Do-chan and his dad finally meet up for the first time in ages- and with that, the two conspire to become an impeccably effective con artist team. Unfortunately there's very little follow-up to this. It's never completely clear how Mister Ppeong is going to be able to assist Do-chan when Do-chan already seems to be doing well enough on his own. This ignoring that Tae-woong has finally gotten suspicious enough about the relationship between Joon-soo and Do-chan to run some tests.
I know I know. I was only just criticizing "Switch - Change The World" for making Tae-woong come off as too dumb, and now he's too smart? Well, the problem is really more that that Do-chan comes off as kind of dumb for failing to anticipate that Tae-woong would get suspicious. Sure, there's a few moves made to maintain that illusion, but at the end of the day the crisis of the climax is entirely a consequence of Do-chan and Ha-ra failing to come up with a decent backup plan.
That Mister Ppeong ends up being that backup plan proves...awkward. Director Jo Young-jin tries as best as he can to wring drama of Mister Ppeong's final scene with Do-chan, but ultimately the drama comes off as cheap because these two just haven't had much screentime together. For all the talk we get of avenging his dad Do-chan is surprisingly indifferent to his father's abrupt reappearance.
Indeed, Do-chan's relationship with his father doesn't even have much in the way of ambiguity, mostly because the present-day Do-chan is too well-adjusted and cool to have any kind of parental issues. Mister Ppeong's admonitions against the con artist life come off as especially cheap in this context. Whatever mistakes Do-chan and Mister Ppeong have made in life, the issue is less that they're con artists and more that they ran afoul of a dangerous thug like Tae-woong.
I mean really, someone was going to have to take Tae-woong down, and even a legit prosecutor would have to resort to some con artist tricks to pull that off. Of course, the lack of forward progress is as much of a problem as anything else here. Ideally the damage Do-chan has done so far would have backed Tae-woong into a corner and forced the villain into some more predictable patterns. Instead, we get a lot of talk about how Do-chan has damaged Tae-woong's pride, yet apparently not his capacity to organize further crimes.
Review by William Schwartz
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Staff writer. Has been writing articles for HanCinema since 2012, having lived in South Korea since 2011. Started out in Gyeongju, then to Daegu, then to Ansan, then to Yeongju, then to Seoul, lived on the road for HanCinema's travel diaries series in the summer of 2016, and is currently settled in Anyang. Has good tips for utilizing South Korea's public bus system. William Schwartz can be contacted via email@example.com.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Switch - Change The World" Episodes 23-24"
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