Jung-jae Lee is a wonderful actor with a very expressionistic face. He plays Thunder as a reluctant leader who doesn't think before he speaks. Although he's a great fighter, trash talking is about ninety percent of his game. "Don't call Big Gun, Man-deuk," Thunder is told, "or there will be bloodshed." At a meeting of the crime bosses, Thunder drops Man-deuk's name, not once but twice. Suk-hoon Kim is stellar as the flamboyant Man-deuk and his comedy is a terrific foil to Jung-jae Lee's performance. Not least of all Ok-bin Kim, as Dishy, steals nearly every scene that she's in and her performance runs the dramatic range, from sexy to funny to quiet to sad. She performs a dance at the crime boss meeting where she dips her soles in paint and steps on to a white tarp. With lithe, balletic movements, her dance is beautiful to watch, and the painting it produces is beautiful as well. The Accidental Gangster and the Mistaken Courtesan is a light film. Although, there is some bloodshed towards the end, it's overall very funny and exciting. Accidental Gangster is sentimental, escapist cinema, which is always welcome. The visuals are incredible: Kyun-dong Yeo's film is totally slick and well-paced. The few fight scenes are brilliant, especially the fight at the end (two guesses and you'll know the participants). I thought this film was total fun and pure popcorn.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Kyun-dong Yeo's The Accidental Gangster and the Mistaken Courtesan (2008)
Kyun-dong Yeo's The Accidental Gangster and the Mistaken Courtesan (2008) is set in 1724, based upon an actual event. The film is about Thunder (Jung-jae Lee), a layabout fighter, past his prime, residing in a local brothel. Thunder is immediately besmirched by Dishy (Ok-bin Kim) (as in dish washing, Thunder's given nickname), a beautiful and sassy courtesan. Dishy's time with Thunder is brief: her real destination is with local crime boss, Man-deuk (Suk-hoon Kim), but it's too late for Thunder. Mistake or not, he's not forgetting about her. Man-deuk's rival crime boss, Odd Ears, arrives in the area and challenges Thunder to a fight. Thunder may be crude and absent-minded but he's a helluva street brawler and wins. Now Thunder's journey begins: become the new crime boss, bring down Man-deuk, and win the heart of Dishy. Lickety-split.