Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Athena: Goddess Of War - South Korean Espionage Thriller Review

         I’ve watched all 21 episodes of Athena: Goddess Of War now and I have to say that I’m hooked, not wanting the show to end.  This show is filled with the highest octane action that I have ever seen.  There are plenty of martial arts battles, gunfights, and a high-tech thriller of a battle on a bridge.   I will say that this is a complicated show to follow and there are some parts of the show that I would consider to be flawed but I still enjoy the show enough to stay until the 21st episode. 

         The story is supposed to be a spinoff if Iris, another show that I reviewed earlier.  In Athena: Goddess of War, this is supposed to be a South Korean Television Espionage drama filled with action and romance.  There are supposed to be some characters from the Iris series but I haven’t seen them yet although I’m only up to Episode 3 in Iris.  

          The plot is about a South Korean Nuclear scientist Kim Hyun-jun being hunted down by North Korean agents who have branded him as a traitor.  The South Korean  President has asked a black ops agent named Dr. Kwon to recover the scientist and bring him back to South Korea.  

           Kwon will form a hit team and follow up on a lead to bring back Kim Hyun-Jun.  What he doesn’t know is that another team known as Athena waiting in the wings for Kwon to rescue the scientist so they can grab him from Kwon’s team.  

           From there,  a battle ensues where all the members of Kwon’s team are killed except for Kwon.  The leader of the Athena Team, Son Hyeok, tries to capture the scientist but he escapes, leaving Kwon to be captured by the Athena team.  

           After being captured, Kwon refuses to give information to Son Hyeok about the whereabouts of Kim Hyun-jun.  Hyeok is left alone with Kwon but does not kill him even though the rest of the Athena team hears gunshots from the room.  

            Kwon would later be asked to be the leader of the NTS, which is the National Anti-Terrorist Service.  Son Hyeok has returned as well to be part of the DIS, which is supposed to be an American Intelligence Agency in South Korea even though he is also part of Athena.   This is one of the flaws that will bother me throughout the series since Kwon and Son Hyeok will run into each other several times throughout the show.  

             At the same time, Lee Jung-woo has transferred to NTS and will become their top agent.  You will see that he is attracted to a deadly Athena agent named Yoon Hye-in, who also works with Son Hyeok for DIS as well.  There will be interesting triangle developing between the three characters.  I don’t think you can call it a love triangle but it does make for more tension as the story builds.  

             There are a lot of other characters that add to this show and it makes those characters more memorable as the story builds to it’s conclusion.  I’m not sure where it’s going and I think that the Athena group seems to be mysterious since you really don’t know what they’re out to do other than be a terrorist group that wants to bring unrest between North and South Korea.  

             If you long for the days of wanting to see a great action TV show such as 24 or Alias, I would say that this show will give you more action and romance than you bargained for.  As far as I’m concerned, there is more action here than you will find in a StathamStallone or Schwarzenegger movie from the first show on, when you see a martial arts battle in a hotel bathroom.  

           I’m enjoying Athena: Goddess of War.  One of the best shows I’ve seen this year.  I give it four stars.  

Ron Hummer

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