Flash Review: Black Knight

So.. I’m not into dystopian stories per se (especially after having been massively underwhelmed by the likes of Sisyphus: The Myth 👀), which makes me think that I’m not part of Show’s target audience.

But, I do have a fondness for Kim Woo Bin, and Show’s promotional materials have been allll about Kim Woo Bin, which makes me think that maybe I’m part of Show’s target audience after all, heh.

I’ll say that that promotional tactic worked, because it got me to watch the show, and here I am, writing this review, having finished it.

That said, I do think lens adjustments are important for this one, which I’ll talk about in a bit.

Also, I do think that your mileage is likely to vary, depending on how well those lens adjustments work for you, and how much of a connoisseur you are, of dystopian fare (I am far from being one, for comparison 😅).


So originally, I’d shortlisted Black Knight for coverage on Patreon, because it’s hyped as Kim Woo Bin’s big comeback, and, as you know, I have a pretty big soft spot for the Woob.

Dipping my toes in, though, I found myself deciding, within mere minutes, that this wouldn’t be a show that I wanted to write episode notes for.

I also wasn’t even that sure that I wanted to watch this show, really, even though Woob looked suitably badass in the few minutes of the show that I’d sampled.

Plus, a tentative foray into MyDramaList informed me that a good section of viewers found this show to be just ok; mainly more style than actual substance, and that.. did not increase my desire to watch the show.

But then, lotusgirl mentioned on one of our Patreon threads, that she’d loved this show, and that Woob was fantastic in it, which piqued my interest all over again.

Which is how I ended up deciding to do a quick watch of this one. No episode notes, no deep thoughts; just a quick binge.

And y’know what, that kinda worked. 😁


Here are a handful of things that I think would be helpful to keep in mind, in order to maximize your enjoyment of your watch:

1. Think blockbuster action movie

Which means..

(a) Don’t expect anything too deep

I’m thinking of slick action movies that are expensively produced, and come with a lot of polish and fireworks, but don’t necessarily give us a lot of character or relationship development.

I spend most of my time watching dramas instead of movies, so my examples are likely not going to be the greatest. But maybe shows like Deadpool, or X-Men, or Speed? (Sorry, I know there are better examples out there. 😅)

Basically, enjoy the action and the slick production values, but don’t think too hard about everything, coz it doesn’t seem like Show sets out to provide answers to all the possible questions you might ask.

Ah. Also, there’s violence in this – but you already knew that, right?

(b) This one benefits from being binge-watched

In the spirit of thinking of this as a blockbuster action movie, it’s best to watch the whole thing in a pretty quick fashion.

I finished this in a few days, but you could possibly finish this in a single day, if you had a full afternoon to spare.

This keeps the momentum going, and also, doesn’t give you that much time to think, between episodes.

2. Think Karate Kid, a little bit.

Although they plastered Woob’s face all over the promotional material, the story isn’t really about him, per se.

(I think they just felt that Woob’s face would draw in more drama fans – and, judging from my own experience, it kinda worked? 😅)

In fact, we don’t learn all that much about Woob’s character, 5-8, compared to other characters.

In contrast, we get more exposition on a young refugee character, Sa Wol, played by Kang Yoo Seok, than we do 5-8, and that’s because this really is a bit of a Karate Kid sort of deal, where Sa Wol begs 5-8 to help him train to become a deliveryman, and a good chunk of our story centers on this arc.

Adjusting your expectations around this, helps.

3. Also think cowboy movie, a little bit.

You know how in cowboy westerns, it’s all about the Good Guy taking down the Big Bad Guy in a Big Ol’ Shootout?

Yeah, something like that, in this story world too. (It’s even got a desert-like setting, heh. 😁)

It’s best not to sweat the details too much, and just get into the spirit of rooting for the good guys to prevail against the bad guys.

4. It’s slick, but it’s also dreary

Maybe it goes without saying, but just because Show is expensively produced (hello, Netflix budget! 💰) doesn’t mean that everything’s bright and shiny.

