Saturday, March 23, 2024

Capsule Review: MISSON: POSSIBLE, Slapdash Spy Action-Comedy Lacks Spark

By Pierce Conran

Mission: Possible is a third-rate spy action-comedy starring Kim Young-kwang and Lee Sun-bin as a mismatched duo who both pretend to be NIS spies as they hunt down a group of gun smugglers. Despite threatening to, the film never quite edges into romcom territory, but given the lack of sparks between the leads, perhaps this was for the best.

I was having some harsh thoughts about this film during most of its running time. Partly due to the dodgy script, definitely owing to the weak cast, but especially since it looks so damn cheap.

Capsule Review: HONEY SWEET, as Sweet as Promised

By Pierce Conran

When we talk about Korean directors, Lee Han isn’t a name that comes up very often, but over the last 22 years, through eight films (including a few others he has written or produced), he has forged one of the most surprisingly consistent filmographies in the industry.

It was a pleasure to catch up with his latest confection, the delightful and easy-going romantic comedy Honey Sweet, in which he teams up with hit director Lee Byeong-heon (Extreme Job), who provided the script.

Monday, March 11, 2024

Revew: MY NAME IS LOH KIWAN, Defector Drama Devolves into Misguided Romance and Crime Mashup

By Pierce Conran

“My name is Loh Kiwan.”

There is confidence in that statement, but the same thing could not be said about the film for which it is the title. This is a film that has absolutely no clue what it wants to be. What begins as a serious and hard-hitting examination of the plight of a North Korean defector fending for himself in Brussels as he embarks on the long process of gaining asylum status soon devolves into a messy patchwork of different genre threads. By the end, the film has completely abandoned its hard-hitting social drama in favour of lumpy romance and gun-totting gangsters.

Thursday, March 7, 2024

Review: EXHUMA Digs Up Ghoulish Thrills in Spades

By Pierce Conran

In the smash hit Exhuma, four people dig a hole. Things don't turn out well - digging up corpses can do that - so they keep digging themselves in deeper. Unsurprisingly, things go from bad to worse.

A rich Korean family in LA fly in a pair of young shamans (Kim Go-eun and Lee Do-hyun) to solve their supernatural woes but when the pair connect the bizarre events to the family’s buried ancestor back in Korea, they return and team up with a grizzled geomancer (Choi Min-sik) and a wily undertaker (Yu Hae-jin) to dig up and burn the corpse and bring the supernatural happenings to an end.