The other night I was lucky enough to get into the Korean Movie night screening of the giant Korean blockbuster,Pirates. (I’ve learned my lesson from not getting into Roaring Waters, and park my butt in line waaaay before the movie starts.) As the effusive host leaped to the front, he proclaimed we should check our brains at the door.
You know. In a good way.
As I was watching the movie, there were several times when my logical brain tried to fight it’s way to the top, through the laughter, when the first seeds of “Uhhh what the…” attempted to bubble through–but each time I managed to beat it back and remind myself–you know what? Sometimes it’s okay to turn your brain down for a couple of hours and just have a good time.
And Pirates was a freaking good time. A laugh your ass off sort of time. The sort of time that, if this were in a real theater, I’d consider leaving the darkened theater, go directly back to the ticket counter and purchase another ticket for the very next show. Or at least I would have thought about it.
NYC theaters are just too expensive for such shenanigans though.
I am happy to find out that Amber was right when she requested Kim Nam Gil to be a Khottie of the Week. She said that despite the creepy facial hair, if you actually give him a chance and watch him act, he is amazing. In this role, the creepy facial hair wasn’t so creepy, and his mad skills as an actor, flipping easily from over the top, laugh out loud comedian, to slick action star, with a touch of broody angst. I think it was his performance which pulled these aspects of the film together, moreso than the writer who, clumsily, created the character and attempted to give him layers.
I loved the heroine in the kick butt queen of the pirates, Yeo Wol. Throughout the movie, I kept trying to place where I’d seen the actress before, but it wasn’t until after that we found out it was from one of my favorite movies,Chilling Romance. While I did really like her character, the killer action, and the fact that without question, this woman had fought her way to the top and she deserved all of the loyalty her crew showed her, the actress herself was a little flat. And after realizing she was the girl from Chilling Romance, I totally see the same acting style in both parts–the flatness fit a little better with the Chilling Romance character.
The plot was there merely for the sake of having a plot, but if you look too closely at it, the holes become glaringly evident. Like, why was this guy after Jang Sa Jung (Kim Nam Gil)? First off, how did he survive their batter at the beginning of the movie, but then why was he found later, in the dungeon, on the bad side of the king? During the fight with Jang Sa Jung he was clearly on the kings side. How did he fall from trusted military leader to being tortured by his own people?
Why would he only send one boat after the whale? Its not like he told Yeo Wol and her crew, the only boat he contacted, why he wanted the whale. Besides, later when it’s revealed when the former pirate captain is not only not dead, but has apparently become a bad-ass pirate again with a new crew, and he was cohorts with the guy sent after the whale who ate the royal seal, why wouldn’t he have just had the pirate go after the whale? You know, work with the people you are already in league with? It doesn’t make sense. And besides, how would the pirate actually know who the man was? Less than 10 days ago, the man was being tortured in a dungeon.
*Sorry I keep refering to him as man–I can’t figure out what his name was.
Since we brought it up, lets get back to the whale. You know, the one who ate the seal, and is now being hunted by the pirates, the bandits, and the one governmental whale hunter. If you say, ‘what the?’ Yeah, that’s pretty much what I said. Is it really that easy to find a whale? Or should I say, the same whale? And then giving the whale and the pirate queen an extensive history (yeah, I said extensive) was fairly unnecessary. That’s time that could have been spent bolstering Yeo Wol’s back story. Or Jang Sa Jung’s back story. Or really anything else.
While I was, of course hoping for a little romance between the super capable queen of the pirates and the not-so-capable leader of the bandits, as I realized partway through I’ve never seen a romance at Korean Movie Night, when it did happen, it was rushed, with Jang Sa Jung burning from a case of almost insta-love.
However, the scenes of them stuck alone on the island made me pretty much die in laughter, so I’ll let it slide.
Actually, this is one of those movies where I let pretty much everything slide. It made me laugh really hard and it made me (I’m embarrassed to admit) cry. I’m not sure when I’ve had such a good time at the theater. So, I don’t care about the plot points, it makes me happy, so I’m going to recommend it to everyone.
If you’re lucky enough to have in in a theater near-ish you, go see it, but if you can’t, check it out as soon as it becomes available online. This may be one you can even get your non-Korean loving friends to see.