26 August 2013


KOREAN MOVIE REVIEW: Jackal is coming.

So......this film was quite odd. As in really really odd.

Actually I often find Korean comedy movies to be quite odd in their pacing, almost like they move along so quickly that its hard to keep track of the million quirky characters which keep getting introduced, let alone the quickfire conversational jokes and actual plotline. This is not a bad thing at all, but sometimes I do feel like I am barely hanging on throughout a movie, so close to slipping and missing the point entirely as everything flies by leaving no time for it to properly sink in. I am not sure if I feel this way just because I am obviously more used to the standard slower western comedy style, but it is interesting to note that Korean drama comedies have a completely different style and pacing to their movie counterparts. Obviously the limited running time is a huge factor in that difference as movies will always be shorter, but even so I still find the marked changes between the plotting styles to be interesting.

Two Korean comedies I have recently watched that I feel illustrate this point perfectly would be 'Jeon Woo Chi' and also 'The Thieves'. These are both incredibly quickly plotted films that keep you on your toes as you try to keep up with the fast jokes and tightly twisting story. They are also both heaps of fun so this different comedy style most definitely works, and this observation is just about pointing out that difference rather than trying to actually say anything profound about it, because I really find it interesting that in this modern world there are still such marked cultural differences in the pop culture that each country produces, and I am just so glad I have discovered the fantastic oddness that are Korean comedy movies.

Okay...so back to the actual movie, I had to google this lead actor Kim Jaejoong as I have seen his face everywhere but never before seen one of his projects, most likely because he is a singer of kpop so acting is not his main thing.  
And also most likely because he was in Dr Jin.

For a very pretty Kpop star who I am sure has legions of fangirls who dote on his very pretty face, I do think this role was rather an odd choice for him, though maybe he already has enough established adoring fans that he doesn't need to pander to them any further by choosing a more accessible romantic lead type role and can instead just do whatever he wants... and although I stand by my opinion of this film being crazy odd, I also feel like it was crazy fun too, so I guess Kim Jae Joong made a good choice whatever his reasons.

With an ensemble cast of quirky characters what we get here is a strange little story which takes place over one night in a divey little 'hotel' (last week it was a motel) run by a very proud concierge. Kim Jaejoong's character Choi Hyun checks in, a huge Hallyhu star who is pretty tightly wound thanks to some scary past encounters with his sasaeng fans.

And this is when the questions begin:

Why is the famous and very pretty Choi Hyun checking into such a low class establishment?
Who is the weird Japanese girl staying in the room upstairs and why are there a bunch of totally useless police officers beginning a stakeout next door?
Why is there a creepy dude in a pigs mask roaming the hallways and lastly..... 
Who the hell is the Jackal?

So stop reading right now if you don't want to hear the answers to these deeply philosophical questions......

Actually the plot has a bit of a screw loose and I am not even totally sure I understood everything.....but from what I do understand (please correct me if I am wrong) this is the general plot in exciting point form:

The Plot:

 - Pretty Choi Hyun checks into the crappy 'Paradise Hotel' alone.

 - A team of (mostly) stupid police officers arrive for a stake out because a note has been left by the legendary hitman, the Jackal, (whose work has lately been getting a little sloppier than usual) that a dead body will be found in that same hotel....except there are two hotels with that name in the area, which is why all the better cops are staking out the classier Paradise Hotel and not this smaller shitter version.

  - Someone wearing a pigs mask turns up at Choi Hyun's door and successfully knocks him out and ties him to a chair, being revealed as the 'Japanese' girl from the room upstairs. She is actually pretty (totally) useless at this whole assassin thing, and Choi Hyun manages to convince her that he is actually someone else entirely called Choi Hyung. Phhhfft!
Also she has the worst case of permed Ajumma hair I have ever seen in my life.

 - Apparently Choi Hyun's ex-girlfriend has hired this first time assassin because she was upset that he changed after becoming a major Hallyhu star and left her.
And also she is pretty crazy.

 - With the exception of the one smart policewoman (relegated to being coffee and snack girl by her douchey superiors) all the cops are pretty ridiculous. They begin to search the entire hotel, room by room, posing as maids in Ajumma outfits and forcibly changing everyone's bedsheets to get access to the rooms.