Our drama world, being dystopian, is full of browns, grays, and blacks. It’s all quite dull and dark, in terms of color palette, and that took some getting used to, for me personally.

Being prepared for that kind of landscape (like in the picture above, and this one below), helps.


I honestly wasn’t very emotionally invested in a whole lot, during my watch; this was just a popcorn flick for me, so here’s just a quick spotlight on my personal highlights, during my watch.

1. Woob as 5-8

lotusgirl was right; Woob‘s excellent in this.

The thing that really stood out to me, is that Woob manages to emote so well, even when his character’s face is covered with a mask. There is a lot of nuance that comes through in his gaze, and I was duly impressed.

Also, it’s pretty great to see him looking so strong and healthy, and fill out the role of a formidable fighter, so well. 🤩

As a note of interest, I’m relieved to hear that Woob didn’t really smoke for the show, even though 5-8 is a smoker. He’d actually asked the PD to use CGI to complete the smoking scenes, to make it look like the cigarettes he was holding, were lit.

Gotta love technology; coz I would be worried for Woob, as a cancer survivor, if he’d really been called upon to smoke for the role. 😅

2. Kang Yoo Seok as Sa Wol

I thought this was my introduction to Kang Yoo Seok, but apparently I’ve seen Kang Yoo Seok on my screen before, and quite recently too, as the prisoner patient in Dr. Romantic 2 (review is here!).

I felt I should mention that I enjoyed Kang Yoo Seok reasonably well, since Sa Wol’s arc is such a big part of our story.

Sa Wol strikes me as pretty youthful sort of character, with the lashings of naïveté that we see in his character.

I’d personally expected a bit more gravitas to come through, given the things that Sa Wol experiences, but I can buy that this is just the DNA of his character.

3. The bond between Sa Wol and Seol Ah

We don’t get a whole lot of time with this arc (and for the record, I do agree with other viewers, that Esom is underutilized, in this role), but I did want to mention that I found it poignant to witness the solidarity and mutual concern, between these two characters.


1. Song Seung Hun as Ryu Seok

I’m not against Song Seung Hun playing a baddie; I just feel like he didn’t quite fill out the role as much as was required?

Ryu Seok’s meant to be a theatrical, OTT sort of baddie, and I wasn’t feeling enough.. well, evil charisma, coming through, from Song Seung Hun’s portrayal.

I guess he just wasn’t deliciously malicious enough for me, in terms of the amount of magnetism he brought to the role. 😅

2. The writing

You’ve probably already guessed by this point, that I didn’t find the writing anything to shout about, in this show.

Mostly, it felt like a pretty straightforward story, without any particularly memorable arcs or characters.

Not terrible, but not special either, y’know?

You might think that Show is trying to say something about the haves and have-nots in society, and about discrimination, or about how we as humans exploit our planet to our own detriment, but.. even though our story touches on these things, it’s all with a pretty light hand, and Show doesn’t actually explore it with any sort of depth or interest, I feel.

The execution’s ok, so it works out to be pretty watchable, which is why I’m writing this review.


The big showdown between good and evil wasn’t a surprise to me, because I adopted the cowboy western lens, soon after I realized that Ryu Seok was supposed to be a larger-than-life Big Bad.

I did smirk out loud, though, when Ryu Seok does the whole, “Imma destroy everyone and everything, including myself, before I let you win” thing, and this big red lever rises out of the panel of controls.

That big red lever gave me very cartoony vibes, y’all. 😁😅

And yes, it’s fitting that 5-8 beats Ryu Seok to the trigger, when Ryu Seok tries to shoot himself in the head, because this way, 5-8 takes the control out of Ryu Seok’s hands. It’s just by a mere second, but I get that it’s the principle of the matter.

And so, in the end, the Big Bad is felled, and his big ol’ corporation with him, and all the remaining refugees are relocated in an actual benevolent manner by the government.

