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[Funcurve Review] "Squad 38"

2017/04/29 | 1260 views | Permalink

Swindle to the End

In "Squad 38", the mantra of the 38 Tax Collection Division, a government unit in charge of collecting taxes, is - "Trace to the end, must be collected". Yet while the working class diligently pays their taxes, the wealthy elites are living outside of the law and keeping all the money to themselves with the help of their intricate web of power cahoots. That is, until the gangster-looking yet righteous Baek Seong-il (Ma Dong-seok), National Tax Service Division 3's chief, decides to join hands with a young slick-tongued conman named Yang Jeong-do (Seo In-guk), to go after them.

Screen 1

Together, they assemble a team of professional scammers - voice phising expert "cannon" Jang Hak-joo (Heo Jae-ho), computer expert Jeong Ja-wang (Ko Kyu-pil) known as "keyboard", "flower snake" Jo Mi-joo (Lee Sun-bin), and ruthless businesswoman "wallet" No Bang-sil (Song Ok-sook) and her daugher Choi  Ji-yeon (Kim Joo-ri) - to cheat money from three of the most delinquent targets - business man Ma Jin-seok, his boss Bang Pil-gyoo, and his boss's boss Choi Cheol-woo.

Screen 2

Similar to the Oceans 11 movie series, "Squad 38" executes a fairly predictable storyline format: recruit a team, identify a target, make a scheme, execute flawlessly, then move onto the next target and repeat the same steps. However, unlike the movies, the drama's long-form storytelling medium allows for a more complex setup of the characters' backstories and motivations - a benefit I particularly appreciated when it comes to our two heroes, each with their own buried reasons for punishing the law-breakers.

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