Starring: Lee Byung Hun, Kim Tae Hee, Jung Joon Ho
Genre: Action, thriller, romance
I started this series some time ago and I finally finished it recently. I have a lot to say about it and my mind continues to race as I write this review.
Kim Hyun Joon and Jin Sa Woo are best friends in the special forces that share a brother like bond between them. They both meet a beautiful woman on separate ocassions and gush to the other about this mysterious beauty. They later learn that they have been admiring the same woman and that she's part of a secret national organization by the name of the NSS. Her and another agent recruit the two friends for the NSS and learn the ways of the top secret organization. Things slowly turn for the worse after Hyun Joon completes an assassination job and people begin to turn against him from both North and South Korea.
The reason I picked this drama up was because of my curiosities on Big Bang's T.O.P's acting abilities and the intriguing storyline. There was also a lot of buzz surrounding it when it was first released. When I started it, I was watching another drama starring Jung Joon Ho by the name of Last Scandal which is amazing. But as I mentioned earlier, I have a lot to say about this drama. I'll break this down differently into pros and cons.
I enjoyed the various characters and how they faced their own conflicts within the main story. I became attached or favored a couple of the characters. The story was intriguing and kept me wanting more with its cliffhanger endings. The visuals were quite stunning and I could lose myself in the intense action sequences and brain storming moments. Lastly, T.O.P's acting as well as everyone else was pretty decent.
Despite enjoying the story, I was quickly turned off by the frustrating romantic moments. I really wasn't expecting romance to be part of the story, so that threw off my perceptions of the show purely being action/thriller. Every romantic moment made me pull my hair out and/or gag. This factor also ties in with head desk feelings toward a lot of the characters as well as the stupid choices they made. Because of this it made me like a couple favorite characters less. I also had problems with the visuals from the start, namely the camera angles. In nearly every description about the drama I've read, they mention how much each episode costs, but the camera was borderline amateur. They had awkward zoom in moments on characters during intense, emotional scenes and try too hard shaky camera shots that took away from the moment of what was happening. There were also increasing moments of predictability as the drama progressed. Even if my guesses weren't completely spot on with what really happened in the drama, it was pretty close to it. I think a couple of my predictions would've made the show better. Last but not least, they should've executed or cut the awkward kissing scenes with T.O.P. It made me turn away and laugh or cover my eyes from the embarrassment.
Overall, there's a lot they've could've done to make it epic in my eyes, but this was entertaining as is. I had a feeling there's a possibility of a sequel and maybe it's a good thing that Lee Byung Hun can't be in it. Most times his and Kim Tae Hee's characters' relationship annoyed me. I don't think I'll be watching the spin off show, but don't let that stop you from watching it either. IRIS is a good drama, but the surprise addition of romance deterred my high hopes for it. Please leave your thoughts on IRIS in the comments and if you haven't seen it, it's worth the trip.
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