over the business from the real Mr Lee. 

Unfortunately for Brian, Mr Lee turns out to be none other than Rak. Yes, the man Won Ho spent months chasing has been right under his nose. Rak has been using the police to deal with his enemy and to uncover who is behind the recent bombing of his drug lab. The bomb killed Yook Pil-soon, Rak’s adoptive mother, and hurt Rak’s beloved dog. Now Rak wants revenge. As we mentioned, Mr Lee is one intelligent criminal. 

How exactly did Rak become Mr Lee?

Not much is known about Rak. Even the police don’t know his real name or identity. At eight years old, Rak was found in one of the monthly shipments of drugs his adoptive mom used to get.  Pil-soon and her husband decided to keep the boy and gave him the identity of their dead son, who was also the same age. 

Rak doesn’t remember his own name, and his parents were junkies who died after overdosing on the shipment container that Pil-soon got. The man is an enigma even to himself!

How does the investigation wrap up?

After discovering who is trying to impersonate him, Rak deals harshly with Brian. He employs the help of his two mute friends, Joo-yeong and Dong-yeong. Rak inflicts the same wounds his dog suffered on Brian and then leads Won Ho to Brian trying to flee. 

The police are flabbergasted once they realise they have been played. They have nothing tangible on Rak, and he is long gone. There is also the fact that Brian confessed to being Mr Lee, and their hands are tied. The police chief closes the case and marks it as a successful operation. He refuses to announce they got the wrong guy and make the police look like clowns. Although Won Ho acts like he is giving up, he is actually on to Rak. He was suspicious and planted a location tracker on Rak’s dog. This pays off, and he is able to track down Rak along with Joo-yeong and Dong-yeong secretly. 

How does Believer end? 

The film ends on a cliffhanger. After finding Rak, Won Ho visits him alone. They sit for coffee and discuss their lives and what they will do next. Rak is a criminal, but the police already have “Mr Lee” in custody. Technically, Won Ho has no tangible evidence on Rak. The film ends with a gunshot renting the air, but we don’t know who pulled the trigger. 

Feel free to check out more of our movie reviews here!

Leave a comment