Yaksha, review of the new Netflix movie

Yaksha, review of the new Netflix movie


Thanks to the success that Korean productions seem to have among Western audiences, Netflix is ​​increasingly focusing on the Asian country to expand its catalog. This time, however, it is a film, Yaksha, a spy-action that winks a bit at American productions, trying to imitate their scenography, cinematography and action sequences.

The story of Yaksha stars Han Ji-hoon, a Korean prosecutor who, due to a mistake made during an investigation, ends up being sent to investigate a spy team based in a Chinese city. The man, intent on shedding light on what is wrong with the team's methods, remains involved in a much more complex spy story, which also involves Japan and North Korea.


Yaksha, the spoiler-free storyline

Han Ji-hoon (played by Park Hae-soo) is a Seoul Central District Attorney who attempted to arrest the president for tax evasion of the multinational Sangin, but failing miserably due to a mistake made by himself during the investigation. Due to his failure, Ji-hoon is demoted to legal support for the National Intelligence Service (NIS) office.

NIS Director Yeom Jeong-won (Jin Kyung) then sends him to investigate the Black Team, an intelligence team based in Shenyang, a Chinese city famous for its large number of spies from Russia, the USA, Japan and the two Koreas. The Black Team is led by Ji Kang-in (Sol Kyung-gu), known as Yaksha, with whom Ji-hoon initially clashes with interfering during an operation. The team then decides to test the prosecutor's skills by staging an accusation of aiding and abetting prostitution and drug use, from which however he manages to escape by a whisker, thus officially joining the team.


The Faces of Yaksha

Although Korean productions have been pushed mostly in the last year globally , several actors within the cast are faces that have already stood out on other shows. Probably the most recognized by most of all the actors is Han Ji-hoon's performer, Park Hae-soo, who played the protagonist's friend in Squid Game. Not only that: the actor has also lent his face to another main character in Prison Playbook, one of the most famous and acclaimed k-drama.

Yaksha There is therefore no doubt that the producers have focused especially on actors well known by the public especially at home, but also abroad, perhaps to entice new viewers to give this story a chance of international espionage. However, some stylistic and narrative choices were also made a little different from those we were used to.

Features and techniques used

In the various k-drama reviews we have made for you, we noticed that there were very specific elements that characterized the products arriving from South Korea. We talk about the focus of the development of the characters on a mental and psychological level but also and above all of the slowness in different points of the series that much the narrative rhythm.

With Yaksha, however, it was decided to take a substantially different direction, while maintaining some of the particularities of the k-dramas. For example, the pace of the film is well sustained without creating annoying downtime, with the inclusion of different action scenes, such as some chases, looking a lot at the American market. The quick cuts, Yaksha's most sought-after and much more “urban” photography make it a much more usable product than the k-dramas on Netflix, so much so that it reminds us of Kate, the thriller starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead.

Yaksha While trying to adapt to a much wider market, however, Yaksha manages to maintain a strong South Korean identity, especially in the characterization of the various characters we meet in the story. The relationships between the various characters and the chemistry created between the two protagonists, Han Ji-hoon and Ji Kang-in, is well developed and narrated throughout the duration of the film, without ever making you feel certain bonds created in a hurry.

In conclusion

We can therefore say that Yaksha is cleverly positioned halfway between k-drama and minor American productions, trying to create a good union between various elements of the different worlds. Even with some flaws, it remains a good product to spend an evening.

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