I caught this on the big screen recently, and decided to do a quick recap/review on it. (and also for kooriyuki, who didn’t manage to catch the complete movie) 😛
- Kim Soo-hyun as Lieutenant (Lt.) Won Ryu-hwan, or more commonly known in the village (or small town) as Dong-gu. One of the best (or THE best) secret service agents (he bested the other 19,999 competitors) from N. Korea who was sent as a spy to the South. Ended up in a village (or town) and of ALL identities, decided to become the resident idiot.
- Park Ki-woong as Rhee Hae-rang, or known to the towns’ folks as Kim. A tenant at the small town mayor’s house, and disguised as a rocker-wannabe. He is the bastard son of a high ranking N Korean general, and because of his sensitive status, he is always out to prove to Won and the rest that he is good, if not better.
- Lee Hyun-woo as Rhee Hae-jin, the youngest agent in the N Korea spy corps. He idolises Lt. Won since young and came over to the South to seek him out and assist him where possible. He appears as a high school kid and friend to Yoon Yoo-joo (the younger brother of the town’s beauty, also object of Lt. Won’s crush)
- Son Hyun-joo as Colonel Kim Tae-won, the baddie who trained our three handsomes. Sent later to “despatch” them.
- Go Chang-seok as 2nd Lieutenant (Lt.) Seo Sang-gu or Professor Seo Young-guk. Disguised as a postman during his stint in the South. Came to the South to prove his theory to the N Koreans that spies sent will naturally want to defect.
Lt. Won belonged to a top-notch-cream-of-the-crop group of spies code name 5446 in N. Korea. He was sent to infiltrate the South and await orders for the lofty goal of North-South unification. (until now, i don’t understand what infiltrating the South has got to do with unification..but maybe i’m juz slow). Anyway, Lt. Won was the first to be sent over, and he arrived (and nearly died in the attempt) at a small town where he was rescued by an ahjumma who runs a provision store. He decides to take on the role of an idiot (again…why?), observing the townsfolk and patiently awaiting the confirmation from the North to take actions (again, no idea WHAT actions we are expecting…).
Years went by, and … nothing happened. One day, he discovers the presence of a second spy (who of ALL places, decided also to go undercover in that same boring small town). The second spy is his frenemy, Hae-rang, who is next in line, and second best to him in 5446 group. Hae-rang is acting the part of an aspiring rocker/singer, and hilariously, his first mission is to “pass the rocker audition” (wth?). He can’t play an instrument (his electric guitar is for show, nothing more), so of cos he failed the audition…until later, when he starts singing…THEN he passed it (but this we only know at the end, when he is dying.)
After Hae-rang, another boy spy popped up…Hae-jin. He idolises Lt Won to no end, cos when he was a boy, Lt Won spared his life (when he spied on him training) — he stuck his army knife in Hae-jin’s thigh instead of his heart. (i was like oh…so you idolise him? for?) Somehow, Hae-jin interpreted this incident as Lt Won’s form of encouragement for him to become a good spy like himself. (erm..like how?!)
Although Lt. Won is super annoyed that his commanders distrust him so much they had to send “help”, he nonetheless is (secretly) happy that his friends are there. Then, disaster strikes. Due to the events in the Second Battle of Yeonpyeong (a marine confrontation between the N and S Korea in 2002), N Korea ordered the suicide of all spies currently in the South, cos they are afraid that the South may insist on the name list and encourage the spies to defect. Our three handsomes are torn between respecting order and preserving their own lives…so they kinda dragged their feet in killing themselves. Thus, big baddie Col. Kim is sent to finish the three off. At the same time, Prof Seo (who was pally with the 3 when he acted as a town’s postman) also betrayed them and said they are proof that sending spies to the South is foolhardy and dangerous, since they will be tempted to defect.
The usual showdow between the “good” guys fighting for their lives and the baddies ensue. End result, all died. (or at least all the N Koreans in the show).
Leave your brains at the door! This show makes NO sense if you really look at the plot. Too many holes in the plot, until I felt I was in a sinking ship. But it’s a sinking ship filled with HUNKS. (lol…nice way to sink then). I wonder why all stories with N Korea are either bizarre, boring or a nail biting. (or sometimes, all 3).
The hijinks of Lt Won (aka Dong-gu) are funny..but they are ALL slapstick funnies, so if you are not into slip-on-banana-skin-ha-ha-ha humour, then you may be really frustrated with this show (that is, if you don’t like eye candies too). There are a few memorably ridiculous scenes where Dong-gu takes a dump in the middle of the road …and it was witnessed by his crush. (mortification!) And another, where he played superhero jumping from rooftop to rooftop searching for a missing boy; to hide his identity, he geared up with a black plastic bag, leopard print tights and a white frilly…bra. (try not to have a mouth full of popcorn while watching, pls). (sadly, i can’t get a pic of that online…prob censored by Kim’s fans)
In addition to the unglam but hilarious scenes, worth watching are the broody shower scenes, the sweaty push up scenes, and the bromance between the 3 handsomes. (oh heck, they ARE the reasons why i paid for the movie tix!)
2.5-3/ 5 stars