Netflix’s ‘Believer 2’ is not a typical cop vs. drug dealer as it entwines the fates of multiple characters through a mysterious figure who rules the drug underworld, known only as Mr. Lee. The South Korean crime drama film sees Rak and Won-ho continuing their search for the real Mr. Lee, who deals in an illicit substance, Laika. Given the drug’s overall role and importance in the story, viewers are likely to wonder whether Laika is based on a real drug and who is responsible for its creation. SPOILERS AHEAD!
Laika Is a Dangerous Drug
Laika is first introduced in 2018’s ‘Believer,’ and it is described as an illicit drug that has a horrendous side effect if consumed over a certain quantity. However, the film does not reveal the exact composition of the drug or substances required to make it. As the narrative progresses, it becomes evident that Laika is integral to the drug empire of Mr. Lee, who is the shadowy overlord of Asia’s drug market. Given the nature of Laika and its depiction in the first and second films of the franchise, it is safe to say that it is not directly based on a real drug.
Firstly, a drug named “Laika” does not exist in reality, and its recipe remains a mystery. Only Seo Young-rak is known to have some knowledge of cooking the drug, albeit how he acquired this information is never explained in detail. Laika is described as a pleasure-giving drug, implying it is a stimulant that gives users a euphoric experience of bursts of energy and pleasure. Hence, it seems to work similarly to Methamphetamine, and the process of making Laika also resembles that of the former drug. As a result, it is safe to say that Laika is likely a byproduct of Methamphetamine but is mostly a fictional drug.
Mr. Lee Created Laika
The second installment of the series confirms that the enigmatic Mr. Lee is the creator of Laika. Lee creating the drug might be an easy assumption, considering his drug empire is run on the smuggling and selling of Laika. However, it isn’t until the third act of ‘Believer 2’ that the real Mr. Lee’s existence is confirmed. Furthermore, when Rak arrives in Norway, he questions Lee about Laika and its creation. Earlier in the film, Won-ho traces Lee’s past and learns that the drug lord was a former science teacher at a school.
During his conversation with Rak, Lee admits to creating Laika out of pure curiosity, wanting to test the limit of human pleasure. On the surface, Laika’s creation does not appear to have a dark origin, but the empire it helps build leads to a twisted chain of violent events that link Lee, Rak, and Won-ho together. Furthermore, Lee’s backstory and the creation of Laika also resemble the story of Walter White from ‘Breaking Bad,’ as they are both former teachers turned drug dealers. However, Lee’s Laika remains an elusive drug, as its true nature if never revealed, mirroring the role of its creator in the overall story.