This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Matt D’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
Everything I could say about this show has already been said so I’ll just do bullet points:
-First six episodes were great
-Loved every single one of the games. They’re all perfectly built up to. So much tension and emotion even though you know that some of the main characters are obviously going to succeed.
-Amazing cinematography and AMAZING art design. The sets and costumes are fantastic throughout the entire show. Plus the gore effects were really stellar, genuinely couldn’t tell what was CGI and what was practical.
-Love the use of classical music, fits pretty well and is purposefully jarring to hear after watching some brutal shit go down. The score was cool at first but I think they overuse certain themes a bit too much.
-Love the exploration of character dynamics and human behavior throughout the entire story.
-Episode Six shattered me to pieces.
-Great acting all across the board…with some notable exceptions (white people).
-After Episode Six the writing takes a nosedive. All of the English dialogue is terrible (Multiple 69 jokes? Come on.) and the white actors were painfully cringe.
-Some of the final reveals were pretty underwhelming. I guessed towards the end that Jun-ho’s brother would be the Front Man, and was really excited to see that dynamic play out…yeah nope Jun-ho just dies and Front Man keeps running the games (I know there’s a possibility for a Season 2 so this point is tentative). Also I’m pretty sure Jun-ho successfully sent some evidence to the police even though the signal on the island was poor. Could be wrong here but that detail felt a little weird. And then the reveal that Il-nam was the mastermind the whole time…okay? Literally adds nothing, actually it seriously takes the punch away from Episode Six.
-There were some good moments in the final three episodes of course. Really liked the dynamics between Gi-hun and Sae-byok, and Gi-hun and Sang-woo. The final Squid Game was really powerful. Although the last two games would’ve been much better if they didn’t cut back and forth between the players and the VIPs who unnecessarily explain everything that’s happening with their shitty ass dialogue.
-I criticized this a lot but I did really like it at the end of the day. Super cool that the most-watched Netflix show is from South Korea. I know a bunch of people (aka morons) watched it with the English dub because God forbid other languages exist, but if this exposes anyone to international filmmaking then I’ll be a happy boy. Light 4/5 to strong 3/5