 - They totally bust Choi Hyun's would be assassin, except that she manages to convince them that he is just a kinky Hallyhu star who likes to be tied up and whipped with a belt.
They believe it (!).

 - While 'assassin' is climbing around upstairs to keep the cops off her tail, Choi Hyun is saved by a fan.....a creepy Sasaeng fan.....

 - Choi Hyun is pretty freaking glad when his 'assassin' turns up again and saves him from the sasaeng fan and he is now beginning to feel a little confused about the whole situation.

 - Choi Hyun's manager turns up, calls himself Choi Hyun's father a lot for some reason, outs Choi Hyun as having once been a Pub DJ (gasp, oh the horror!!) which turns out to be a sparkly Karaoke singer guy.... which is apparently a very embarrassing thing in Korea? I dunno...anyway, everyone is totally upset!

 - After the manager passes out Choi Hyun and the 'assassin' share some 'being poor totally sucks' bonding moments.

 - Then the Jackal turns up and checks into the hotel and the ridiculous cops tell a Swat Team to come and aim at the hotel and be ready to fire when given the signal.....
Huh. Fire on what may I ask?
Just the hotel in general apparently, because that is what they do.

 - Sexy older cougar, also known as wife of Choi Hyun's company president turns up for some kissing times with Choi Hyun. But the president knows! He tells 'someone' over the phone to get rid of them both.

 - Sexy cougar gets involved in a crazy fight with...everyone. And then 'assassin' turns up and sexy cougar accidentally gets stabbed.
To death....

 - Everyone freaks out. Meanwhile the Swat Team start firing randomly in the general direction of the hotel. And also at the hotel concierge.

 - Choi Hyun decides that he and the assassin are now on the same side and they need to cover up this whole dead body thing. He tells her he will protect her and then starts dragging her around by her wrist.

 - The Jackal starts chasing them around the now water filled hallways (easily getting rid of any bumbling cops in his way) and they all arrive on the roof.

 - The 'assassin' turns out to be the Jackal and she laughs at Choi Hyun's stupidity and pushes him off the roof, but not before telling him that her whole goal (as dictated by the ex-girlfriend) was to get him to trust her....and then break that trust. Like, what a totally dastardly plan!

 - Choi Hyun's all good, he is just a little bit unconscious down below. The real Jackal fights the fake Jackal, who it turns out has been trying to impersonate her and ruin her business. She offered Company President to kill his sexy cougar wife for free if he would orchestrate her completely intricate plan to get the fake Jackal to be at this building whilst she pretended to kill Choi Hyun so she could fight him on the roof and then use the pretend Jackals murder to fake her own death and thus retire from a world of crime. Phhew!

 - Choi Hyun's all good. There isn't even a scandal after all that mayhem (even with the woman he was having an affair with being dead and all...) and he just goes back to being a very pretty Hallyhu star again. He also calls the real Jackal on the phone because they are mates now, and she says that she might still kill him and then he laughs. Because it is funny.

The End.

A few very funny scenes that amused me greatly:
I really enjoyed seeing Choi Hyun's ridiculous attempts to free himself at the beginning of the film. He was worming around on the floor, trying to use his smartphone with his chin and just generally being fairly useless at everything.

I also really loved the scenes where Choi Hyun is trying his best to convince the 'assassin' that he isn't actually Choi Hyun the Hallyhu star, even though she said she is a fan so obviously knows what he looks like. To prove he isn't, she makes him sing along to some of his songs, and he is pretty hilarious, singing ridiculously high with his voice breaking or sounding like a bad opera singer.
It cracked me up.
She then decides to check on his finely chiseled abs to see if they match his internet photos but Choi Hyun quickly sticks out his belly as far as it will possibly go... Ha!

My other hands down favourite scene was when Choi Hyun is momentarily rescued by his sasaeng fan, and things just go from bad to worse. She tasers him and to pacify her he says that he loves her, to which she replies ecstatically that she already knew he did!  Pulling out some acid wine she pours it into a glass and drinks some much to his (hilarious) horror, telling him that since they love eachother they should die together.
That is the moment when the original 'assassin' turns up and I just cracked up at Choi Hyun who immediately screams at her, 'Where the hell were you? I was looking for you!'. 


Well that's it from Pops on this topic!
Bye and have a nice day!

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