나의 절친 악당들 (Intimate Enemies)

A 20th Century Fox International Production
Distribution: 20th Century Fox Korea
Rating: 18 and Over
Genre: Action, Comedy
Running Time: 110 Min
Shooting Time: 2014/Sep/29~2014/Dec/18
Release: 2015/Jun/25

WITH 류승범 (Ryu Seung-Beom) as Ji-Noo; 고준희 (Go Joon-Hee) as Na-Mi; 류현경 (Ryu Hyun-Kyung) as Jung-Sook; Sam Okyere as Yakubu; 김응수 (Kim Eung-Soo) as In-Soo; 양익준 (Yang Ik-Joon) as Eumbugi; 김형규 (Kim Hyung-Gyu) as Chang-Joon; 정원중 (Jung Won-Joong) as Sang-Ho; 김주혁 (Kim Joo-Hyuk) as Chairman;

CREW Director 임상수 (Im Sang-Soo) Executive Producer이남희 (Lee Nam-Hee) | Screenplay 임상수 (Im Sang-Soo) | Director of Photography 김영민 (Kim Young-Min) Lighting 박세문 (Park Se-Moon) Editor 이은수 (Lee Eun-Soo) Music 김홍집 (Kim Hong-Jip) Art Direction 유진경 (Yoo Jin-Gyeong) Action Choreography 신재명 (Shin Jae-Myung)

BOX OFFICE
KOFIC Nationwide
TOTAL REVENUE: 1,047,510,164 Won
TOTAL ADMISSIONS: 132,671
BUDGET: N/A

Photo © 20th Century Fox Korea

SYNOPSIS

In an empty street, a car secretly delivering a money bag gets into an unexpected accident. Jinu, following after the car, Nami, a tow truck driver, and Yakubu from an auto junkyard decide to split the money. While on the run from the ruthless money bag owner, Jinu and Nami fall for each other… [KoBiz]

IN SHORT

There are few falls from grace in Chungmuro as puzzling as that of Im Sang-Soo: slow-burning rise from assistant director (under Im Kwon-Taek, Park Jong-Won and Kim Young-Bin, not too bad a starting point if you ask me) to acclaimed screenwriter of one of the finest sageuk of the 1990s, 영원한 제국 (Eternal Empire); his sexy, frank, tremendously progressive debut 처녀들의 저녁식사 (Girls' Night Out) signals the arrival of a possible major talent which finds confirmation in his sophomore effort, the gritty and soulful 눈물 (Tears). Even then, few expected Im to churn out a double-header like 바람난 가족 (A Good Lawyer's Wife) and 그때 그사람들 (The President's Last Bang) – decadent, grumpy, irreverent and so drenched in allegory and social commentary as to almost feel like the 2000's answer to Park Gwang-Soo's late 80s social protest masterpieces. After the classy but somewhat middling novel adaptation 오래된 정원 (The Old Garden), Im disappears in France in search of money inspiration, and what comes back is an almost unrecognizable shell of his former self. Behind-the-scene brouhaha with Kim Soo-Hyun (the writer) aside, highly-touted remake 하녀 (The Housemaid) only turns out to be a reminder of how ahead of his time Kim Ki-Young really was, and a waste of Jeon Do-Yeon's immense talents. His follow-up 돈의 맛 (The Taste of Money) is even worse, plagued by subpar acting and a strange veneer of manufactured “angst” which only ends up highlighting how shallow the film is. But even then, few people would expect Im to go all out popcorn with his next venture, which is an even more dumbfounding pastiche of genre tropes that felt old by the late 1990s (Danny Boyle? Tarantino? Miike?).

Flimsy plot aside, every single performance in this film is annoyingly phony and sophomorically over-the-top, from the ditzy airhead antics of Go Joon-Hee to Ryu Seung-Beom's grungy aplomb (not to mention Yang Ik-Joon's insanely crass transformation), only stopping the poseur antics to delight us (?) with supposedly stylish action that doesn't convince in the slightest -- not to mention the surreal, Miike-aping finale that feels tacked on out of sheer creative resignation. But what's most frightening is the complete absence of any of Im's old verve, which managed to make even simple sitdown monologues feel like politically-charged, thinly-veiled tirades against the (real) decadence that surrounded him.

With this kind of wannabe trash, all that Im is achieving is a Fat Elvis moment. Which, when you think of everything Im could have become by now (at home and abroad), is pretty sad.

ACTING GRADES

64 김응수 (Kim Eung-Soo)
60 류승범 (Ryu Seung-Beom)
60 류현경 (Ryu Hyun-Kyung)
60 김형규 (Kim Hyung-Gyu)
58 정원중 (Jung Won-Joong)
55 김주혁 (Kim Joo-Hyuk)
51 고준희 (Go Joon-Hee)
50 양익준 (Yang Ik-Joon)
47 Sam Okyere

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