I wasn’t planning on watching this movie, heck, I didn’t even know about this movie until I caught it by chance on cable TV, and boy, it was a funny 2 hours or so. This is Park Jin Young‘s debut in movie, granted that this was filmed back in 2011, but scheduled for a summer 2012 release.
The first one-third was a wee bit confusing, because the editing was such that as Director Han (Jo Sung Ha) is being interrogated by the police, the past is interspersed with the present, with no chyrons telling us it’s a flashback. I do suppose things get easier to understand as the interrogation progresses, and all portions in this first one-thirds of the movie with Park Jin Young inside are flashbacks.
Park Jin Young plays Choi Young In, who works for, or rather is the right-hand man of Director Han. He has another right-hand man (or shall we call him left-hand man?), Kim Seung-dae (Jo Jin Woong), and they help Director Han with keeping track of, as well as delivering huge amount of money. Young In doesn’t seem to know, or pretend not to (I’m going with the former), that his boss is actually a very shady man, while Seung-dae has a much better idea of his actual job scope. I must say that Jo Jin Woong’s character is more of a special appearance, because he’s gone as the flashbacks end.
Min Hyo Rin is Mi Ri, an aspiring djembe artiste, and she’s the street-smart sort who knows how to protect herself, while taking advantage of sleazy men who wants to sleep with her. She steals from a “client” Pil-soo (Oh Jung-se), and nicks a shiny orca accesory from his wallet before escaping, not knowing that numerous pieces of diamond are hidden within the orca. Mi Ri’s path crosses with Young In’s, as he realises his boss is out silence him, as well as retrieve the five million dollars Young In is supposed to be delivering to a politician (Lee Kyoung Young), and she is running away from Pil-soo and his lackeys. Thus begin the great escape from Seoul to Busan for this unlikely duo, with two different gangs and even the police hot on their trails.
The plot is fairly straightforward, and the villians are rather 2D. But being an action movie, brain is not really required and expect plenty of laughs. I was rather amused at the running joke in the movie about Young In looking like a foreigner, and people inside the movie keeps calling him “migrant worker”. There’s a hilarious scene of Young In salivating at some hotdogs at a rest stop, and he was robbed and knocked unconscious prior to this scene. The stall ahjumma takes pity on him and hands him two hotdogs, telling him to “eat quickly and go back to your country ok?”
Director Han’s gang, which is run by the ever awesome Jo Hee Bong, encounters Pil-soo and his men, on their respective chases after their wanted, but both gangs end up fighting each other because Jo Hee Bong deems Pil-soo too rude, while Pil-soo thinks he’s too bossy. During the gang fight, Young In and Miri makes their escape with the stash of five million dollars in tow.
There’s also a hilarious segment of Mi Ri using her quick thinking to escape from Director Han, making him appear like a pervert in front of his bosses, and she runs away while he is flabbergasted. In a scene where Mi Ri and Young In stops at some beach for a rest at night, there’s some meta when Young In tells Mi Ri that he used to be a singer.
All in all, Five Million Dollar Man manages to incorporate some dark humor into an action movie. The reason why Young In goes on a run is ominous; it seems that politics is never completely free from dirty dealings. The writing is not without fault though, as I don’t get who planted the suicide note on Young In, as the three youngsters (one of whom is Go Kyung-pyo) who robbed and knocked out Young In did not seem to be working on Director Han’s order. Also, no reason was given why Young In had to change car to meet a reporter, while enroute to deliver money to the politician. These issues aside, Five Million Dollar Man is still an entertaining watch guaranteed to make you laugh.