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Money Heist Korea Is A Thrilling Heist Series With An Intriguing Setting

Netflix sure works fast. Only six months or so after the end of the original Money Heist, the remake slash spinoff series, Money Heist Korea Joint Economic Area, is already coming out soon. At first glance, it may look like just a lazy remake, but if (like me) you’ve never watched the original Money Heist, Money Heist Korea Joint Economic Area is definitely worth checking out even if you’re not into the usual Korean movies and shows.

United States Of Korea

Money Heist Korea: JEA (L to R) Jun Jong-seo as Tokyo, Lee Hyun-woo as Rio, Jang Yoon-ju as Nairobi, Park Hae-soo as Berlin, Lee Won-jong as Moscow and Kim Ji-hun as Denver in episode # 1 of Money Heist Korea: JEA. Cr. Jung Jaegu/Netflix © 2021

First things things, I can confirm that you don’t need to have watched the original Money Heist to understand and appreciate Money Heist Korea Joint Economic Area. In the first six episodes, there aren’t any overt references or easter eggs, despite Money Heist Korea Joint Economic Area supposedly taking place in the same fictional world as the original Money Heist.

All you need to know going into Money Heist Korea Joint Economic Area is that it features a heist. However, beyond the usual heist elements we’re all familiar with from other movies and series, the setting in Money Heist Korea Joint Economic Area is a breath of fresh air. It’s set in the unique setting of a newly unified Korea. Realistically, a unified Korea comes with its own problems, including but not limited to unchecked capitalism, a widening gap between the rich and the poor, mass immigration, limited resources and more.

This is a newly unified Korea, so most of its citizens still either identify with South Korea or North Korea, as well as all the unresolved baggage that comes with all that. I love how the series shows that there are still some tension between South Koreans and North Koreans. The conflict between them makes for a unique perspective and extra dimension that, for instance, the original Money Heist wouldn’t have had.

Money Heist Korea: JEA (L to R) Kim Yunjin as Seon Woojin and Kim Seung-o as Cha Moohyuk in episode # 1 of Money Heist Korea: JEA. Cr. Jung Jaegu/Netflix © 2021

Both sides have different approaches to solving their problems. For instance, South Korea wants to negotiate, while North Korea wants to use force. The politics behind it all make events more interesting, but the series doesn’t go overboard with that. Instead, it also focuses more on the personal problems of each character, which gives us some character development.

Flashbacks flesh out the backstories of each character, but considering how notoriously excessive the flashbacks were in the original Money Heist (by reputation), there aren’t too many flashbacks, so it doesn’t feel too soap opera-ish. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still plenty of melodrama here too, if that’s your cup of tea. You can expect the usual twists and turns from a drama like this, though none of them in the first six episodes are particularly shocking.

A Heist Worth Its Weight In Gochujang

The episodes feel well-paced and don’t feel like a slog, but each episode still clocks at more than one hour long. Netflix is the only streaming service still pushing the binge model, so it’s strange that the episodes of each series are getting longer and less binge-able. For example, the recently released Season 4 of Stranger Things also suffered from the same problem, with each episode being longer than an hour as well.

After only six episodes, there’s a lot more potential to be mined from Money Heist Korea Joint Economic Area‘s unique setting beyond simply the usual conventional heist elements. It’s well worth the binge, if you’re looking for a thrilling series with intense heists. Maybe Money Heist Korea Joint Economic Area can even turn out to be the next Squid Game-like craze.

FINAL SCORE: 80/100

We received an early screener of the first six episodes of Money Heist Korea Joint Economic Area courtesy of Netflix Malaysia. Money Heist Korea Joint Economic Area is slated to premiere on 24 June 2022 on Netflix Malaysia.

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  1. You Can Join The Money Heist Korea Malaysian Branch Experience Starting This Weekend

    June 23, 2022 at 9:48 pm

    […] the meantime, check out my review of Money Heist Joint Economic Area. It premieres on Netflix on 24 June […]

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