스물 (Twenty)

스물 (Twenty)

An M Tree Pictures/iHQ Production
Distribution: Next Entertainment World
Rating: 15 and Over
Genre: Comedy
Running Time: 115 Min
Shooting Time: 2014/Jul/28~Nov/08
Release: 2015/Mar/25

WITH 김우빈 (Kim Woo-Bin) as Chi-Ho; 준호 (Joon Ho) as Dong-Woo; 강하늘 (Kang Ha-Neul) as Gyeong-Jae; 정소민 (Jung So-Min) as So-Min; 이유비 (Lee Yoo-Bi) as So-Hee; 민효린 (Min Hyo-Rin) as Jin-Joo; 정주연 (Jung Joo-Yeon) as Eun-Hye; 김의성 (Kim Eui-Seong) as Chi-Ho's Father; 민지 (Min Ji) as Chi-Ho's Date; 박명신 (Park Myeong-Shin) as Chi-Ho's Mother; 

CREW Director 이병현 (Lee Byeong-Hyeon) Executive Producer 임지문 (Im Ji-Moon) | Screenplay 이병현 (Lee Byeong-Hyeon) | Director of Photography 노승보 (Noh Seung-Bo) Lighting 이병훈 (Lee Byung-Hoon) Editor 남나영 (Nam Na-Young) Music 김태성 (Kim Tae-Seong) Art Direction 채경선 (Chae Gyeong-Seon) Costumes 한혜숙 (Han Hye-Sook) Action Choreography 권승구 (Kwon Seung-Gu) Assistant Director 김혜영 (Kim Hye-Young)

BOX OFFICE
KOFIC Nationwide
TOTAL REVENUE: 23,549,144,186 Won
TOTAL ADMISSIONS: 3,042,504
BUDGET: 3,000,000,000 Won

Photo ⓒ M Tree Pictures, iHQ, NEW

SYNOPSIS

Chi-ho, Kyung-jae and Dong-woo are high school friends. Chi-ho is a player who's only interested in seducing women. Kyung-jae is a top student who becomes extremely shy when he's in the presence of women. Lastly, Dong-woo wants to become a cartoonist but struggles with the pressures of reality. The story begins after the three graduate from high school. [KoBiz]

IN SHORT

When you see promising indie directors cross over into the commercial sphere of Chungmuro you're always facing the same dilemma – which more than having anything to do with the old “punk rock band turns mainstream” straw argument mostly concerns the assumption that producers will constrain his creativity every step of the way. But while he's always been rather edgy, it would be a bit misleading to consider Lee Byung-Heon (the director, not the star) indie, since he adapted both of Kang Hyeong-Cheol's first two feature films, not exactly a very “underground” endeavor. It's just that his feature debut – the mockumentary 힘내세요, 병현씨 (Cheer Up Mr. Lee) – had such zany energy and confidence in its means that you were bound to expect something different for his commercial debut. Something that didn't smell of the usual case of a major grabbing a fresh young director from the indies who will be begging for attention, and having him play the talented yesman for their project film. With star vehicle-friendly faces like Kim Woo-Bin and Kang Ha-Neul (not to mention all the ladies), it was a realistic concern.

Sure enough, you can see a subtle layer of external pressure on everything Lee does here, although thankfully his flair still manages to transpire. If at the beginning the film seems to be an evolution of the sexy comedies of the early 00s – think 몽정기 (Wet Dreams) more than 색즉시공 (Sex of Zero), albeit with a little more class and mostly devoid of the toilet humour that filled those films – as the story goes by you notice that Lee is trying something interesting with this story: conveying that sense of directionless hope that characterizes most people's twenties. It's an interesting approach, but it soon derails the film to a degree -- exactly because that narrative limbo never really comes to any kind of coherent closure. It's just a seemingly endless collection of gags (some of which work wonderfully), moments of inspired storytelling that generally lead nowhere, and uneven performances.

I hesitate to group Kim Woo-Bin in the same category as the Lee Min-Ho of the world: he's still a “charming stiff” and little more, although there are some moments of playful mugging for the camera that suggest he just needs to meet the right project to rid himself of the “baby fat” his performances are saddled with. But he's still an interesting question mark for the moment, as if he were this generation's Jang Dong-Gun: the limitations are obvious, but it's a bit harder to dismiss him as an actor than for other peers of his.

As for director Lee, hopefully the success of his first commercial feature will help him get a bit more creative leeway in his next project, although expecting the feats of his indie work would be a bit unrealistic. Not a bad film by any means, but severely underdeveloped, and decidedly lacking that indie vibe that made Lee's previous work feel so fresh.

misaeng

ACTING GRADES

66 김의성 (Kim Eui-Seong)
65 정주연 (Jung Joo-Yeon)
64 박명신 (Park Myeong-Shin)
63 김우빈 (Kim Woo-Bin)
61 민지 (Min Ji)
61 강하늘 (Kang Ha-Neul)
61 정소민 (Jung So-Min)
60 준호 (Joon Ho)
60 이유비 (Lee Yoo-Bi)
58 민효린 (Min Hyo-Rin)

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~ Last Update: 2015/05/07