A reverse comedy that tells the story of a perfectionist assassin who falls and hits his head in a sauna, giving him amnesia. When a down-and-out actor switches locker keys with him, they ...
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A troubled ex-cop is imprisoned for a hit-and-run accident. He discovers that the entire penitentiary is controlled by an inmate who has been running a crime syndicate with the help of the warden and guards which provides them 100% alibi.
Hyun-Woo, who is the sole witness to the murder of a taxi driver, is accused of committing the crime and persecuted and prosecuted. He is sentenced to a sentence of ten years. An ... See full summary »
Doo-Sik (Jo Jung-suk) gets paroled from prison thanks to his younger brother (Do Kyung-Soo) Doo-Young. Doo-Young is a promising judo athlete. After 15 years, Doo-Sik (Jo Jung-suk) suddenly ... See full summary »
A reverse comedy that tells the story of a perfectionist assassin who falls and hits his head in a sauna, giving him amnesia. When a down-and-out actor switches locker keys with him, they switch lives until the hit-man, who soon becomes an action hero on TV, starts to remember things.
The 'Body Switch' genre in which two very different characters swap identities is very common in American cinema. If you aren't familiar then think of any film from the eighties, where Tom Hanks played an adult with the mind of a teenager in Big. Or Freaky Friday, The Parent Trap, 17 Again
It seems that South Korean directors love the genre too. So much so that there has been a spate of films where a character takes on the physical identity of someone else, for comic or dramatic effect. (Some recent examples: The Beauty Inside (2015), Masquerade (2012), and Miss Granny (2014). This was pointed out during the recent Korean Cinema conference. My guess is that in a society based on strict Confucian rules, individuality is not desired, so people long to escape these narrow confines and to be someone else. So when a down and out actor takes a suave hit-man's locker key in a bath-house, we're all set for a hilarious comedy where the lives are reversed: the loser (Jaesing) becomes the hit-man and the hit-man (Hyung-wook) starts living the life of the struggling actor who is behind with the rent on his sad-sack loft apartment.
After waking up from his concussion, Hyung-wook is too poor to pay for his medical treatment and has to borrow money from the kindly Rina (Yun-hie Jo), who works as a TV agent. He moves into Jaesing's trash filled apartment. Meanwhile, newly rich Jaesing soon pays off his debts and lives the high life in a luxury penthouse where he discovers a stash of weapons as well as a surveillance camera which is fixed 24 hours on an attractive woman in the apartment above.
The hit man soon endears himself to Rina and her family, and when he starts working at her mother's snack bar he wows the customers with his astonishing knife play. What's funny here is that the tough guy can't understand where he picked up these skills, or how he is able to put his new neighbour in a headlock and throw him to the ground when he tries to start a fight. Whenever someone asks his age he can't keep a straight face, because he looks so much older. Haejin has a wonderfully expressive face: whenever he is told to smile he looks as though he is about to dispatch his next victim.
When he discovers that Jae-sing is an actor (usually as an extra in TV melodramas), he goes to the set and soon impresses the director with his realistic fighting ability. He becomes better at acting than his predecessor, moving from one-line parts to becoming the lead in a corny television drama that ends each episode with ridiculous cliffhangers (if you have ever watched a Korean TV drama, you will know what I mean).
I went in to this film not knowing anything about the story or with any expectations and when I finished watching I was pleasantly surprised. With so much advance hype and spoilers being regularly leaked, its possible to watch a film with no surprises or real excitement. That's a shame, and a good reason to watch international cinema more often.
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