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The wind of Korean heroes... THE ROUNDUP, MOVING, and VIGILANTE

Nov 17, 2023
  • Source by Cine21
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The legacy of the Korean hero genre with darker characters and reminiscent of real events


Following The Roundup and Moving, the Disney+ original series Vigilante, released on the 8th, continues the trend of a dark hero craze judging evil. Following the Korean hero worldviews in The Roundup and Moving, it continues to lead Korean content. 



Poster of ​Vigilante ​(Image: Disney+)



In the first half of this year, The Rondup: No Way Out surpassed 10 million viewers in the Korean box office, which remained in downturn. In the latter half of the year, the Disney+ original series Moving created a sensation by setting a record for the most watched series in the first week of its release in Asia-Pacific, including Korea. The commonality between The Rondup series, produced and starring Don Lee, and the Disney+ original series Moving, starring Han Hyo-joo and Jo In-sung, is that they are all Korean-style hero genres. The recently released Vigilante, starring Nam Joo-hyuk, is an action thriller about Vigilante Kim Ji-yong (Nam Joo-hyuk), a model police academy student who upholds the law during the day and punishes criminals who avoiding legal justice at night as vigilante. The drama depicts intense confrontations among characters with different motives surrounding him. Once again, it continues the legacy of the Korean hero genre with a story featuring darker characters and reminiscent of real events. Vigilante means a person who is not a police officer but who tries to catch and punish criminals in Italian. Like the previous works that caused a sensation this year, Vigilante also seems to be smooth sailing in terms of box office success. As of Thursday, the 9th, a day after its release, it ranked first in the Disney+ Korea TOP 10 TV show category of FlixPatrol, a site that aggregates viewing rankings for content on the streaming platforms.



Han Hyo-joo in ​Moving



Korean dark heroes, getting closer to Spider-Man and Batman


Korean superheroes are undergoing upgrades in terms of character settings. In The Rondup, Ma Seok-do (Don Lee) is a friendly and easy-going police uncle. Boasting superhuman strength with his robust physique, he cleans up villains by force. Whereas, in Moving, Jang Ju-won (Ryu Seung-ryong) and Lee Mi-hyun (Han Hyo-joo) are little people who hide their superpowers, run street restaurants and live normal lives. They are individuals who want to live peacefully in a society where revealing superpowers leads to being stigmatized and rejected. The main character of Vigilante, Kim Ji-yong (Nam Joo-hyuk), is closer to a more typical dark hero. The first two episodes of Vigilante reconstruct a crime incident that actually caused public anger in Korea. The enraged main character evokes Spider-Man or Batman. As a child, he lost his mother to a neighborhood bully who was released from prison after only a light sentence and grew up dissatisfied with the anger toward criminals and lax judicial system, and he finds and punishes the criminal himself in the case of public resentment. It is more like a typical hero character, such as an ordinary person, the loss of his parent in childhood, and the lonely fate of hiding his identity.



Nam Joo-hyuk in ​Vigilante 



The Birth of Actors' Masterpieces


Both Don Lee in The Rondup, Han Hyo-joo and Jo In-sung in Moving have left their marks with the movie and drama. Meanwhile, attention is also being paid to the first action performance of Nam Joo-Hyuk, who is currently serving in the military. Nam Joo-hyuk shows the fresh face of youth shown in the dramas Dazzling and Twenty Five Twenty One, while performing striking action as a lonely and dark night hero. Anticipation is high to see if he can achieve a new masterpiece through the complex and two-sided character.


By Chae Sora

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