bloodhounds

Bloodhounds

Netflix Series
Watch Now
8.3

Great

To save his mother's business from loan sharks, Geon-woo must confront the rich and powerful who prey on the weak, in Bloodhounds, a Korean action drama.

‘Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee,’ is the famous quote from boxer Muhammed Ali.

South Korean drama show Bloodhounds, in which two boxers become embroiled in the dark world of money lenders, is more ‘Focused like a hawk, wallop like an elephant’.

What Is Bloodhounds About?

Kim Geon-woo (Woo Do-hwan) adores boxing. As an ex-marine in the Republic of Korea Marine Corps, he has focused his life on discipline and good deeds.


But since COVID-19 all the local businesses are struggling, including his mother’s café.

When she is taken advantage of by unscrupulous loan sharks, who hide huge punitive clauses in the small print, Geon-woo is forced to enter a world of violence to defend his family.

He isn’t at it alone though. Fellow ex-Marine and showboating boxer Hong Woo-jin (Lee Sang-yi) quickly forms a fast friendship with him after losing a fight.

Along the way the pair make friends with an angel investor (Huh Joon-ho, Missing: The Other Side), his impetuous foster granddaughter (Kim Sae-ron), and come up against a powerful gangster who has blackmail material on people in high places.

Tonally a lot of Korean shows would take this subject matter and go dark. Episodes would be spent subjecting the characters to indignity upon indignity so that the ultimate victory would be a catharsis.

Bloodhounds instead pitches at a happy medium whereby the powerful fights and desperate stakes are balanced nicely with an overall blanket of warmth and good humour.

This is down to the fantastic ‘bros for life’ pairing of Geon-woo and Woo-jin. Much like the gloriously OTT RRR, the pair almost immediately become fast friends in a mutually supportive pairing that shines out through every episode.

It’s also a refreshing change for fight scenes to be of a predominately boxing nature. Large volumes of bad guys are satisfyingly flattened by uppercuts, jabs, and duck and sway manoeuvring.

Bloodhounds Official Trailer

Is Bloodhounds Worth Watching?

That Bloodhounds retains its overall light-hearted nature without ever devaluing the threat or toppling into the trappings of Korean comedy (daft sound effects, excessive reaction shots) makes it a highly enjoyable and consistent watch.

If anything it suffers a little from Netflix syndrome: 8 episodes leave no wiggle room for outliers or tangential sub-plots.

Instead the threat simply escalates episode on episode until we have police, sting operations, family threats, a tragedy, and a last ditch effort to win the day. The usual.

If that all seems rather standard then thankfully the villains are well realised throughout. CEO of Smile Capital, gangster Kim Myeong-gil (Park Sung-woong) has an edge of self-made man about him, responding very poorly to being belittled by an entitled rich brat in power.

His second in command is a towering hulk of a man who batters back our heroes by sheer brute force. But Bloodhounds doesn’t make this his whole personality; even the man-mountain has feelings.

A counter argument could be to say that Geon-woo and Woo-Jin are simplistic leads. They undergo no personal character arcs beyond rising to the occasion of escalating threats.

However, it is this simplicity that marks out Bloodhounds’ charm. Their polite ‘good boys’ schtick means that in downtime they are adorable, and during fights they kick ass with righteous power.

Life goals, guys. Life goals.

Words by Mike Record

Good

  • Endearing Dual Leads
  • Exciting Fight Scenes
  • Tonally Well Balanced
  • Each Character Has Something About Them

Bad

  • Short With Little Sub-plots
  • Rather Standard Threat Escalation
  • Little To No Character Arcs For Leads
8.3

Great

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