A Superior Day is a tense thriller but watch out for the graphic gore

·3-min read
Jin Goo as Lee Ho-cheol in A Superior Day. (Screenshot: Viu)
Jin Goo as Lee Ho-cheol in A Superior Day. (Screenshot: Viu)

Cast: Jin Goo, Ha Do-kwon, Lee Won-keun
Language: Korean with various subtitles

Streaming on Viu from 14 March

3.5 out of 5 stars

Based on a webtoon of the same title, A Superior Day stars Jin Goo (known for starring in Descendants Of The Sun) as a firefighter Lee Ho-cheol, who witnesses a brutal crime scene two years ago. As he suffers from the trauma, he is deemed unfit to return to work.

Hoping to calm his anxiety, Ho-cheol and his family move into a relatively more secure apartment. But one day, another horrifying murder by the same serial killer, who is known as the “Rich Girl Killer” for targeting affluent women, takes place in Ho-cheol’s apartment building.

Not long after the murder, someone kidnaps Ho-cheol’s daughter Soo-a, and demands Ho-cheol find and kill the Rich Girl Killer within 24 hours in exchange for his daughter’s life.

With a relatively fast pace, A Superior Day spins an exciting tale that immerses the audience in Ho-cheol’s anxiousness and eagerness to protect and save his daughter. Although only the first of eight episodes is now available on Viu, there is already a lot of information to digest (not that it is a bad thing or difficult to understand), mainly on the background story and the premise for the subsequent events.

The timeline and sequence of events may be a little confusing as the drama jumps from the present day, indicated as D-day, to two years ago and to D-2. Possibly due to the way the scenes are edited, the placement of the time markers and the lack of other indicators like attire or hairstyle, it can sometimes be difficult to tell whether the setting is still in the past or it has moved to the present.

However, once you get past that, you will be surrounded by the tense atmosphere of the drama, which will likely continue for the rest of the episodes until Ho-cheol catches the killer and frees his daughter. Jin Goo helps to maintain these feelings of apprehension and uneasiness through his impeccable portrayal of an anxious dad.

Lee Won-keun as Kwon Shi-woo in A Superior Day. (Screenshot: Viu)
Lee Won-keun as Kwon Shi-woo in A Superior Day. (Screenshot: Viu)

Acting alongside Jin Goo is Lee Won-keun, who plays Ho-cheol’s neighbour Kwon Shi-woo. Although Shi-woo looks kind and gentle and even teaches Soo-a art, he exudes a sense of creepiness with his sly smile, even more so when he implies that the best shade of red to use for human lips is blood. Lee Won-keun’s performance in the upcoming episodes will be something to look forward to.

The drama also features some grotesque murders that are definitely not for the faint-hearted. Even if some parts of the repulsive scenes are blurred out as part of the censorship, it doesn’t take much to “fill in the gaps” and “see” the whole picture.

With the story that has unfolded so far, it feels like A Superior Day may do better as a film rather than as a drama, due to its tightly-knitted and intense plot. If you dislike being kept in suspense, it may be better to wait for all eight episodes to be released and binge-watch them in one sitting.

New episodes of A Superior Day are available every Monday on Viu.

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