Taxi Driver

One of the most blood-curdling action dramas of 2021, Taxi Driver is not just a myriad of crime sequels but one of the most thoughtful and carefully written plays in the history of K-Dramas. The Korean television industry which is known for producing the best rom-com globally, totally outdid their imagination by producing something as capable and empathetic as Taxi Driver. The drama directed by Park Joon-woo, and co-written by Oh Sang-ho & Lee Ji-hyun is truly worthy of laudation because of the unconventional approach that’s unlikely to be seen in other action/crime-based dramas.

“Don’t just die alone, seek revenge,

We’ll do it for you.”                                                                            ~ Deluxe Taxi Services Motto

 

The Cast of Taxi Driver

The series begins with the taxi driver Kim Do-ki (played by Lee Je-hoon), whose quotidian job is to work as a driver under Rainbow Taxi Company. His conclave of peers works in the same organization that helps him run the syndicate of his deluxe taxi services for seeking revenge on the guilty. His peers Ahn Go-eun (played by Pyo Ye-jin) a skilled hacker, Choi Kyung-goo (played by Jang Hyuk-jin) the lead mechanic & Park Jin-eon (played by Bae Yoo-ram) an assistant mechanic, form a part of his conclave organization run by Jang Sung-chul (played by Kim Eui-sung), the CEO of the Rainbow Taxi Company.

Taxi Driver SBS TV
Credits SBS TV

Baek Sun-mi nicknamed “The Godmother” (played by Cha Ji-yeon) is the antagonist of the drama. Prosecutor Kang Ha-na (played by Esom), the deputy chief prosecutor Cho Jin-woo (played by Yoo Seung-mok) & prosecutor So-eun (played by Yu Yeon-su) work at Seoul Northern District Prosecutors’ Office. The drama has funny sequels of how the taxi company is better at catching criminals than the prosecutors themselves.

Taxi Driver SBS TV
Credits SBS TV

 

Drama Summary

*Spoiler Alert*

The deluxe taxi revenge-seeking services believe in becoming the helping hand to the cripple, the ear to the deaf, the eye to the blind, and the fist to the guilty. The surreptitious organization is run by people that once lost their dear ones as victims to horrendous crimes who then lived their life as those family members who were left to suffer when their dear ones were shunned by the world or mysteriously murdered. Having lost their light in life and their wish to continue, they became the bridge to those people who similarly lost their purpose in life after falling prey to relentless suffering. A major reason behind the existence of deluxe taxi services can be credited to inefficient exercisers of law and the absurd rules that protect the criminals instead of punishing them.

“Even if you have to leave a hundred criminals free, never imprison an innocent”  ~Kang Ha-na
“Then what about those who suffer in the hands of those 100?”  ~Kim Do-ki
Taxi Driver SBS TV
Credits SBS TV

What makes the drama eye-catchy is the reality check it puts into question-Is the punishment by law justified for certain horrendous crimes? Can a mere life sentence or a death penalty be enough for those sociopathic criminals that end up ruining the entire lives of their victims and their families? Can a 10-year prison sentence be enough for a criminal to retrospect on his crimes? There is always a second chance to lead a normal life for the criminals but is there really a second chance for the victims? Most importantly, is the law capable enough to prevent recidivism? If not, then who will protect these crimes from happening again?

Taxi Driver SBS TV
Character Sketch Ahn Go-eun, desk worker and a skilled hacker. Choi Kyung-go & Park Jin-eon, teammates acting as baits for the mission.

Taxi Company’s “Time To Face The Music”

Prosecutor Kang Ha-na believes that her purpose in life is to not let go of a single criminal unpunished, unlike the inept rules of the prosecution that lets criminals slip away. Her sense of duty makes her go, way and beyond. While hunting down criminals the prosecutor comes across the mysterious disappearances of her criminals and so she starts theorizing that her criminals are being hunted down. Thus begins her speculation of Kim Do-ki’s involvement in the same.

Taxi Driver SBS TV
Credits SBS TV

Simon Dominic’s End Game

With his melancholic rap song, ‘Run Away,’ the K-HipHop singer scores the perfect goal with his OST. ‘Run Away’ is about the hopeless winter that is yet to pass and you wish to run away from. At the same time, it’s also about the law you can’t escape from. No matter how many times or how much you try to vamoose, the truth always finds a way to come out in the open.

 

Perfect Ending

The suspense thriller drama is a lesson to the real world that even though the law is inefficient at certain times but nevertheless the world is watching, as long as someone believes in their sense of justice and continues to walk down the path like prosecutor Kang Ha-na, the law and order are still capable to prevent chaos.

As for the K-Drama in the effort of delivering a riveting action according to the fans’ expectations, the drama poignantly brings forth the story of a real-life crime incident. The incident lead to the framing of a cripple man for raping and murder of a minor (punishable by death back then) by the detectives in charge of Hwaseong Serial Murders 20 years back who quickly wanted to wrap the case. After serving his time in jail he was finally acquitted for being innocent as the murderer confessed his crime post the expiry of the statute of limitations.

What the law has to offer him was an apology for ruining 20 years of his life. Nevertheless, he forgives the law and those detectives for making him go through hell as the drama sets to conclude on his ideals, “Revenge only breeds revenge.”  He surely sets an example for humanity!

Aftermath

This life lesson and the retrospection on certain crimes that were more reprehensible than the death penalty in the history of mankind, both go hand-in-hand. The murder of Junko Furuta, the Cheshire, Connecticut home invasion murders, the Hello Kitty murder case, the murder of Sylvia Likens, Leslie Mahaffy, Suzanne Capper all set a shivering reminder of the uncomfortable situations when the punishment was less severe than the degree of crime committed.

Your hands can’t become law but the same hands can help you maintain it. The drama series ends with a similar belief on the reunion of the conclave with an emerging new member in the team, Prosecutor Kang Ha-na.

Taxi Driver SBS TV
Credits SBS TV

How awestruck are you after reading the review? Have you already watched ‘Taxi Driver’? Which was the emotional scene which had tears rolling down your cheeks? Let us know in the comments.

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