“Phantom” is a historical spy drama set during the Japanese colonization of Korea. The Koreans have been under Japanese rule for a long time. But there is an undercover organization called the Shadow Corps who have put spies (Phantoms) within the government to take down the Japanese government and attain their freedom. However, some Japanese officials who thought the Shadow Corps was destroyed realized the truth as the organization attempted to assassinate the new Governor-General. Japanese officials Takahara and Murayama are determined to take down the Phantoms, and the Phantoms want their freedom. High-octane chases and gun fights ensue as both parties try to achieve their goals.

This article contains spoilers.

Phantom (2023) Plot Summary & Movie Synopsis:

Who are the Phantoms, and Why Do They Target the New General?

The film opens with radio news that an organization called the Shadow Corps attempted murder on the newly appointed General of Joseon in Shanghai. The report states that a group of attempted spies, known as the Phantoms, belong to the Shadow Corps organization. Their mission failed, resulting in the demise of all members of the organization. In 1933, Kyungsung (Seoul), the new Governor General, visited Joseon (Korea) and was assured by his men that Joseon was under control and that the General could focus on his inauguration.

The Governor General is having a meal with his ministers and the police when Nanyoung shoots at the General and runs to save her life from the police. Hearing the firing, Chakyung rushes towards the forest and spots Nanyoung. Before they can talk, Nanyoung is shot. Realizing the police will look for Nanyoung, Chakyung runs away. Later, Takahara apologizes to the General for not being careful. The General gives Takahara an order to investigate, find, and handle the Phantoms in secrecy.

On the other hand, Murayama reaches out to his superior and warns him that the Guards Division suspects a Phantom is among them, and Murayama wants to be reappointed as the police personnel to find the Phantom himself. While Murayama gets rejected for an appointment in the police force, the Chief Guard visits the theatre in town. As the Chief Guard enters the theatre, Chakyung senses danger and informs the cinema’s owner to be careful and stop operations before it is too late. The Shadow Corps use movie posters to send messages to each other, and the Chief Guard notices one such message on the movie posters.

Who is the Phantom Among Them, and Will Takahara’s Risky Plan Backfire?

Without any reasoning, Takahara narrowed his suspects down to five people: Park Chakyung, Yuriko, Baekho, Cheon Eunho, and Murayama. All five people are brought to a hotel. Except for Chakyung, everyone else works within the government. As the group ponders their reason for being brought to the hotel, Takahara announces his suspicion that one among the five is a Phantom. Furthermore, he reveals that the inauguration of the new General will not take place at the original location. Instead, he plans to arrest the Shadow Corps at this new location, as the instructions on the movie poster requested, which invited the spies to attend the event. Once Takhara tells the group about his intentions, he gives them a time frame to surrender. Failing to do so will lead to torture.

Phantom (2023) Movie Ending Explained
A still from “Phantom” (2023)

The group is assigned rooms and will stay inside until the Phantom is found. Unfortunately, Yuriko and Chakyung are sharing rooms and are not pleased with the idea. As Yuriko acts like a brat, Chakyung hides the ticket from the movie theatre inside a book in the room. Meanwhile, Murayama is annoyed as he is suspected to be a Phantom and warns Takahara that the Phantom is his and Takahara cannot stop him. While alone in the room, Chakyung finds a wiretap, and the soldiers can listen to all the conversations.

Can Chakyung Clear Her Name?

As Yuriko throws a fit because she needs to make a call, Baekho meets Chakyung. Without saying much, she reveals she is the Phantom. Not knowing what to do, Chakyung asks Baekho to remain quiet until the deadline and the trouble will be over. Fingers are pointed at Murayama for having a Joseon bloodline, and Murayama clarifies with the soldier that he had killed his mother with bare hands and she was the only Joseon in the family. Yuriko’s attempt to visit the Deputy fails, and she is thrown into the harsh reality that the Deputy sent Yuriko to Takahara to check if she was a Phantom.

As time runs out, Takahara calls Baekho into question, but Baekho does not reveal who the Phantom is. Meanwhile, Yuriko meets Cheon Eunho and tells him that Murayama had planted a movie ticket inside Chakyung’s suitcase to frame her for being the Phantom. As Cheon Eunho hands the ticket to the soldiers, Chakyung and Murayama engage in a fistfight. As the fight continues, Murayama stops Chakyung and asks her to reveal if she is the Phantom, but before she says anything, the soldiers take Murayama away.

