Episode 1 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 2 -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 3 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 4 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 5 -| Review Score – 5/5
Episode 6 -| Review Score – 4.5/5
Episode 7 -| Review Score – 3/5
Episode 8 -| Review Score – 3/5
Revenge thrillers are all the rage right now, and after the success of Squid Game, a gritty Korean thriller called My Name looked like the perfect heady cocktail, blending these two elements together. And for 6 episodes, it absolutely works. However, an ending can make or break a story and in the case of My Name, that much is unfortunately true here as well.
The story here revolves around a young woman named Jwoo who witnesses her father, Donghoon, being brutally murdered, shot at point-blank range outside their apartment. With rumours that the police are involved and a late night snoop from Captain Cha backing that claim up, Jiwoo remains desperate for answers.
Those answers seem to come from Donghoon’s friend and work colleague Mujin. Mujin is the head of a criminal empire, with Donghoon actually on the list of Most Wanted across Korea. So Mujin takes Jiwoo under his wing and starts to train her up to be tough enough to hit back against those responsible for killing her dad.
It’s a simple story in truth but one with a good number of twists and turns along the way. Despite being pretty predictable, with a last-gasp reveal you’ll likely figure out by the end of episode 3, this 8 chapter thriller does well to keep things watchable until the very end.
No spoilers of course but the final two episodes push the believability level to the max and there’s a few plot contrivances and issues that will have you raising your eyebrows. Not only that, the abrupt end leaves more questions than answers. If you can go in expecting that though, there’s still a lot to like.
Specifically though the main draw of My Name comes from the action. And boy are they good. Unlike the flurry of epilepsy inducing shaky-cam and quick cuts in fellow k-drama Vagabond, My Name draws much closer to Luca: The Beginning, with long, drawn out sequences and impressive choreography. Thankfully it doesn’t take any of the story influence from that sci-fi train-wreck though. Han So-Hee does an excellent job in this role too and she slips nicely into the well-worn shoes of a conflicted action heroine to perfection.
Aesthetically, most of the show is shot with slick editing, stylish cinematography and a pretty good soundtrack too, including the title song “My Name” which crops up constantly through the show.
When it comes to acting, Han-So Hee is the stand-out by far, typified by a really impressive showcase of talent at the end of episode 6. There’s one sequence here that sees Jiwoo learn the shocking truth and her pained reaction, breaking down into angry tears by the side of the road, is captured so authentically on screen that you’ll feel every moment of it.
If you can look past some of the story woes and take to the acting and action, My Name has a lot of positives. It’s perhaps not as good as Netflix’s other recent original k-dramas, but it nestles nicely in the “very good but with a few flaws” category, making for an enthralling and enjoyable revenge thriller all the same.
Verdict - 7.5/10