Netflix review: Thrilling ‘Kingdom: Ashin of the North’ portends exciting season 3

Netflix review: Thrilling 'Kingdom: Ashin of the North' marks an exciting season 3 1
Jun Ji-hyun in ‘Kingdom: Ashin of the North.’ flyer

In January 2019, the Korean mini-series “Kingdom” premiered on Netflix about the Joseon zombie attack during the middle ages. Written by Kim Eun-hee and directed by Kim Seong-hun, “Kingdom” is a period piece meticulously and elegantly fitted with extravagant sets, costumes, and makeup that effectively combines political maneuvering, medical mysteries, and zombie horror into one mini. – thrilling series. .

Season 1 begins with unscrupulous court officials deciding that the dead King should be secretly given extracts from the so-called “resurrection plant” to bring him back to life while waiting for Empress Cho (Kim Hye-jun) to give birth to a child. However, this potion actually turned the King into a greedy monster every night. Crown Prince Lee Chang (Ju Ji-hoon) is currently together with assistant doctor Seo-bi (Bae Doo-na) launching an investigation into the King’s mysterious illness.

In Season 2, the Empress is determined to hold on to power as she gathers pregnant women in the palace waiting for a son to be born, even as zombie attacks spread across the land and even within the palace grounds. Meanwhile, Seo-bi finds a cure for the zombie ailment that they can use to stem the further development of the outbreak. The final scene is set seven years later in a remote northern town where a mysterious woman keeps zombies stored in a chest.

This third installment is a feature-length special that traces the history of the mysterious woman seen in the final frame of Season 2. She is Ashin (Kim Si-ah/Jun Ji-hyun), born to a discriminated tribe called Seongjeoyain in the North. The act of betrayal felt by Ashin’s father, Tahab (Kim Roi-ha) causes his tribe to be invaded and massacred by his rivals. Ashin survived the attack because he was looking for a legendary plant that he hoped could bring his dying mother back to life. He grew up with a strong revenge on his mind.

Shot with the same air of suspense, intrigue, and terror by director Kim Seong-hun, writer Kim Eun-hee extends her mythology further back to root out the origins of how resurrection plants became as widespread as those that cause zombies. the apocalypse is depicted in the first two seasons of “Kingdom.” While the first half of the film is slow to burn with lots of expository talk, the second half, when the zombies come out into action, is sure to make fans of the series very happy.

These stories could perhaps be told in a flashback to Season 3, when Lee Chang and Seo-bi faced Ashin. However, they decided to tell Ashin’s story separately in order to finish first.

The move promises that Season 3 will only deal with ongoing events, and not waste valuable time on complex back stories. We now know exactly who Ashin is, why he was obsessed with the fall of Joseon and understand how he used the resurrection plant to carry out his plans of revenge.

This review was originally published on the author’s blog, “Fred Said.”

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