After toxic air pollution turns Korea into a desert wasteland, only 1 percent of the population survives. Using social status, the remaining citizens are segregated into separate living districts. Thirty years after the disaster, in 2071, people wear respirators to go outdoors and rely on deliverymen, or “knights,” to protect and deliver daily necessities like oxygen and food. The legendary knight among them all is 5-8 (Kim Woo-bin), who goes about his daily route, crossing paths with an aspiring knight called Sa-wol (Kang You-Seok). Sa-wol trains to be a knight by picking random fights to enhance his fighting skills before challenging 5-8 to a fight, and is quickly booted out of a high-speed delivery truck. Sa-wol is a refugee, secretly living in the home of a military officer, Seol-ah (Esom), and her sister, Seul-ah (Roh Yoon-seo). After a tragedy in the home, which not so conveniently occurs when 5-8 is in the area, Sa-wol earnestly pursues his dream of becoming one of the knights.
Meanwhile, Ryu Seok (Song Seung-heon), the son of Chairman Ryu (Nam Kyung-eub) of the Cheonmyeong Group, oversees the construction of a new district. Terrorists constantly sabotage the project, and Ryu’s motives are all-around shady and calculated. Cheonmyeong organizes a competition to hire a new knight to distract the general public from random kidnappings.
Sa-wol sees his chance, and 5-8, along with a select group of knights, helps train him to compete in the tournament. After the obvious, Sa-wol joins his new coworkers to stop Ryu from following through on his evil plans.
So, first, I mainly watched Black Knight for Kim Woo-bin. Kim was in my favorite movie from last year, Alienoid, and Black Knight is one of a handful of projects he’s been in since he started acting again. I re-subscribed to Netflix to watch this series, which says a lot.
Black Knight’s plotline sounds familiar, and it was. Overall, the series was a classic post-apocalyptic story. It had most of the tropes, the typical haves versus the have-nots, a dubious corporation ‘helping’ to further humanity, terrorist attacks, etc., etc. The backdrop of the now Korean Desert and the costumes and masks gave a definite Mad Max vibe, and while the segregation of society is in many of these stories, I kept thinking of Snowpiercer. Some things didn’t quite make sense, like the respirators that were providing oxygen with no tank.
While I enjoyed the series and these elements, I can see why some people didn’t particularly like it. Mostly, I think it’s the crowd that compares literally every K-drama to Squid Game. I found Black Knight thoroughly entertaining, and once I started watching it, I couldn’t stop. It also had another critical thing that I enjoy in a series, it was tightly packed, without any genuinely unnecessary scenes. The series resolved itself in the six episodes, and I was satisfied with the conclusion. The ending was slightly open-ended so that a second season could happen; however, based on Netflix’s recent trend, I’m not going to hold my breath.
Where to Watch
I’m a Data Analyst, from the land of Matthew McConaughey. I’m an avid movie-goer and love seeing films in theaters. My most recent favorite films are Good Time, Only Lovers Left Alive, TENET, and England is Mine. When I’m not at the movies, I’m either reading or watching obscene amount of true crime and historical documentaries.