My Name Review 2021 Tv Show Series Season Cast Crew
Ji-Woo (Han So-hee) is 17 years old today, and, as has become the norm, she wakes up in an empty apartment. Her absentee father’s boxing and martial arts trophies line the walls as Ji-Woo does sit-ups, tunes cranked.
Ji-Woo wakes up a forlorn, bullied high school student at the start of this eight-episode Korean drama, and before 40 minutes have rolled by she’s holding her own in a vicious last-fighter-standing battle royale in a dockside training gym for underworld thugs. To say My Name travels in its introductory segment is to put it lightly. But let’s back up a second. Ji-Woo has been on her own since her single dad Dong-hoon (Yoon Kyung-ho) stepped out three months before. Rumors of his involvement with a criminal organization called Dongcheon dog Ji-Woo — “Junkie idiot! Get lost!” — and eventually she puts a few of her bullies in place before dropping out of school entirely. When she takes Dong-hoon’s birthday call, he’s drunk and full of platitudes. “Where are you?” she rages. “The cops who are after you have been following me for a month.” But Ji-Woo’s anger gets through to him, and he arrives at her door. And his daughter watches through the keyhole, terrified, as a masked assailant shoots Dong-hoon dead.
At the funeral, Dongcheon’s kingpin arrives, rolling deep with an 8-man henchman detail. Choi Mu-jin (Park Hee-soon) tells Ji-Woo that Dong-hoon was his most trusted friend and brother, but it’s little solace — the cops drop the murder case, and she is alone. Taking to the streets with “Witnesses! Reward” fliers, Ji-Woo is nearly killed by street toughs before Choi rescues her. All she wants is vengeance for her father’s murder, so he gives her a route: the Dongcheon boss inducts Ji-Woo into his organization as a newbie at the fighting gym. Cue the fight training montages, and the big “prove yourself” final battle.
With punches and kicks to spare and a quickening pace to go with Ji-Woo’s heart rate as she trains to become Dongcheon’s newest, most vengeance-driven warrior, My Name offers a rewarding opening to its festivities with this thrilling first episode. Han So-hee also keeps a flashing anger in her eyes that accommodates Ji-Woo’s rapid transformation into a rock ‘em sock ‘em punching machine. But what’s really interesting about My Name is what’s about to go down: Ji-Woo will give up her identity and become Oh Hye-jin, member of the police force and Cho Mu-jin’s hand-picked, personally curated Trojan horse. It’s a twist worthy of The Departed that apparently will still allow Ji-Woo to seek out her father’s murderer, even as she plays both sides of a battle between jaded cops and ruthless gangsters who are all out for each others’ necks.
We’ll have to see how Ji-Woo/Oy Hye-jin does on this see-saw. For now, let’s focus on the fights. From Dong-hoon quickly dispatching the two surly cops on stakeout at Ji-Woo’s apartment — he grabs one guy’s neck by smashing through a car window with his fist — to Ji-Woo taking out three bullying girls with a wild series of roundhouses, My Name has a real feel for gritty fight sequences. And that’s all before the first episode’s final sequence, which includes a 360-pan on Ji-Woo crushing a much larger male opponent that’s worthy of the John Wick movies.