If there is one thing Korea is good at, its genremixing movies.
Especially action comedies.
In 2019 we were entertained with three excellentadditions to the genre with Extreme Job, Exit and Hit and Run Squad.
Can this movie join the list of entertainingand fun Korean action comedies? Hi I’m The Arty Dans from Asian Film Fansand welcome to this review of the Korean action-comedy Hitman: Agent Jun An elite secret agent Jun, working for a teamcalled Shield, has had enough of being a real-life hero.
His real passion is drawing, and he thinkshe has the talent to create cartoons.
When he realises that his director will neverlet him pursue his dream of doodling, he fakes his death during a deadly missionto start the life he wants to live.
15 years later and he is married with adaughter and living in a cramped apartment, living his dream of being an artist, but it’s going nowhere fast.
His latest webtoon isn’t a hit with the audience, and his new manager has told him to wrap up his series.
After a heart-to-heart with his rap starwannabe daughter, Jun gets drunk and draws the ultimate cartoon: an action packed serialthat reflects his previous life as a secret agent.
When he wakes up the next morning nursinga huge hangover, he doesn’t realise that his wife has sent his new webtoon to his publisher, who has published his new work, becoming an instant hit with Korean netizens! But Jun panics.
These aren’t just stories, they are based on real events! And when his old team at Shield and the criminalmastermind Jason find out about the series and that Jun is still alive, he is chased downby both sides who want their revenge! Korean action comedies are the ultimate popcorn flicks.
2 hours of comedy and action tend tobe a fairly safe mix in Korean cinema.
As usual, these movies usually split theirgenres without crossing over.
The comedy parts are funny and the actionparts are full of action.
However Hitman Agent Junadds a third genre – animation.
There are some fantastic animated sequencesthroughout the movie that fit in with the flow and highlight the personality andexperiences of our main character.
The performances are your very standardKorean cinema affair.
The comedy sections are funny, but like allKorean action comedy films, there is a tendency for the usual melodramatic overactingto take over certain scenes, something that unfortunately you’ll have to put up with.
The animation sections are fantastic, and break upthe action and flow of the movie in a positive way.
From the opening scene where it’s used tointroduce the back story of a young Jun, to the thrilling scenes towards the end as weexplore one of Jun’s secret assignments, these scenes suit the movie and are animatedto the genre they are emulating accordingly.
It’s also nice to see some 2Danimation in a modern movie.
The action scenes are the typical high energy, quickly edited sequences we’ve come to expect from Korean cinema.
The action choreography is good, if a little over the top, with a lot of fast movements, and towards the end, a bit of blood.
In regards to performances, Kwon Sang-wooin the title role of Agent Jun, is a joy to watch.
A fully expressional face allows him to pull offboth the comedy and action scenes with aplomb, and while he is also guilty of the overactingthat infiltrates the ending of the film, it doesn’t detract from his overall performance.
Well the big thing is the overacting.
I really don’t like it and I think itreally ruins Korean films.
If the filmmakers are keen for a more internationalaudience, then I feel this is one aspect of their cinema that needs to be addressed.
As an example, think back to films likeParasite and even Train To Busan.
Do you remember any ridiculous overacting inthose movies? Certainly not in Parasite.
Otherwise, I don’t feel there is any negativeelements to this film.
It’s quite standard and in-offensive, an almost bythe books type film that had a goal and achieved it.
You can’t ask for more with popcorn cinema.
I thought this was a thoroughlyentertaining and surprising film.
I definitely wasn’t expecting this to be goodand thus it subverted my expectations, and I ended up really enjoying it.
If it wasn’t for the overacting, it would be aguaranteed Must Watch, but because of that, My recommendation is: .