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Depicts the assassination attempt of King Gojong - the 26th king of the Joseon Dynasty. Set towards the end of the 19th century, when coffee was first introduced to Korea, Russian sharpshooter Ilyich and Joseon's first barista Tanya are manipulated by Japanese officer Sadako into an elaborate plan to assassinate King Gojong. Tanya and Ilyich are lovers who work together in Russian swindling gold and coffee from their unsuspecting victims. The duo are captured by Russian soldiers and eventually handed over to Japanese officer Sadoko. Sadako then recruits Ilyich and Tanya into operation "Gabi". The goal is to assassinate Korea's Emperor Gojong. The penalty for their failure is death. Meanwhile, King Gojong hides out on the premises of a Russian legation after his wife is killed by Japanese assassins. King Gojong works on staging the future Korean Empire. Written by
Stanislav S, Sochi, Russia
This movie is basically operation coffee. Well it's something much more but it has quite a bit to do with the fragrance of coffee. Now a days people in Korea or just about anywhere in the world can get coffee pretty darn easily. But that wasn't the case during the Joseon Dynasty era. In fact it was a very rare commodity. And this movie brews with fragrance and taste of coffee with a lot of spy elements thrown in. Joo Jin Mo is once again playing the charismatic character like he always does and this time a guy named Illichi. Joo Jin Mo acts charismatic like he always does but it's just the exterior and lacks substance. Kim So-Yeon's character Danya is the only character that has some development. Because it shows how here perspective and thoughts change as the story progresses. Joo Jin Mo's character is once again another guy who falls head over heels for a girl and does whatever it takes to save her life. And in this case for Danya. To stay as the Korean heartthrob actor I assume. So when it comes to the story both characters has a dark past they were both part of. And after escaping they live kinda like Bonnie and Clyde except they rob coffee beans from Japanese cargo. Until they get caught by the Japanese army and forced to work for them on a mission or face death. And the mission is to take down the Joseon army and it's Emperor Gojong. Danya's mission is to seduce and win the Emperor's trust and poison him with coffee. Which is the perfect drink to poison because it's bitter taste makes it difficult to tell if poison is in it. Never been a fan of Kim So-Yeon but her elegant and sharp appearance makes her fit this role. And Illichi mission is to find out about the transaction of weapons between Joseon and Russians. Also how it's done and put a stop to it. So it must be a difficult decision to betray your own country to protect the woman you love. The constant talk of coffee in this movie made me crave it. But I couldn't help but think how over exaggerated it is in some scenes on how coffee is made and about the fragrance. But when marketing coffee Danya would be the perfect candidate. The thing about this movie is, is that it's a forgetful flick that doesn't really leave anything behind. It felt like watching a short drama instead of a movie sometimes. Maybe because of the major budget cut but it felt like watching a drama a expensive drama but still a drama. I rarely say this but a bit of a bigger budget and cinematography would have made this movie better. Since the action scenes are crafted into this movie well, so if it was a bit bigger. Especially the climax scene it would have been a upgrade. There is quite a bit of stuff going on when it comes to the story but it goes in a very narrow spy direction where a character disguise herself to carry out her mission kinda deal. It just felt very generic at times and doesn't leave hardly any impression or tension. The climax has a bit of excitement but it ends very quickly so I couldn't get any impact from it or feel sad for the characters. It felt like they were running out of budget money so they wanted to wrap it up as quick as possible. It was like bang! And that is how it goes, the end kinda deal. It was just too quick to pull any emotion out of. This is worth a watch but it's nothing special and a easily forgettable spy action movie with a decent story but poor execution. Yoo-Sun is also in this as Sadako. A Korean that is working for the Japanese high official because she feels betrayed by the Koreans. Because her own father sold her off. She could have been a interesting character but doesn't add much to the story.
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