Assassination (2015)

Movie: Assassination (암살)
Release Date: July 22, 2015
Runtime: 139 min.
Genre: Action / Period-1930 / Best Film-Movie of the Year
Distributor: Showbox
Language: Korean
Country: South Korea

Main Cast:
Jun Ji Hyun – Ahn Okyun /Mitsuki
Lee Jung Jae – Captain Yeom
Ha Jung Woo – Hawaii Pistol
Cho Jin Woong – Soksapo
Choi Deok Mun – Duksam
Oh Dalsu – Younggam
Lee Kyung Hyung – Kang Inguk
Park Byung Eun – Kawaguchi
Cho Seung Woo – Kim Wonbong

It was Jun Jihyun’s birthday a few days ago so I thought of watching this old movie of hers.

The story is about a secret mission to assassinate 2 important people who favored the Japanese. And several factions try to outmaneuver each other to either prevent or succeed in the mission.

The movie is quite long at more than 2 hours but I wasn’t bored!! The story is a little complicated because there were too many characters so I had to slowly watch to understand what was going on. It had lots of action, and double crossing, and deaths, and even managed to put in a little romance. The meet-cute at Hotel Mirabeau between Okyun and Hawaii Pistol is 😍

The main lead is Jun Jihyun and the men were great support, esp Ha Jung Woo who sometimes stole the scenes. And I finally watched JJ’s famous court scene that is always reenacted in shows.

Rating: 9/10

Sisyphus: The Myth (2021)

Drama: Sisyphus: The Myth (시지프스)
Network: JTBC
Episodes: 16
Release Date: February 17 – April 8, 2021
Runtime: Wed. & Thu. 21:00

A young female from the future goes back to modern time Seoul to protect a genius engineer from enemies who won’t stop at nothing to get his time travel machine. They work together to try to change the future and to prevent the destruction of Seoul.

Main Cast:
Cho Seung Woo – Han Tae Sul
Park Shin Hye – Gang Seo Hae
Tae In Ho – Eddy Kim
Jung Hye In – Kim Seo Jin
Heo Joon Seok – Han Tae San
Kim Byung Chul – Sigma
Choi Jung Woo – Hwang Hyun Seung
Sung Dong Il – CEO Park
Chae Jong Hyeop – Choi Jae Sun

I really liked the first half. The premise was so interesting, the visuals were flashy and story was action packed. The middle (around ep 8-10) dragged because the story focused on the budding romance between Taesul and Seohae and it felt like nothing was happening. Then after that, the story stopped making sense. Probably the reason why I didn’t stop halfway through because I love Taesul and Seohae as a pair. I’m not exactly rooting for their romance (Park Shinhye still can’t kiss well on screen) but I loved them together, as friends, as comrades. And Taesul always has great ideas, like he makes the world as his own science experiment! haha. He may not be good at fighting or guns (that’s why I love badass Seohae), but he is so smart and plans ahead. But just like the story lost focus in the latter episodes, I thought Taesul’s actions also started getting conflicted when he fell in love with Seohae. He kept choosing the girl vs the world. Or as my cousin says, he tries choosing both because humans are greedy, but in the end, we know that we can’t have it all.

Another story line that I loved was the relationship between Seohae and her dad, both in the future and current time. As early as episode 1, we see future Seohae and her dad navigating the future bleak Seoul and we only find out the whole story and how it links to when Seohae first arrived in current Seoul in the last 2 episodes. While the parallel story was interesting, i felt that it was revealed too late and it didn’t have as much impact to me. Or maybe because I just want the drama to end and put me out of my misery. *spoiler* Still doesn’t make sense to find out it was Taesul who built their shelter all along. That reveal came out of nowhere and didn’t make sense to me considering the timing of the events.

Okay, Taesan and Taesul’s bromance was sad. Time and time again Taesan protected his brother and Taesul ignored him when he got rich. That part when Taesan gave him the injection so Taesul can go back while he remains stuck in that dreamland made me cry buckets of tears. Made me wonder if Taesul invented the time machine, why didn’t he get on it to save his brother? Is it because he died before he can do it? Oh no, i’m getting confused again!

I also liked Park’s story and the Asia Mart team. At first I thought Park was that annoying character that won’t stop bothering the main leads, but turns out he was one of the most pivotal allies that Taesul can have. We also get a reveal of Park’s story, which is that he was the one sending money to his current wife, which actually made the current Park furious and beat his wife (the irony of it!). What I didn’t understand is in the end, he didn’t have any regrets anymore so he should no longer exist in the future right (and we see him glitching but he never actually disappeared because later on, he was back to his normal self helping Taesul). I didn’t want to overanalyze anymore because the story is already crazy by this time.

Now on to my rants — I have so many questions and not enough answers!! First off, in most kdramas, they at least explain the time travel rules in the first few episodes and slowly reveal the twists. But this drama decided not to explain anything, except for people being able to travel back using the uploader and downloader. I guess the writers assume we understand the rules. My biggest confusion is when did the time loop started and who started it? Is it Sigma? Is he the first one to ever time travel? But how did he know about the time travel from Taesul? And how come he doesn’t remember anything? Is it because his old self died so his memories were gone? And how long has this been going on? I’ve lost count of how many possible Seohae has come and go, as well as the bureau that kept running after them.

Second biggest rant — Sigma as a villain is too lame. I think the actor tried to look as sinister and villan-y as he can, but his reasons are not enough to blow up Korea in that big scale. he just looked like a loser who is complaining of just wanted some love. If we had known that all it takes is for someone to pat him in the back and ask him if he’s alright (like what Seohae’s dad did), then the whole thing wouldn’t have happened in the first place. I thought he was a psycho like when he was a kid, he was angry at his dad beating him so we blew up their house, but seems like he just wanted to be noticed. Similarly, Eddy as the last minute bad guy felt forced, like you think the story is over? Nope, let’s make Eddy the bad guy this time and let Taesul suffer again. I get what they’re saying though. That no mater what happens, there will always be someone who wants Taesul’s time maching. But really? Taesul being a genius and all he can think of is sacrificing himself? That’s like a coward’s way out. His final decision just wasted everyone’s efforts of trying to keep him alive and change the future (and our 16 hours of watching and hoping the ending is fantastic).

There are also lots of unnecessary or wasted characters like Jaesun — instead of just being the guy that keeps sticking to Seohae’s side like an unwanted admirer, I was hoping he has more purpose to the story, but he seems to just be there when Seohae needs to be rescued. And also that guy that keeps chasing after Seohae — i have zero interest in this story because his anger at Seohae is so unwarranted. I thought that part where Seohae told him off that he is angry at himself and it’s the guilt that is eating him up inside will make him stop and be Seohae’s ally. But it seems like nothing happened and he just kept pursuing Seohae even in the end.

Watch at your own risk!

Rating: 7/10