Like it’s previous instalment, Detective K: The Laborer’s Daughter (working English title is Detective K: The Secret of the Lost Island) is an action comedy, which was apt for its release during the Lunar New Year period earlier this year. The plot is nothing unpredicatable, and like many other Korean movies, there’s always a plot point which tugs at the heartstrings.
Kim Myung Min and Oh Dal-soo reprise their roles as Kim Min and sidekick Seo-pil respectively, and this time round they’re commissioned to uncover the truth behind the tainted silver circulating in markets. The movie begins with Kim Min being banished to some small island, for reasons unexplained, and a little girl from the main land swims over to his hut daily to do household chores for him, in hope that he’ll help her recover her lost younger sister. Kim Min is adamant not to help her, but teaches her math, when he discovers she has a talent for it.
He finally chases her away for good one day, and sneaks out of the island with Seo-pil, to find out what’s happening during his banishment. They come across a particular lady rather frequently, who always appear in front of them in different guises. She turns out to be the top geisha, or gisaeng, Hisako (Lee Yeon Hee). Half the time, Kim Min and Seo-pil thought that she’s an enemy, but unsurprisingly, she turns out to have the same motive as them – finding out the truth behind the circulating tainted silver.
The truth is rather cruel, and is tied to the background story of missing girls and random bodies floating down the stream in town. Kim Min sneaks around the secret mountainous den where the tainted silver were forged, and finds out that what’s in store for the young girls is more sinister than he thought.
The funny parts of the movie mostly come from Kim Min’s “inventions”: grenades, glow-in-the-dark paints, and finally a flying machine. He spent most of his time during banishment researching on these, and let’s just say that it was all time well spent because he succeeded in all.
The Detective K series is nothing spectacular, but promises hours of fun and humor, as we watch how Kim Min and Seo-pil bumbles while sleuthing, with some thrills but nothing life-threatening. Recommended for casual viewing on a lazy afternoon.