Vincenzo and the dilemma of evil versus more evil: A year later, a look back at Song Joong-ki’s darkest performance to date

Song Joong-ki played several characters over the course of a decade – from a vengeful lover seething with bitter rage in Nice Guy, to the handsome and smooth Captain Shoo-jin in Descendants of the Sunor the sturdy Eun-Seom in the fantasy series, The Arthdal ​​Chronicles. Still, his portrayal of the deadly Italian-Korean crime lord in Vincenzo stands out. If fans had any doubts about how the charming and normally handsome DOTS actor could pull off such a dark and bloodthirsty role, the first look at his deadpan, cold expressions would have swept away any doubts. The creators knew what they were doing when they signed Joong-ki for this role. It almost makes me believe that Song Joong-ki was born to play these ruthless characters, because honestly, it’s so satisfying to watch him walk into a room with a fabulous OST and take down a murderous thug.

It’s been a year since Vincenzo ended, and no wonder fans seem to be demanding a season 2. It didn’t stick to just one genre, it felt like a crazy comedy that could rival a typical Jim movie. Carrey from the 90s, mixed with the bloody elements of a thriller.

A photo of Vincenzo (Photo: Netflix)

This is one of those shows where you take a week to rewatch certain scenes and desperately try to spot things that were missed the first time around, so you can savor the plot twists later. For a person like me who gets impatient with more than 16 episodes in a show, it became an extremely difficult task to try not to watch the show after episode 5 because the show just kept getting better and was relentless with surprises. Vincenzo induces curious feelings – you watch him for a laugh and the comedy seems heartwarming, and at the same time you’re invested in this Korean godfather, who can take down an entire empire of corrupt thugs, but runs away screaming from a pigeon infested room.

Vincenzo, played by Song Joong-ki, revolved around a Korean-Italian crime lord, who returns from Italy to South Korea in hopes of recovering gold buried in a residential plaza. Unfortunately, he becomes entangled in the lives of the people of the square – all so brilliantly cuckoo in their own way that they deserve their own shows – and sets out to free them from the iron grip of a menacing society called Babel and d misleading lawyers. He is assisted by a lovely Cha-young, played by Jeon Yeon-Been, who is so crazy that she fits right into the mix. She also wants revenge, as her father is killed by Babel honchos – and for the first ten episodes they set out to unravel the mystery of Babel’s CEO, who, as it turns out, has been right under their noses the whole time. this time. .

Meet Ok Taecyeon’s murderous Jang Han-seok, who almost tricked you into playing the dual role of a hapless trainee in front of Cha-young, when in reality, he’s actually Babel’s macabre CEO. He’s hilarious too, but you’re almost too scared to laugh at times, at least during the first watch. In possibly one of the most demonic and comedic scenes in the series, he reveals himself as the CEO through a twisted PowerPoint presentation, and encourages his lawyers to laugh and cheer him on. Of course, a failure to deliver can result in sudden death as lawyers quickly realize. Kim Yeo-jin plays the utterly loathsome Zumba enthusiast Cho Myung-hee, who is so sneaky and gruesome in her shenanigans that we can’t wait for Vincenzo to put her case to rest. Oh, and he does it — in the most eerily satisfying way possible — using his own love for Zumba. It’s a horrific scene, and you almost feel guilty for the bloodlust rising in you like bile.

The body count keeps mounting, but Team Babel makes a fatal mistake trying to take down Vincenzo, and it involves his frail, dying mother. There aren’t two sides to the mob lord after this, they’re almost dead to him. In the best scene of his career – a murderous and cold Vincenzo walks strangely through the woods after a murderous thug makes sure he leads him to the criminals of Babel. Until now, Vincenzo hadn’t bothered to kill the antagonists, but this time they crossed the line. He channels all the darkness into him, and you almost start to fear for the criminals.

The OST – titled Un Diavolo scaccia ‘altro by Lee Nyeom – is heart-pounding, tension-filled, and a perfect fit for Song Joong-ki’s Vincenzo, that I almost feel like sending out petitions asking Joong-ki to do his appearance at every awards show with this howl in the background. That doesn’t even seem excessive; you just know that when this OST plays, damage is going to be done. Bring it on.

With deadly calm, he enters the murderers’ room, quietly announces that there was a reason he hadn’t wasted time killing them before, but there is no escaping. It won’t be an easy death, he promises.

With such vigilantism and brazen violence, it would be unfair to say that Vincenzo doesn’t raise questions of morals and ethics – are you really supposed to encourage him? Yet he doesn’t want you to either. He knows that his methods are macabre. However, due to Song Joong-ki’s nuanced portrayal of the mafia consigliore, it’s increasingly hard not to. At the heart of it, the character who calls himself “scum” who “cleans up other scum” is a cold-hearted killer. The show pits two ideas of “evil” against each other. No one is on the right side of the law here. Who do you choose?

Vincenzo murders other killers, because he knows the law is too corrupt and decrepit to do anything, but it’s also the genius of the creators that they brought out such a character who fights for the innocent, and the poor too. He is the dark horse on the side of the good, but he will not follow their path of virtue. It has its own rules. Smooth as butter, it escapes detection and captures every time, which is a little hard to believe, but sure, we’ll buy it.

Song Joong-ki made the best decision of his career with Vincenzo. Also, make the man speak more Italian. It’s just perfect.

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