Money Heist: Korea - Joint Economic Area

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Money Heist: Korea - Joint Economic Area.
Money Heist: Korea - Joint Economic Area.
Photo: Jung Jaegu/Netflix

SHOW:

Money Heist: Korea – Joint Economic Area

WHERE TO WATCH:

Netflix

OUR RATING:

4/5 Stars

WHAT IT'S ABOUT:

Thieves overtake the mint of a unified Korea. With hostages trapped inside, the police must stop them and the shadowy mastermind behind it all.

WHAT WE THOUGHT:

Within the first minutes of this show, I was sold, it opens with one of the characters dancing to DNA by BTS, and I'm an ARMY.

Before I head into my review, I would like to clarify that I did not watch the original Spanish show on which this remake/spin-off/continuation is based, so there will be no comparisons in my review. With that said, after watching this show, I do want to watch the original.

The Spanish version has amassed a cult following, and even though I didn't watch it, I did know of the show, the basic premise and some of the characters, i.e. The Professor.

Set in 2025 in a reunified Korea, the series follows The Professor (Yoo Ji-tae), a criminal mastermind who wants to pull off a 4 trillion won heist. He makes up a motley crew, each with their speciality; there's Berlin (Park Hae-soo), a North Korean former prisoner who is the enforcer; Rio (Lee Hyun-woo), a medical school dropout and a skilled hacker who's from a wealthy family. Moscow (Lee Won-jong), an ex-convict whose speciality is being able to dig himself out of anywhere, and his son Denver (Kim Ji-hoon), who is a dimwit but a skilled fighter. Then there's Nairobi (Jang Yoon-ju), a con artist who has tons of previous heist experience, and brothers Helenski (Kim Ji-hun) and Oslo (Lee Kyu-ho), former gang members who are the muscle. Finally, Tokyo (Jeon Jong-seo), a North Korean woman with military training who is a Robin Hood of sorts and is also the narrator of the series.

Part 1 has 6 episodes, so the action starts pretty quick. There are two timelines, where the heist is active and flashbacks showing how The Professor and the crew prepared and planned for the heist. The show is so riveting to watch because it is filled with so much tension.

Inside the mint, there is drama between the hostages as they get divided into North and South Korea, which brings up a lot of old tension. The director of the mint is the absolute worst; I just wanted this character to be killed off. There is also tension among the crew, Tokyo is a staunch supporter of The Professor and his plan and one rule, no harm to the victims, and Berlin, on the other hand, prefers violence. This causes the pair to butt heads continuously and the others to have to pick sides.

Outside of the mint, there is tension between The Professor and the negotiator, police inspector Seon Woo-jin (Kim Yun-jin). A delicious twist at the end of the first episode had me gasping. Lastly, there is tension between Woo-jin, and Captain Cha Moo-hyuk, a former special agent from North Korea who was dispatched to handle the hostage situation, and there's tension between the government and the task team and the public who believe the government isn't doing enough to save the hostages.

The story is woven together so intricately that it will keep you guessing what the next move is. I enjoy watching the police get one-upped and led on a wild goose chase. As the story progresses, it is clear that The Professor's motives are not really about the money but something bigger, and I look forward to seeing how the story will unfold in Part 2 (no release date yet).

When it comes to the acting, each character delivered. Each one's story gets told at the beginning of an episode,  giving you more insight into who they are and their motives. The standout for me is Park Hae-soo, best known for his role as 218/Cho Sang-woo in Squid Game. In each episode, he peels back more layers to the character, which really was a marvel to watch. Another must mention is Jeon Jong-seo, who really is the anchor of the show. She gives us insight through her narration, which is set in the future and just being a total badass!

Part 1 of Money Heist: Korea – Joint Economic Area is a great set-up, with tight storytelling, plot twists and turns and ending on a cliff-hanger. There's a little bit of everything interspersed with the action; there is also some romance and poignant dramatic scenes. I can't wait to see what comes next when we get Part 2.

WATCH THE TRAILER HERE:

Money Heist: Korea - Joint Economic Area is now streaming on Netflix.


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