Commitment: Sleeper Spy

Commitment_-_Korean_Movie-p1

Commitment is a pretty good spy-betrayed-revenge movie that stars T.O.P as Myung-hoon, a North Korean sleeper spy in South Korea. Under the guise of a high school student, Myunghoon’s mission is to eliminate political competition through assassination of a different faction’s spies. After his father died for the same mission, Myung Hoon takes up this spy role to save his sister from further punishment in the labor camps. Even though Myung Hoon is very young, his skill set is very developed to the point where he eliminates older and more seasoned spies with ease. However, after political turmoil in the north tips the power scale to a different faction, his own handler betrays him. He becomes a wanted man in the South and the whole national security force is on his tail and the bag of diamond funds he stole from another faction.  Angered and confused by this turn of events as well as the impossibility of seeing his younger sister again, he decides to lay low at a friend’s house. Although he was told not to make friends, he develops a crush on a girl with the same name as his younger sister. The girl protects and helps him even though she realizes that he is a wanted North Korean spy. His sister was then brought to S Korea as bait to hand over the diamonds, but the hand off did not go as planned. Even the sister made it to safety, his friend gets captured. Myung Hoon goes on suicidal mission to rescue his dear friend, even knowing that he is outnumbered and that it would be hard to get the police force on his side.

Coming from watching TOP in IRIS, also playing a spy role, I believe he made a marked improvement. As a movie with not much dialogue, he did use his face expressively enough for me to feel his sincerity. I very much enjoyed the slick fight choreography though. Because Yoo Jung is a very capable actress, I do wish she had gotten a bigger role in the movie other than just being the little sister used as bait. A waste of talent that could have been used to a greater advantage! Otherwise a enjoyable action flick!

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Year End Special: Growing Pains

Talent from toddler to teens! I’m so used to seeing these actors playing child versions of adults in my favorite dramas. However, these youngins’ are grown up fast and are now leading men and women in their own dramas! Here are 5 of my favorite child actors that have matured into amazing young adults (teens).

Yeo Jin Gu (18yrs) – Uniquely known by his mature deep voice paired to such a young age and face, he started acting back in 2005. He is commonly paired with Kim Yoo Jung as a child actor for saquek dramas. Furthermore, at such a young age, he has played many difficult roles that require heavy angsting and crying. He has become such a master at these broody roles and has progressed to lead roles now as a young adult. Most memorable performances for me are in The Moon Embraces Sun and I Miss You as the childhood version of the adults and Hwayi, the movie, as a lead role.

Dramas: 16 / Movies: 14

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Angry Mom: Kick Some Bully Butt!

Angry Mom

I love it. Darker than what I was expecting, but so meaningful. Again S. Korea is sparking awareness in another controversial issue, bullying (especially in the high school/adolescent period). Angry Mom is a story where a mom does everything in her power to protect her child. Her daughter, Oh Ah Ran, is a nice, smart high school student who isn’t afraid to befriend the outcast of the class. However, she is severely bullied by a group of girls and the “iljin jjang” (top dog, “gum chewer”) of the school. However, this is not your regular bullying that you are thinking about. This is a whole new level where the bullies draw blood and threaten death if the victim decides to tattle. Traumatized by one particularly violent episode, Ah Ran is admitted to the hospital. She isn’t forthcoming to her mother and misunderstands why her mother won’t tell anyone that she is her daughter. (I suspect from some shadowy flashbacks that her child may be an offspring of rape).

Her mother is so heartbroken as her daughter distances herself from her mother and as she slaves away day and night as a night diner owner to provide for her. While her mother tries all kinds of ways to bring justice such as reporting to police, department of education, etc., nothing works as money and power are the decision makers here. Pushed to the limit to bring justice for her daughter, she resorts to her own skills. In the past, she was the “jjang” of all the school distracts with mad fighting skills and a unbreakable attitude. She calls upon her past friends and decides to pretend to be a student in her daughter’s school to find out who the bullies are and bring justice. As she has a really young face, she manages to squeeze her way in before getting noticed by a new transfer homeroom teacher who mistakenly recognizes her as a foul-mouthed wild student he met at an academy. The drama also links deeper politics about corruption, politics, money laundering and the seedy underlife of bribes being filtered through school districts. Of course our school hijinks and the real world will come to a head gradually. The last scene in episode two we get is her headlocking her teacher and choke-holding the top “jjang” while the three girl bullies kneel on the ground. SO BADASS.

angry mom

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