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||IMDB Rating: 6.5/10 from votes
||Release: 26 June 2008 (South Korea) /
||Genre: Action, Comedy, Romance
||Director: Jae-young Kwak,
||Stars: Dion Lam, Geon Yu, Ho-bin Jeong, Jae-Sung Choi, Ji-su Lee, Ju-wan On, Min-a Shin, Tae-hyun Cha, Ye-jin Lim
||Synopsis: A beautiful martial arts prodigy becomes a ruthless warrior to guard the world against the evil spell.
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Korean writer-director Kwak Jae-young seems to have a knack or a
preference to craft romantic comedies for the mass market, and so far
have been delivering hits like My Sassy Girl, to my recent personal
favourite of his with Cyborg, She. Strong female characters up against
wimpy men also becomes staple in his stories, together with some
touching, bittersweet moments that work their way into the plot.
However, I'm more inclined to say that My Mighty Princess rates
slightly above the disastrous Japanese movie Shaolin Girl, both of
which feature female characters gifted in the field of martial arts,
exploiting their skills in daily life, as well as in sports, coupled
with special effects and elaborate wire work (here courtesy of stunt
people from Hong Kong). But while Shaolin Girl suffered from a
self-destructive storyline, My Mighty Princess fared better, but still
had too much squeezed into it and became quite incoherent,
flip-flopping from one subplot to the next
It had identifiable elements from movies like Kung Fu Hustle (the
meeting of the martial arts masters where they demonstrate their
distinct skills), Shaolin Soccer (for the dexterity of Kung Fu used in
sportS), and even borrowed the legendary weapon from Crouching Tiger
Hidden Dragon with its Green Destiny Sword, complete with weapon
nuances. Granted though its duality, in being a martial arts movie with
swordsmen and swordswomen roaming Korea, served as a highlight, but
somehow the gel wasn't done correctly, and it seemed like two movies
spliced side by side.
Kung Fu aside, the romantic plots here also turn out to be quite messy.
We have teenager and heroine Sohwi (Shin Min-A) in love with hunky
Junmo (GUn), a hockey player in school, and mean biker. However, this
infatuation is only one sided, because Junmo happens to have the hots
for, check this out, older women in uniform. Though there was a very
short explanation for this, it's one of those blink and you miss
moments inserted through flashback, that might leave you quite
perplexed should you not be able to connect the dots properly.
Then you have Ilyong (On Ju-wan) who is a childhood friend from the
same brotherhood/fraternity of martial artists as Sohwi. Being the two
youngest and most promising of their cohort, their curiosity one night
will spark perhaps one of the rare moments where you actually start to
feel for these two characters, outside of their slapstick like, and
rather blah moments, where they get to exercise their skills. Cliché
after cliché get pounded on the screen, to a point where you can be a
step ahead in guessing what would happen next.
The opportunity for redemption came at the last act, which played on
the notion of having to subdue someone you love, and forced by
conscious circumstances to do so. Being also of a martial arts genre,
you'll know what theme will be tapped on as well in order to end the
movie. But execution wise was quite clumsy, with repetitive scenes of
the same thing - dialogue, fighting moves, and effects, that it quickly
became a bore, and threw all opportunity for a powerful emotional core
away in a flash, which was quite a pity.
It seemed that Kwak lacked the courage to have ended this movie in a
dark manner, and lapsed into unnecessary fluff that made it all look
very cartoony. Then again, this movie was probably not meant to be
taken seriously to begin with, and I was expecting too much. But
knowing what Kwak Jae-young is capable of, perhaps my expectation was
justified, though I should stick to his Japanese effort, and as I
mentioned one of my personal favourites, for the time being.
Tags for Mu-rim-yeo-dae-saeng Full Movie
, Geon Yu
, Ho-bin Jeong
, Jae-Sung Choi
, Ji-su Lee
, Ju-wan On
, Min-a Shin
, Tae-hyun Cha
, Ye-jin Lim
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