I was very excited to see there was a drama starring both Kang Ji-Hwan and Daniel Choi, two great actors I have loved in other shows. I would have never thought of pairing up those two guys but they worked great opposite each other in Big Man.
This Kdrama reminded me of the American movie Dave – A nice guy is tricked into running a company (or in Dave’s case, a country) and he does it better than the original guy. Okay, that’s not what the story is about but it has a lot to do with it. The story is really about evil, powerful people, corrupt business practices, and humble folks just trying to make it from one day to the next.
Kang Ji-Hwan plays Kim Ji-Hyeok, a man who was abandoned as a baby and dreams of finding his family. He’s a tough street character who made some bad choices growing up but who has a kind heart and loving nature. Daniel Choi is Kang Dong-Seok, a ruthless, wealthy businessman who only cares about himself and HAS to win at all costs. Dong-Seok needs a heart transplant and the people around him are willing to do anything to keep him alive, including murder. Ji-Hwan is a total stranger but he’s a match as a heart donor for Dong-Seok. Hey, here’s a good idea, why not make him a long lost son, kill him and then take his heart to keep Dong-Seok alive? It’s an evil plot gone wrong, and when Ji-Hwan finds out about the whole thing, the family he worked so hard to please now becomes the target of his revenge, especially after they begin to ruthlessly ruin his friends’ lives.
I was surprised to see what a good bad guy Daniel Choi can be. I loved him in Baby Faced Beauty and The Musical, two Kdramas where he plays a kind, upstanding character. I really didn’t like seeing him as an evil, twisted person. Maybe it wouldn’t have bothered me as much if he hadn’t played the part so well. He was scary evil in this drama. I guess that shows us what a fantastic actor he is if he can play both sides of the coin so well.
Kang Ji-Hwan has been one of my favorite actors even since I saw him first in Lie to Me. (I loved that drama so much I bought it.) I’ve seen him in a few other Kdramas and movies, always playing the good guy. I’m glad he was the hero in this one, too. His character, Ji-Hyeok is someone very personable and easy to love. I think he played Ji-Hyeok a little on the silly side but that’s the director’s fault, not his. Since that’s the kind of character they wanted Ji-Hyeok to be, I say he acted wonderfully well. He plays happy-go-lucky just as well as angry and vengeful.
I wasn’t that impressed with Lee Da-Hee. I’m not quite sure if it was all her or the fact that she played So Mi-Ra and I didn’t really care for that character. She was a little too “iffy” for my liking. She told Ji-Hyeok she had helped to deceive him and he forgave her since he loved her but would he have forgiven her if she had ever come clean and told him she had tried to kill him, twice?… I’m just sayin’.
Jung So-Min is a great actress and very seasoned for someone so young. She hasn’t been in as many things as Lee Da-Hee but comparing them in this drama I thought her acting was far better. Her character was pampered yet willing to work hard, and sensitive yet tough – very complex… and she did it well. All her hair color changes helped make her more fun and unpredictable.
Big Man‘s music had a Spanish sounding flair to it that just didn’t go with a KOREAN drama. And the dramatic music that was played during the intense times was way too overpowering and just plain loud. Music is supposed to compliment what’s going on. This music seemed to do its own thing. It’s okay music on its own but not okay with this show.
Big Man was filmed entirely in South Korea so there wasn’t much surprise to the scenery. There’s just the inside of office buildings and houses and a lot of city shots, mostly. However, they did a good job in balancing the rich, upper class, big city shots with the humble marketplace ones.
There isn’t a ton of action in this show but what it does have is very good. I really liked the fight scenes. They were well choreographed and carried out with exactness. There’s a car chase in the beginning that stands out and is quite impressive. I loved how they used a giant mirror in it.
Wrapping this up I’ll just say that Big Man is a good Kdrama but not a great drama. I do recommend it but caution you to not expect a fantastic show. Although, if I compare it to the very dark Golden Cross (they both deal with corrupt business practices, evil powerful people, and revenge), even though I gave Golden Cross a higher score, I enjoyed Big Man a little more.
Kang Ji-Hwan and Daniel Choi’s performance
The silliness in Kang Ji-Hwan’s character
The soundtrack didn’t go with the drama
Mainly city location shots
Too many times evil triumphs over good