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Taxi Driver (Korean Drama) - AsianWiki
Taxi Driver
(aka Deluxe Taxi)


Park Joon Ho

Webcomic: Carlos and Lee Jae Jin
Screenplay: Oh Sang Ho and Lee Ji Hyun

Lee Je Hoon as Kim Do Ki
Esom as Kang Ha Na
Kim Eui Sung as Jang Sung Chul
Pyo Ye Jin as Ahn Go Eun
Jang Hyuk jin as Choi Kyung Koo
Bae Yoo Ram as Park Jin Eon
Lee Young Ae as the voice of the guide
Cha Ji Yeon as Baek Sung Mi


There is something about revenge that can be very satisfying if done right. “Deluxe Taxi” asks the question that in a world where the law wants to protect the innocent even if it means guilty people go free, how do the victims of those freed guilty people get their justice?

Thus the Rainbow Deluxe Taxi Company was formed to get revenge for the victims of those criminals who have managed to beat the law, whether through fancy lawyers, payoffs, connections, or whatever.  If for whatever reason, the law is unable to punish them, the victims can utilize the services of the Rainbow Deluxe Taxi company to administer some vigilante justice.

Jang Sung Chul is the leader of this vigilante operation who assembles a team of people who are experts in their respective fields (fighting, hacking, wiretapping, mechanics, etc.) necessary to capture the criminals. Each member has had close contact with a serious crime, some with a miscarriage of justice. For instance, the hacker Ahn Go Eun is the younger sister of a woman who had been driven to suicide by her boyfriend releasing sex tapes of her to online porno sites. However, the boyfriend was left unscathed. The driver and fighter Kim Do Gi had his mother killed by a serial killer.

On the surface, Jang Sung Chul himself is a respectable society leader and director of the Blue Bird Foundation which was created to help crime victims who hob-nobs with prosecutors and captains of industry. However, as the head of Rainbow Deluxe Taxi Company, he is ruthless about apprehending criminals.

Vigilante justice comes at a price though. In this case, since they are not looking to kill the criminals they apprehend, Jang Sung Chul made a deal with a leader of the underground economy Baek Sung Mi who is involved in all sorts of shady dealings including black market sales of organs. Baek Sung Mi imprisons the people that the Rainbow Taxi Company captures in tiny cells built into the ground where they suffer for their crimes until their punishment is deemed sufficient or they die. The cells are small enough that a person can’t ever stretch out in any direction, and their meals are haphazard, just enough to keep them alive. It does not escape the notice of the good guys that if they did not need her, Baek Sung Mi is the kind of person that they might have gone after.  

A new elite prosecutor Kang Ha Na joins the Seoul Northern District Prosecutor’s Office, and becomes interested in the Rainbow Taxi Company when she realizes that they seem to be tied to the disappearances of some criminals who had gone free after their trials. At first, she is determined to bring the vigilantes justice as well, until her investigator is killed during an investigation and she is not able to get justice for him. She particularly notices Kim Do Ki as the taxi driver at a number of crime scenes, and even confronts him with her suspicions of his activities. KDK's response "If people like you had done your job right, then I would not have a job to do."

The drama is very slickly done, and though it clearly wants you to root for the vigilante team, it does not shy away entirely from questions of what price does vigilante justice exact and is it always fitting and right.  Having said that, the members of the team are all well-intended and dedicated to their cause. By bending a few laws such as breaking, entering, wiretapping, kidnapping, etc, they are able to bring about revenge for their clients. The drama can be a bit intense, especially in terms of some of the violence, though they tend to allude to more than they depict.

Lee Je Hoon as Kim Do Ki is the dark knight who is the most prominent face of vigilante justice as he drives the potential clients to solicit their decision for revenge or not, the one who does the fighting as necessary and the one who ultimately kidnaps the criminals to take them to their punishment. Kim Do Ki is a man of little words and inscrutable reactions who always gets the job done, aided by the mechanical genius of Choi Kyung Koo and Park Jin Eon who can build or jury-rig anything that is needed for any situation and the exceptional hacking abilities of Ahn Go Eun. Even if their characters can almost be stereotypical (think “Leverage” or other rough/vigilante justice), the actors infuse a sincerity to their characters as well as a sense of fun.

It’s definitely a drama worth watching, and there seems to be a second season planned for this drama, with a possible air date of 2022.

Plot/Story: 7
Casting: 8
Production Value: 7
Re-Watch Value: 8



Ending Spoiler


After putting Baek Sung Mi and her associates in jail for their crimes as well, Jang Sung Chul comes clean about his vigilante activities to the prosecutor that he's friends with, but that prosecutor decides to step down instead of pressing charges against JSC.


KHN declines to prosecute Kim Do Ki and the others and also decides to resign instead, but is prevented from doing so by her boss who is the prosecutor who steps down.


The Rainbow Taxi Company is disbanded with the team going on in different directions.


However, after a hiatus, the team members together again, this time with Prosecutor KHN's participation.


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