K-Drama

K-Drama Review: “Taxi Driver 2” Deftly Navigates Timely Issues, Cruises To A Marvelous Second Season Ending

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It may have looked like defeat was inevitable, but The Rainbow Taxi crew triumphed against a well-connected foe.

Taxi Driver 2 managed to keep viewers’ attention from its premiere up to the last episode. A feat that is not easy to do but with enigmatic characters and engrossing story, the drama successfully did it. Kim Do Ki, Jang Sung Chul, Ahn Go Eun, Choi Kyung Gu and Park Jin Eon, faced a nemesis who pushed their backs against the wall. But despite being placed under seemingly insurmountable situations, they were able to get through it as they worked together.

Taxi Driver 2

Title: Taxi Driver 2
Network: SBS, KOCOWA+
Theme: Action, Revenge, Crime
Cast: Lee Je Hoon, Kim Eui Sung, Pyo Ye Jin, Jang Hyuk Jin, Shin Jae Ha, and Bae Yu Ram
Number of Episodes: 16
Broadcast Dates: February 17 to April 15, 2023
Highlights: Great Character Portrayals | Thematic and Well-paced Cases | Gratifying Action Scenes
Overall Rating:
Rewatch Value:

Taxi Driver 2 Quick Plot Round Up

The Rainbow Deluxe Taxi crew parted ways after defeating Baek Sung Mi (in Season 1). However, a year later, after Jang Sung Chul got cleared of his charges, he reunited with Do Ki and quietly resumed Rainbow Taxi’s revenge service. Meanwhile, Ahn Go Eun fulfilled her promise to her sister and became a police officer. Mr. Park and Mr. Choi also went back to their regular lives and jobs. They dropped in from time to time to visit Mr. Jang.

Taxi Driver 2

The trio suspected that Do Ki and Mr. Jang were back in business, did a sleuthing of their own and proved their suspicion right. They assisted Do Ki in his overseas mission and helped reunite a father and son. As the team got back together, they also managed to catch the attention of a very influential entity.

On Ha Jun appeared the same time the Rainbow crew got back together. The depths of On Ha Joon’s treachery and his true identity soon unraveled. Do Ki managed to infiltrate the club that was essential to Black Sun’s operations. As Kim Do Ki and the Rainbow Taxi team thwarted their plans, On Ha Jun found out how the Bishop manipulated him to do his every dirty bidding.

Taxi Driver 2 Series Highlights

Great Character Portrayals

Without a doubt, Taxi Driver 2 has been blessed with a talented cast. The core players were already a given as each gave their best to breathe life to their respective character. The guest roles for every case also held their own as they depicted individuals that viewers can truly relate to.

The manner in which the characters endeared or disenchanted themselves to the audience was remarkable because it only went to show their acting was effective. To be able to elicit emotions and have the viewers feel connected to the characters, despite it being fictional, made this aspect of the series one of the show’s strengths.

Thematic and Well-paced Cases

As the cast gifted fans with amazing performances, their characters came with its own stories. The central theme is revenge. For a person to seek one means that something bad has happened and they are desperate for justice. Taxi Driver 2 not only presented good enough reasons to begrudge someone or the system, it also made each case timely and relevant. The story made viewers sympathized with the victims and loathed the perpetrators.

It is easy to understand the victims’ motivation for exacting revenge as their situations are a lot closer to home. In real life, we know of people who might have been scammed by others. There are also those who are lured with a promise of salvation if you embrace a certain “religion”. We may have friends or relatives who got into trouble for hanging out with a bad crowd. We may have encountered people who appeared nice, but in reality is only taking or about to take advantage of us.

Though these situations were fictional, the series depicted them perceptively. And as a viewer, it has allowed me to empathize with the characters and made me rethink about how people deal with it in reality. It has been constantly satisfying and assuring to see how the Rainbow Transport team outwitted these criminals.

Gratifying Action Scenes

Taxi Driver 2 was not kidding when the production crew said they were leveling up the action sequences. It was clear and obvious that they did as the action scenes were fast-paced and quite gripping.

Notably, a lot of hand-to-hand combat scenes featured a lot more close-up shots of Lee Je Hoon, showcasing Kim Do Ki’s evolved fighting skills. For sure, the more difficult stunts were performed by a professional. However, we could not take away the efforts of the actor in doing the fight scenes.

The car was also a star of its own. Maybe it was just me, but when it flipped and burst into flames in that one scene, I flinched (I already got a feeling that Do Ki managed to get out before it crashed). Moreover, the brawl in the prison and the final confrontation between Ha Jun and Do Ki were also captivating, giving viewers the feeling that we were already in the home-stretch.

Series Takeaway

Taxi Driver 2 has been such a fun and thrilling ride of a K-Drama. More often than not, a second season of any series (or movies) failed to match its predecessor. But there are times we also get to watch a sequel, with equal, if not more, worth and interest. This is the case for this series and I am glad that season lived up, or perhaps exceeded, expectations. There could be a lot of factors for its successful run. But for me, it boils down to the actors and production crew’s effort and desire to gift fans with a great series. The drama did shed some light on issues that are prevalent in this day and age, hence, its appeal to viewers.

Revenge, or exacting one, is not something that people should celebrate or do. In the eyes of some, it highlights the worst of humanity and that it could create a cycle that would be so hard to break. However, it is a last resort for the victims to ensure they get justice.

In the first season, personal vendetta motivated the main characters. This made it look like they were doing it for their own gain. This season, though their traumas and pains still haunted them, they were more inspired to save as many people as they could. They chose to see that people do things because mostly there is a reason for it.

Their brand of revenge, especially in the second season, has always been about saving a life, the victims as well as the perpetrators. In this season, Do Ki and his team managed to dole out revenge without completely bloodying their hands.

The confrontation between Ha Jun and Do Ki (episode 15) sums up the Rainbow Taxi Crew’s reason for doing what they do. Do Ki said that even if the bad guys succeed in ending Do Ki’s life, there would be more like him that would stand up because people remember. And I felt that. It was such a powerful moment because it grounded Do Ki and his team. That even if what they were doing challenges to society’s laws and views of justice, they would still keep going. Because of the people who remembered their loved ones and their reason for availing of the Deluxe Taxi’s services.

Do Ki knew that somehow Ha Jun forgot what it was like to have a family. He was aware that Ha Jun barely remembered having people who truly cared for him. He knew that Ha Jun was a victim too. I am glad that Do Ki, Mr, Jang, Go Eun, Mr. Choi and Mr. Park helped him to remember. Do Ki accepting his case was him giving Ha Jun a chance to direct his hate to the right person this time. Allowing him to redeem himself in the eyes of someone who showed him kindness.

Hate, pain, grief, injustice, betrayal, loss and the desire for revenge can be very consuming, and lead one astray. But if you can just remember the great times, all the sacrifices are well worth it. Looking back to that moment when you feel fulfilled being instrumental to someone’s  happiness, will keep you going. While it does not condone or encourage such rash action (exacting revenge, that is), it certainly puts a perspective that humans can do things given the proper motivation. It is up to the person on how he would utilize it. Whether he would use it to help others or exploit it to take advantage of people.

This article is brought to you by KOCOWA+.


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Credits

Images: SBS | Screengrab from KOCOWA+

 

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