A private detective tries to solve a case, accompanied by the grandchildren of his rival in The Phantom Detective. Hong Gil-dong (Lee Je-Hoon) is a private detective, who has spent years tracking down Kim Byeong-Duk (Park Geun-Hyung), the man who killed his mother. However, Hong arrives to find the Kim has been kidnapped, leaving behind his two young grandchildren Dong-Yi (Roh Jeong-Eui) and Mal-Soon (Kim Ha-Na). Hong continues his search with the kids in town, with the investigation leading him to a secret society lead by corrupt cop Kang Sung-Il (Kim Sung-Kyun).
Directed by Jo Sung-hee (A Werewolf Boy), The Phantom Detective is an adventure that combines a hard boiled detective story with both comedy and modern action. At the centre of the story is Hong Gil-dong, a member of the HBD Agency, who has little memory of his past. Hong exists completely off the grid, as he searches for the “one eyed man” Kim Byeong-Duk, who killed Hong’s mother. However, Kim turns out to be only a small piece of a much larger conspiracy.
Probably the biggest joy that comes from watching The Phantom Detective is watching Hong Gil-dong’s reluctant interactions with Kim Byeong-Duk’s two grandchildren, particularly the youngest Mal-Soon, who is always speaking exactly what is on her mind. The Phantom Detective is a highly entertaining mystery/action hybrid, with some very enjoyable twists and turns. This film is quite recommended.