At the age of eight, Park Joo Hyeong went to Italy after being adopted. Now an adult, he is known as Vincenzo Cassano to the Mafia, who employ him as a consigliere. Because mafia factions are at war with each other, he flees to South Korea, where he gets involved with Lawyer Hong Cha Young. She is the type of attorney who will do anything to win a case. Now back at his motherland, he gives an unrivaled conglomerate a taste of its own medicine with a side of justice. (Source: Netflix, AsianWiki) Edit Translation
Where to Watch Vincenzo
Cast & Credits
- Song Joong KiVincenzo Cassano / Park Joo HyungMain Role
- Jeon Yeo BeenHong Cha YoungMain Role
- Ok Taec YeonJang Jun WooMain Role
- Kim Yeo JinChoi Myung Hee [Prosecutor]Support Role
- Jo Han ChulHan Seung Hyuk [CEO of Woosang Law firm]Support Role
- Kwak Dong YeonJang Han Seo [Head of Babel Group]Support Role
Not for everyoneOkay, so this is a super unpopular opinion it seems — but I did not enjoy Vincenzo. Yes, Song Joong-Ki is pretty. Yes, the cinematography was beautiful. I even came to like Hong Cha Young's extra behaviour at some point. But the plot??? The side characters???
My biggest gripe was with the story. So many parts simply made no sense at all. I understand that the over-the-top ridiculousness was part of the "fun" to some people. Personally, I hated how the show could go from sublime coolness (like the vineyard, ending of ep 4, or even the demise of our Wusang trio... talk about WOW) to bonkers slapstick moments. I can see how this contrast may add levity to a drama that might otherwise be too heavy, but it felt like a lot of bloated filler. It honestly ruined a lot of the immersion for me. The episodes could be so much tighter without so much time spent on the Geumga Plaza crew (who never became endearing to me, unfortunately). How plausible is it that they're all from such crazy athletic backgrounds too, and can take down professional goons so seamlessly? I could've also done completely without all the NIS stuff, zumba, etc. I didn't even like Inzaghi all that much, although I did like the symbolism related to him + Jang Han Seok at the end. At a higher level, I will give points to the broad direction of the story though. I am glad Vincenzo's character did not fundamentally change throughout the story though, and that the ending remained dark but neatly tied up. Vincenzo is an anti-hero through-and-through, and it's good that the writers stuck to their guns there. The "corn salad" joke was fairly endearing. Also, you have to give them some props for the horseback riding fan-service and the callback to it at the end. Hah!
Still, I will commend this show for its social commentary on corrupt structures in Korea and beyond. It does show the interplay between government / corporate / legal realms well. The OST was fitting and gorgeous, and varied enough to not give me PTSD like "We All Lie" from SKY Castle. And you can tell it was a high-budget production with great CGI and cinematography. Oh, and did I mention Song Joong-Ki is pretty yet? Worth reiterating in case you're willing to watch just for that.
Wasted PotentialFair warning.. this is gonna be an unpopular take, but here’s my two cents.
The biggest flaw with the show is the story and how it progresses. The original concept for the show is good. A ruthless consigliere from Italy comes to Korea to reclaim a hidden vault of gold. The first episode is killer, and it’s what originally hooked me, but the entire plot quickly devolves into cheap thrills. The plot points are predictable and there is a complete lack of character motivation. The original character motivations that the show introduces fly out the window. There are so many character decisions that don’t make sense. The show depicts the characters to abide by a certain set of principles and suddenly those same characters renege on those same ideals. A small example if you will: Hong Cha-Yong was introduced to be greedy and with somewhat loose morals, yet she drew a hard line on violence. The moment she meets Vincenzo, violence is now suddenly justified in her eyes. In another instance, Vincenzo is shown to carefully and methodically think himself out of difficult traps. But when plot armor is needed, he suddenly becomes the dumb protagonist that barges in without a second thought.
Unfortunately, the show’s problems don’t end here...
In my eyes the most controversial aspect of the show is the comedy. It’s completely and utterly absurd. The comedy doesn’t feel natural at all. It’s as if the characters know they’re in a drama and are making gags at that fact. It’s incredibly hit or miss. I won’t lie and say nothing lands. Some of the jokes are solid and had me chuckling out loud, but out of the 20 episodes this was far and few in between. The general outline of the plot is pretty gritty and intense, and out of nowhere the comic relief kicks in and it falls flat so often. It’s incredibly jarring and pulls you out of the show immediately.
The casting is excellent. Song Joong-Gi is excellent in his role. His kinda scrawny stature had me questioning how ruthless he can appear, but he completely convinced me. A+ performance. Jeon Yeo-Bin is charming and does justice to her character. The real limitation is the writing for her character. I think she did as well as she could have given her script. Without revealing any plot points, there are side characters that had interesting potential that, unfortunately, was not realized.
At the time of me writing this review, the show is rated at 9/10. This is grossly over valued in my opinion. No chance this is the same quality as shows like Flower of Evil or Stranger. This show is best described as wasted potential. The writers went hard into slapstick comedy mixed with extremely intense crime drama, and the two genres did not mix.. at all. There were seriously good merits in sticking with either or, but the mix killed it for me. I watched this weekly so it was bearable. Not entirely sure how bingeworthy it is, but I can say I won’t be rewatching this.