And, as a bonus, we get to see Sa Wol and 5-8 riding together in the same delivery truck, with Sa Wol musing happily that the air feels cleaner, and 5-8 observing that the skies are clearer too.

It’s a simple, hopeful, feel-good message, and y’know, I’m not mad about that.


Reasonably engaging, and worth a quick whirl, if you’re able to adjust your expectations.




You can check out this show on Netflix.

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2 months ago

I pretty much binged this is 2 days and feel like that’s a good way to consume this show. I didn’t spend any time analysing or thinking much about this show (not needed). This was an enjoyable action show with visually appealing post-apocalypse. Maybe it was right show right moment for me, but I enjoyed it more than I thought I would 🤩
I should say that I‘m a big scifi/ post-apocalyptic backdrop fan and have watched a lot of shows and movies in this genre. And while nothing is particularly novel or deep here, it’s well executed and fun. This is my first drama with „The Woob“ and while I am not swooning, I found him good in this role (not that demanding), and I enjoyed the remaining cast as well.
Will I remember much about this in a year‘s time? Probably not lol

Last edited 2 months ago by CanICallYouKate
3 months ago

It’s great to see Kim Woo Bin back in action. I do like dystopian stories but will probably pass on this one for now as it does sound rather meh. Maybe for a rainy day in the future 🙂

3 months ago

I too have a big soft spot for Kim Woo Bin and the promotional materials worked for me as well. But I’ve had my share of dystopian flicks (in novels, movies, even manga and anime) and after 20 or so minutes of watching this, I realized I didn’t want to sit through it after all. I knew the story is nothing spectacular, just fairly straightforward… pair that with all that the dreary landscape and there’s nothing left to hold my attention. And so I dropped it. Ooopsie. Sorry, KWB.

Incidentally, I was fine with Sisyphus: The Myth. It wasn’t the best thing but it was fine enough with me. There were several dramas that year that featured time-traveling (The King Eternal Monarch, Alice, Kairos) and it was interesting how each explored the concept in vastly different ways.

3 months ago

My final comments in MDL re Black Knight were “Solid and comfortable. Could have been fantastic.”

In essence, it was like watching a show go through the checklist of nods to some of the classic dystopian stories.

So, what could have been done better?

Well, very few shows or movies are going to reach the dizzy heights of Soylent Green. This was a story with great characters and friendships, very perceptive themes of where we are today (it was released in 1973), elitism in the shadows (kdramas have to let you who the villain is), a lack of water, food and resources and created a very unsettling feeling regarding what happened to those who had passed away.

Qualifying to be a truck driver was a bit threadbare as were the wasteland gangs (that’s code for underwhelming).

What did I like?

Our leads of course, the polished graininess of it all (where else are you going to see that?), the trucks and the concept at least that we need you for some sort of scientific experiment (reminded me of a Monty Python movie when I wrote that, but I digress).

Did I watch it in one go? Pretty much. Would I like to see a similar drama with a bit more pep in its step? Absolutely 😉

3 months ago

I ended up feeling fairly meh about this; it may be in the minority of shows I’d actually give a lower grade than you (B or B-, I’m thinking?). Just because it didn’t have very much in the way of gripping material. It kind of rolled along to a very predictable ending, and personally I never felt any particular emotional engagement with the story’s stakes or any of the characters (well, maybe Noh Yoon-seo’s character, which…yeah).

I didn’t hate it, to be clear, it’s not bad. Just…meh.

3 months ago
Reply to  kfangurl

It’s true I was maybe expecting a little bit more? Kim Woo-bin was fun to watch, and good with what he had to work with… his character was just kind of under-baked, and didn’t have a whole lot to do, it felt like? And the young refugee deliveryman wannabe that the narrative was centered around, I just couldn’t get attached to him? I didn’t really care about his journey.

BUT! At less than six hours total run time, is it worth watching? I mean, sure, it’s not bad, and it won’t demand a lot of your time, compared to the standard 16+ hour show.