Hit and Run Squad (2019)

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Movie: Hit-and-Run Squad (뺑반)
Release Date: January 30, 2019
Runtime: 133 min.
Genre: Crime / Action
Distributor: Showbox
Language: Korean
Country: South Korea

Main Cast
Gong Hyo Jin – Eun Siyeon
Ryu Jun Yeol – Seo Min Jae
Jo Jung Seok – Jung Jae Cheol
Jeon Hye Jin – Woo Sun Young
Yum Jung Ah – Yoo Ji Hyun
Lee Sung Min – Jung Jae
Son Suk Gu – Ki Tae Ho

Review:
This movie is about a police team in-charge of hit and run accidents. One of the cases involves an arrogant race car driver avoiding arrest and lying about the hit and run incident a few months ago which later turns out to be much more – bribery, death, betrayal. But our squad is staking their lives to catch him before he flees the country.

I think the real star of this movie is Ryu Jun Yeol’s character Minjae who at first looked like an eccentric cop with good instincts but once we find out more about his past, we realize he isn’t as clueless as he seems. I love his relationship with his dad and the ambulance scene was 😭😭😭.

I’m not used to seeing Jo Jung Suk as the bad guy but he kind of has that scary look on his face when he tries to threaten Siyeon or Minjae. There were two scenes which I think were inspired by fast and the furious when Jaecheol was running after Minjae and Siyeon.

I was expecting more of Gong Hyojin’s character Siyeon but she didnt do much. I liked her with Taeho, i’m happy he didn’t die. That twist with her boss was unexpected but was so sudden it didnt really had much impact.

The ending also felt incomplete. So what happened to the boss? Is there a sequel? Kim Go Eun’s character is only a cameo? The police commissioner’s accident is he dead?

Rating: 8/10

Ashfall (2019)

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Movie: Ashfall (백두산)
Release Date: December 19, 2019
Distributor: CJ Entertainment
Language: Korean
Country: South Korea

Plot
Mt Baekdu erupted, causing massive earthquake in Seoul. A team tries to retrieve the nuclear bomb with the help of a NK spy to prevent Mt Baekdu from further erupting.

Main Cast
Ha Jung Woo – Jo In Chang
Lee Byung Hun – Lee Jun Pyeong
Ma Dong Seok – Kang Bong Rae
Jeon Hye Jin – Jeon Yoo Kyung
Bae Suzy – Choi Ji Young

Review
My 4th Ha Jung Woo movie this month 😊

This movie felt like two movies combined into one. It starts with a disaster movie, where Mt Baekdu erupted and the resulting earthquake severely impacted Seoul and North Korea. And a team was dispatched to steal a detonator from NK and to place it in one of the mines in Mt Baekdu to diffuse the pressure and prevent an even massive eruption.

The SK team met the NK spy who made their mission difficult by double dealing with the Chinese to bring the detonator of the nuclear bomb and somehow the US army found out about it and the movie became a spy thriller.

Great effects although the earthquake was too severe to be realistic. I love the tandem of Lee Byung Hun and Ha Jung Woo. Their fights were intense as they tried to outsmart the other but they worked best as a team. I was also laughing out loud at some of their scenes. Would love to see them in a proper action comedy flick again. It’s my first time seeing Ha Jung Woo in this kind of role since he always plays roles where he is just so good and smart at everything, so it was nice seeing him fumble and be funny. Of course by end of the movie he was able to solve everything!

Suzy as his wife i think didn’t really have a lot of scenes and was just there to provide some emotional reason for the captain to come back alive. The professor who thought of the most harebrained idea of detonating Mt Baekdu also had a side story which I also liked.

Overall I would say this is more of a spy thriller under the guise of a disaster movie. The plot is unrealistic but still fun to watch.

Rating: 8/10

Misty (2018)

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Drama: Misty (미스티)
Network: JTBC
Episodes: 16
Release Date: February 2 – March 24, 2018
Runtime: Friday & Saturday 23:00
Language: Korean
Country: South Korea

Plot
A story of the life and loves of a popular anchorwoman – how far will she go to reach the top and the many men who are willing to do anything for her (even in death), and her enemies who are willing to do anything to bring her down.

