Kim Hyeon-joon and Jin Sa-Woo are recruited by Choi Seung-hee to work for a super-secret organization, the National Security System (NSS). After the hard and painful training these three are sent off to Hungary to monitor a meeting of North Korean politician. Hyeon-joon receives a solo black-ops assassination mission, which he successful finishes. Suddenly the NSS turns its back on him and wants him dead to get rid of any traces. Of course the North Korean secret service wants him dead as well. So Hyeon-joon has to go undercover and starts to discover that his life and mission are not just coincidence.
As you can clearly see from the plot outline: IRIS (Wikipedia, Hancinema) is a spy drama. It has all the bells and whistles you would expect from such a show. It has good looking agents, tons of sci-fi tech equipment, fights, traitors, unexpected allies and of course a big conspiracy. There’s a bit more focus on a love relationship that it is typical for this genre, but otherwise it is really what you expect. The first four to five episodes are not that interesting and are pure buildup and character introduction. The series really starts when our main hero is ‘fired’ by his agency. From then on the series really catches on and is a thrilling ride of up and downs, twists and surprises until the climax.
Besides the solid story, good action and nice filming locations I there is a little more focus on the characters and their motivation than in other similar shows. That gives it just a little more depth. That also applies to one of the villains, and I always like it when a villain also has motivation and backstory.
Apparently there’s also a movie version of this series, which is basically a movie-length cut version of the show. I’m not really sure if that works and don’t bother watching it. Also recently a spin-off series aired, called ‘Athena: Goddess of War’. I will check that one out for sure sooner or later. Additionally there’s a sequel series planned, IRIS 2.
All in all I enjoyed IRIS, besides the very dull first four episodes. I can recommend it to anyone who likes spy series and ran out of fresh material.
And a nice Trailer:
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