Taxi Driver is a 2021 Korean crime-drama TV series directed by Park Joon-woo and stars Lee Je-hoon, Esom, Kim Eui-sung and Pyo Ye-jin, alongside other cast members. The series has 16 episodes, with another season on the way.
– Taxi Driver review does not contain spoilers –
There is something undeniably delicious and unyielding about Taxi Driver. Released in 2021, I finished watching the entire series the day the news of the second season broke. Korean shows and movies have always been mostly spectacular and in spite of the varied types, Taxi Driver stands on its own. Maybe it’s the very humane and relatable characters, the moral questions that it poses or the story in general… or maybe it’s an amalgamation of several things.
Whatever be the case, the Korean crime series has stolen people’s hearts and there are no two ways about it.
The story surrounds the lives of 5 people – 5 people who have been given a very bad hand at life and how they come together to get the revenge that they never could. Taxi Driver is about revenge, it’s about finding happiness and peace and it’s about justice. Or maybe it’s about what constitutes justice in our eyes. At the end of the day, it’s very subjective – or maybe it isn’t. That’s what you’ll constantly wonder as you come across the different cases in the series.
Can you let a criminal go when there isn’t sufficient evidence for fear that you don’t incarcerate someone innocent? What happens when that criminal goes out and harms someone else? Do you let them go? For how long? These are difficult questions, questions based on morality that there probably isn’t one right answer to. Either way, Taxi Driver constantly asks these questions while showing us too well what happens to the victims of such crimes. In one such case, a victim’s sister falls at Kang Ha-na’s feet, begging her to find where her brother is – just this one time.
Taxi Driver’s storyline is as unique as its character. Ok, maybe its stories are somewhat known. But the way it is presented, the way old stories come up in front of our protagonists, and the way the good and bad characters blend together into a shade of grey are nothing short of spectacular. The storyline majorly follows Kim Do-gi and his colleagues from Rainbow Taxi who take revenge for victims of crimes in a way to ease the burden on their hearts.
The stories vary from episode to episode but each story has a layer of such relatability that you can’t help but get wrapped up in them. Thus, when characters die or come back later to haunt us, you too are filled with anxiousness and dread. The pacing is excellent, something that, personally, is a must for high-octane crime thrillers such as this one. It’s incessant and there’s something or the other happening at every given moment that will keep you totally wrapped up in the story.
Coming to characters and those who play them – Lee Je-hoon is absolutely excellent. Every expression on his face is so crisp and to the point that it sometimes feels like he’s actually going through these varied emotions. His anger, sadness, resentment, and care all crop up so wonderfully that you care for him and what he goes through. And it’s not just Do-gi. Everyone in Rainbow Taxi has something to say, something tragic in their lives. Something that ties them to us. It’s magnetic. You feel for all of Go-eun, Jin-eon, Kyung-goo and even secondary characters like Kang Maria or even Kim Chul-jin.
It’s not just their tragic backstories, but also how these backstories have shaped their lives and have become an integral part of them. They aren’t made of their tragedies but it’s apparent that these big life events have shaped them in one way or another. Every actor plays their parts with so much dedication as well – it’s not just Le Je-hoon, everyone is absolutely excellent in every frame. There isn’t a moment when these people break from their characters. That makes watching this effective, interesting and very immersive.
The action sequences all make up a big part of the show. Do-gi is a good fighter, well, the only fighter in the group and he makes for a stunning watch. The choreography is excellent and in spite of the quick cuts and edits, it looks phenomenal and believable. Ok, maybe believing that Do-gi can take on 50 people with weapons single-handedly is a bit much, but I will give him that considering he’s a former 707th Special Mission Group Captain. Most of the sequences, regardless of how many people are fighting Do-gi, are very watchable and it almost seems like our protagonist and his enemies are in a synchronized dance sequence.
In the end, the series tries to bring forth some heartfelt teachings and realisations that people don’t always get when they’re in the situation, it talks about forgiveness and whether it’s possible to forgive and move on in every situation and about what’s fair and what’s not. The friendship and camaraderie that the Rainbow Taxi group share with each other is also noteworthy and their characters will make you cry with them, cheer them and be happy for them throughout their journey in these 16 episodes.
Summing up: Taxi Driver
If you were wondering whether investing your time watching the 16 episodes of Taxi Driver is a good idea, I think I can safely say that it’s going to be a good investment. It’s gripping, thought-provoking and very poignant. The fight between what’s moral, what’s right and what’s fair is a constant theme in the series – it depends on what side of the situation you’re in. Plus, there’s some very shocking gore in the series, that is not usually found in Korean dramas. As I mentioned previously, this isn’t a new show but it definitely presents itself with its best foot forward.
Check Out the Taxi Driver Season 2 Announcement
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