Surprisingly cute! So far, there has not been a Lee Jong Suk performance that has disappointed me yet! With Hot Young Bloods, the story admittedly starts off slow with a few laughs mixed in and then sends in the punches. While I had expected a slapstick sort of comedy, the movie was more like a growing pains type. Lee Jong Suk plays Joon-gil, a flirty playboy who chases all the girls and mostly gets them. He has a ritual of stealing the girls heart, treating her to some black bean noodles, and then taking her back to his place. However, there is one girl that he never touches, Young-sook (Park Bo Young), a female gang leader who can pretty much beat up his booty. Joon-gil loves acting the cool guy, but is a great big coward who shudders at the thought of mixing with Young-sook and her ally Gwang-sik, played by Kim Young Kwan (Pinocchio bros). Gwang-sik harbors a crush on Young-sook who has a unrequited crush on Joon-gil….who has a crush on the new transfer student So Hee. Young-sook tries her best to get Joon-gil’s attention and love, but it’s a bust. Gwang-sik of course takes every opportunity to beat up and one up Joon-gil. Meanwhile, Joon-gil is not having much luck with So Hee, who seems the nice and charming type, but is actually gangster-ish herself. In order for Gwang-sik to not touch Joon-gil, Young-sook sacrifices herself to be beaten by her ex-minions, re-establishing the pecking order. So Hee is also attacked by Gwang-sik and Joon-gil gets severely beat up trying to defend her. We also learn that Joon-gil’s playboy style is just a act from previous family wounds. His mother had left when he was young and he had blamed that on his father’s frequent absences. However, he finds out that it was because his mother cheated, but the father couldn’t forget the wife still even this many years in the future. His world is turned upside down. On the train ride to school, he discovers what is truly important to him and goes berserk when he finds out that Young-sook sacrificed so much for him. He attacks Gwang-sik and does his best actually landing lots of punches on the gangster leader. However, the culmination of the fight is when Joon-gil pulls Gwang-sik off the train and into the river. After resurfacing and stealing back the shoes that Young-sook had bought for him (but Gwang-sik had stole), he goes to Young-sook’s house, but she has already left for Seoul. She had decided to forget their past and try to find her future as she had dropped out of school. Joon-gil is devastated that he missed her, but her note encouraged him to continue his studies since he is actually smart. He takes this time to grow and self-improve. Of course, we have a lovely happy ending…which I won’t disclose too much of!
While it did start off a bit slow and with less humor than I expected, Lee Jong Suk provided a satisfactory performance. He has that natural and easy going charm that makes him very comfortable and pleasant to watch. However, he will surprise you with the depth of his acting that will literally pull at your heartstrings. He is that type of actor that does not hold back during angsty scenes and still brings me to tears with his acting of pain and despair. As for Park Bo Young, she is really adorable to watch and reminds me of her Wolf Boy days. She has great chemistry with Lee Jong Suk, and with other male actors as well. She, too, has a more natural way of acting that does not seem fake or stupid. As for our ex-broship of Kim Young Kwan, he has certainly improved a lot since the first drama I’ve watched him in, White Christmas (seems he likes the Woo Bin, Jong Suk, Young Kwan trio here). His acting is very earnest and he displays emotions very well. While the accents and fashion did get some used too, it was quite an enjoyable watch!