Thursday, December 28, 2006

Oh Ji Ho - ‘My Wife 3’ Spins in Different Orbit

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The new gangster comedy ``My Wife Is a Gangster 3’’ (Chopok Manura 3) is not a successful sequel. It lacks connections to its two predecessors.

But as a totally new story, it spins in a separate orbit and produces a reasonable amount of humor and jokes that are enjoyable throughout the film.

Directed by Cho Jin-kyu, the new movie revolves around Aryong (played by Shu Qi), who flees to Seoul because her father's gang is engaged in a conflict with another gang in Hong Kong.

When she arrives, Ki-chul (Lee Beom-su) and his gang take care of her without knowing her real identity.

As they live in the same house, the gang first tries to show off how manly and brave they are to the elegant Hong Kong woman and teach her a lesson. However, they later find out that she is not just a pretty girl but a martial arts master, who can easily kick the men’s butts.

The story evolves in a predictable direction, but that is not a problem because it is funny.

In terms of jokes, the film is much better and less offensive than the previous works, which were full of disastrous scenes with too many gangster jokes and sexual humor and had flimsy storylines.

But in the new movie, hilarious moments are often produced by Yon-hi (Hyun Young), an ethnic Korean from Yanbian, who is hired as a Korean translator for Aryong.

At first, Yon-hi’s life is threatened while working for the gang. Between Aryong and the gang, she can’t help but lie to the gang members when she has to translate into Korean what Aryong says as Aryong uses overly harsh and strong language.
In the softening, ``I’ll kill you all if you break your promise’’ is translated to ``You’re so handsome’’ or ``Please, help me, sir.’’

But as the gang finds out Aryong’s true identity, Yon-hi’s attitude toward the gang changes drastically. Now ``Thanks’’ is translated into ``Do what I said or I’ll kick your butt.’’

It’s true that the film is not totally free from gangster comedy formulas, a combination of action scenes, childish jokes and swear words.

But, overall, the big changes from the previous installments, are fun. Those changes could be meaningful in another sense, given that the 2003 sequel was a commercial flop because of its cliched storyline and jokes that did not distinguish it much from the successful original. Three stars.

By Kim Tae-jong
Staff Reporter
Original The Korea Times link.

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