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Thread: Older Sister

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  2. #2
    I'll make an effort to see it if & when it opens up in my area. A female revenge action flick ala THE VILLAINESS, A SPECIAL LADY, etc is always on my radar. Another flick I'm definitely going to check out is the Ha Jung-woo action vehicle (he also produced), TAKE POINT. Lee Sun-kyun is in this also and he's generally pretty good Damn, Malik Yoba is in this too? The last time I've ever watched a movie with him in it was Wayne Wang's SMOKE back in the 90s. I know this is opening up next week at my local Korean cinema. Looks like crap but who knows? Maybe I'll eat my words.

    "only the simplest can accommodate the most complex"

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    Ok, I am eating my words as I went to check out TAKE POINT aka PMC: THE BUNKER last night. I recommend this flick to all action fans with a few caveats. The first one being I was very disappointed that English subs were not available for the spoken Korean dialog. Ok, most of the flick's dialog is English but the second half has quite a bit of Korean dialog between Ha Jung-woo and Lee Sun-kyun, which thankfully to my rudimentary understanding of Korean, I could make out 90% of it and wasn't left completely in the dark. If this gets a proper international release, CJ Ent needs to sub those parts. The other caveat is the rather heavy handed (often ham fisted) approach by the director to critique the realpolitik regarding the North Korean situation and the current political climate in the US especially in regards to immigration policy and although the story takes place 6 years in the future, the onscreen President is basically a surrogate for the Orangeman himself.

    With those caveats out of the way, the rest was pretty entertaining particularly in regards to the tension and action aspects. There is quite a bit of kinetic and frenetic gunplay with the usual herky jerky handicam footage and the claustrophobic atmosphere of the bunker lends a certain feel to the movie which engages and envelopes the viewer into the action. The highlight was the race against time to save the Supreme Leader's life and the developing uneasy truce between Ha Jung-woo's mercenary character and Lee Sun-kyun as the North Korean head doctor. Speaking of Lee Sun-kyun, he really was the most effective in terms of pure acting ability. I felt Ha Jung-woo was handicapped by his having to deliver his lines in two different languages. I give him credit for attempting to speak colloquial English but his pronunciation was off and I really need subs to fully understand his lines. Strange because I felt his English was better in the 2007 film (NEVER FOREVER) where he carries on a torrid affair with Vera Farmiga -- maybe he let it get rusty?

    Another highlight was the ending parachute sequence was fantastic. It's quite a stretch that Ha Jung-woo's character would have to relive the source of his original trauma (his character name is Captain Ahab, so yes, you can guess the Moby Dick references come into play) but putting aside that ridiculous premise, the visuals and audio of that scene was great. The rest of the 'foreign' cast was rather nondescript as mercenaries in Ha Jung-woo's team but Malik Yoba caught my eye the most. He played up his West African character with the accent and he came across as the most 'humane' and likable of the bunch. The newbie of the private military group, some fresh faced mid western kid (played by Spencer Daniels from THE OFFICE) was supposed to garner audience sympathy but I felt his acting was sub par and his character was just unnecessary. In fact, this whole movie would've been better if it exclusively featured Ha Jung-woo/Lee Sun-kyun in a traditional Korean film without the Western actors and US themed storyline but I take it the director/producer had ambitions to market this as an international film as opposed to a strictly Asian audience.

    "only the simplest can accommodate the most complex"


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