Narco-Saints review: An engaging drama but short on action and thrills

Narco-Saints is a South Korean drama on Netflix that follows the journey of a Korean drug lord in Suriname and a businessman who is engaged in a secret operation by the NIS to capture him. The series is now streaming on Netflix.


After struggling his whole life, Kang Ingu visits Suriname to check out a factory for his potential new business venture, so that he can offer a better life for his family.

Things don’t go as planned since everyone wants a piece of his fortune and he gets caught up in a turf war. His pursuit of the new skatefish business puts him in the crosshairs of two rival Asian gangs and the cartels they cooperate with to smuggle cocaine to South Korea, which eventually leads to Kang’s arrest.

During his imprisonment, Kang is forced to work with the South Korean NIS and Choi Chang-Ho to capture Jeon Yohan, a pastor and drug lord who controls Suriname’s narcotics exports.


The main cast does a really impressive job of bringing their characters to life; most notably, Ha Jung Woo as Kang In Gu and Hwang Jung Min as Jeon Yohan. They are excellent at expressing everything from rage to excitement, passion, and revenge.

As Byun Ki Tae, Joo Woojin unexpectedly gives the best performance. His flawless Chinese accent, solo battle sequence, and the change in his voice when he reveals himself as a NIS agent are all commendable.

Finally, the characters of Park Hae Soo as Choi Chang Ho and Yoo Yeon Seok as David Park are exceptional, while the rest of the side characters also do excellent work throughout.


Not only is the pace entertaining, but the dramatic turning points are fascinatingly depicted to transport you right into the heart of South American society. You witness all of these shocking events and get inside the minds of the characters on all sides of the battle as they try to calculate their next move.

Each character is intricately woven into the plot, which has a complex structure with several pressure points and accurate information on drug smuggling in Latin America.

It’s a thrilling narco-ride since there is no end to the suspense once you are in the main character’s perspective. The final action sequences, including a firefight at the Brazilian border, are pulse-pounding, exploding mayhem. It works as a cinematic double extended cut film.


The importance of female characters in this drama has been understated. The majority of them stand in a corner or act as silent observers. Not even a single female officer on the NIA team is given little screen time and interaction. The female officers are limited to simply following orders.

It’s entertaining to see the men try their hardest to always stay one step ahead of their enemies and consistently plan their next moves to keep themselves safe. However, after a few episodes, the excitement dies down and it grows monotonous.

The viewer’s six-hour time commitment is not precisely justified by the predictable plot.


Narco-Saints does a good job of keeping things simple throughout the entire narrative. Although it excels in whatever it accomplishes, a 6-hour production can only do so much of that. There should have been more twists and turns in Narco-Saints.

Narco-Saints review: An engaging drama but short on action and thrills 1

Director: Yoon Jong-bin

Date Created: 2022-09-09 12:30

Editor's Rating:

Also Read: Narco-Saints ending explained: Does Kang Ingu return to South Korea?

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