Who is the True Phantom, and Can Anyone Be Trusted?

Based on the evidence provided, Takahara asks Murayama to confess, but Murayama says Takahara’s instincts have misled him. To speed up the process, Takahara gives Baekho one more chance and asks if Takahara is the Phantom. Under pressure to protect his mother, Baekho reveals that the real Phantom is Chakyung. Later that night, Takahara calls the group for a meal and asks Chukyung to confess, and when she does not say anything, Takahara shoots Baekho. Annoyed by how things turned out, Yuriko grabs a knife and fights Takahara. Yuriko then grabs Takahara’s gun and fights the soldiers.

Meanwhile, Chakyung takes Baekho to storage, and Murayama and Cheon Eunho fight. As the fight continues, Cheon Eunho is accidentally shot by Murayama. The fight between Yuriko and Takahara continues. But Yuriko creates a diversion and enters the storage. In a flashback, we see that Murayama did not kill his mother. However, he watched her kill herself. Watching Yuriko fight, Chakyung is afraid for her safety, and Yuriko reveals she is a Phantom as well.

Chakyung and Yuriko escape

After realizing that two Phantoms are planted to continue their mission, Chakyung and Yuriko escape from the room. They need to cut electricity to go unnoticed, so Chakyung and Yuriko cut electricity and communication lines by causing a fire. Realizing the soldiers would need weapons, Chakyung and Yuriko head to the basement to collect all their weapons. They can hear the soldier’s footsteps, and Chakyung climbs out a window. But Yuriko closes the window and asks Chakyung to escape. Because of Yuriko’s decision, she is captured and tortured by Takahara.

Phantom (2023) Movie Ending Explained
Another still from “Phantom” (2023)

However, Chakyung is not ready to leave Yuriko yet and enters the building but is found by Murayama. Pretending to surrender, Chakyung forces Takahara to let his guard down. Once that is achieved, Chakyung throws a grenade. Hearing the noise, Takahara leaves Yuriko and heads upstairs, and Chakyung seizes the opportunity and takes Yuriko outside.

However, Takahara and Murayama fight, and Murayama shoots Takahara and takes over the command as a police officer. As chaos continues inside the building, Chakyung slashes all the soldiers’ car tires and escapes with a civilian’s car with Yuriko. On the way, Chakyung realizes Yuriko’s health is in terrible condition and seeks shelter in someone’s house. At the house, Chakyung and Yuriko take time to heal their wounds before entering Seoul.

Phantom (2023) Movie Ending Explained:

Did the Shadow Corps succeed in their mission?

While Chakyung and Yuriko heal, Takahara welcomes guests at the fake inauguration ceremony. He tells the people that the Shadow Corps are in the crowd and asks them to surrender. To help them face reality, Takahara tells the Shadow Corps that their weapons have been seized and presents the owner of the cinema theatre and another Shadow Corps. As one of the Shadow Corps comes forward, Takahara shoots him. Fortunately, just in time, Yuriko and Chakyung arrive with weapons and save the captured Shadow Corps while fighting the soldiers.

The other members of the Shadow Corps join and kill as many soldiers as possible while saving the civilians. In the auditorium’s interiors, Murayama, Yuriko, and Chakyung get into a gunfight, and Chakyung and Yuriko kill Murayama. The inauguration of the new Governor General takes place without any hassle. As the Governor General and the Chief of Police wait on the streets, the Shadow Corps cuts electricity, and Yuriko and Chakyung arrive with guns and fire at the General and the Chief of Police.

Ultimately, the Shadow Corps and the Phantom’s goal is achieved as they kill the Governor General. However, they won’t stop until Joseon (Korea) achieves complete independence from the Japanese. Eventually, most of the characters get their revenge as Murayama manages to kill Takahara, and as he had expressed, Takahara did pay a price for defaming and slandering Murayama. On the other hand, Murayama got into the police force again, but for a short period, as Chakyung and Yuriko got revenge by killing Takahara.

Read More: 5 Korean Dramas Releasing in June 2024

Trailer:

Phantom (2023) Movie Links: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Wikipedia, Letterboxd
The Cast of Phantom (2023) Movie: Sol Kyung-gu, Lee Hanee, Park So-dam, Park Hae-soo, Seo Hyun-woo
Phantom (2023) Movie Genre: Action/Mystery & Thriller/History/Drama/Crime | Runtime: 2h 13m
Where to watch Phantom

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