Main Cast
Kim Nam Joo – Go Hye Ran
Ji Jin Hee – Kang Tae Wook
Jeon Hye Jin – Seo Eun Joo
Im Tae Kyung – Ha Myung Woo
Go Joon – Kevin Lee

Review
After watching the last episode, I know why they called this Misty, but I think “Misery” is more appropriate and probably how I can describe this drama. I would also describe this as Tragic but it doesn’t sound as good as Misery.

What I loved the most (and really the reason I couldn’t stop watching) is hands down the twisted relationship between Go Hye Ran and Kang Tae wook! Their palpable chemistry whenever they’re on screen. The way they look at each other was so full of sexual tension. And most especially, Kang Tae Wook’s angsty eyes were so sexy yet so sad. After 7 years of pain, and all the difficult things they went through to get to each other, I just wanted them to live happy ever after.

Ji Jinhee just went straight to my oppa collection. OMG! I cant believe i’ve been sleeping on him for years!! (Most probably because his dramas weren’t my cup of tea, but now I’m looking forward to his succeeding dramas).

Go Hye Ran is one of those amazing female characters in Kdramaland. She is so powerful and successful. I loved what Han Ji won said to her, “I dont know about respect, but I know Go Hye Ran always win.” She is not the nicest female character, but you will empathize with her in some way, that’s why despite the tv station being scared of her, when she retired, you can see the admiration in everyone’s eyes, and how much they loved her.

Oh I can’t not mention the fashion. Go Hye Ran’s pantsuits and her different shades of lipsticks screams powerful and sexy. Kang Tae Wook’s gorgeous coats and turtlenecks made him more mysterious and protective.

Director Jang! I normally hate all the characters that Lee Gyun Yeong plays but this time he was amazing! One minute, I’m scared he will throw Hye Ran under the bus, but the next minute, he is all bad-ass, defending her and the reputation of journalists. I really wish that media people are like him. Not manipulating the news for their own (and some powerful corporation’s) interests, but also not withholding the truth from the people. Like he said, FACTS. Give the facts, let the people decide / interpret.

The whole murder-Kevin Lee affair at the start got me so hooked with the story. It was short but Go Joon nailed the playboy Kevin Lee. It was fun to think of who killed Kevin, how and why. About halfway, I was already dreading the truth after I was eliminating each suspect from my mind. I was right — but I didn’t want to be right!!! I also hated Kevin Lee’s wife!!! It’s not Hye Ran’s fault she is amazing, but for Eun Joo to keep insisting she killed Kevin without enough evidence was both infuriating (I wanted to scratch her eyes out for hurting Hye Ran) and pathetic (Eun Joo also led a sad life, but she made her own choices, she knew Kevin’s infidelity, she lost her baby through her negligence, she should just move on and forward).

The downside of this drama is the way the writer handled the murder investigation. For one, I disliked the super incompetent Detective Kang. I can’t believe he has worked as a detective for 20 years and arrests people based on bias and circumstantial evidence. Second, the trial was a big mess. Third, the prosecutors were too dumb. I loved it when Taewook’s assistant shouted at Kang to do his job properly. Like, finally, someone told him what all the viewers must be thinking all this time!

There were also some plotholes and other questions that were never fully answered, but it was okay, because in the end it didn’t really matter to me anymore. I just wanted the case to be closed and put everyone out of their misery.

The last 2 episodes lost focus of its original intention. I was disappointed that Hyeran let go of her principles. I already knew this will never have a happy ending and I would have been happy up to the second half of the last episode. Ha Myung Woo’s sacrifice didn’t make sense and was all for nothing because of the last 10 mins. But I understand why the ending was that way. That final scene when Kang Tae Wook said, “Are you happy?” And Hyeran was crying. SO SAD. SO TRAGIC. I couldn’t stop thinking about the ending even days after watching the show.

Rating: 8.5/10 (8 for the story +0.5 for tragic lives of the leads)