WTK REVIEW: Why Action-Comedy Film “Midnight Runners” Is Worth Watching

Park Seo Joon and Kang Ha Neul teamed up in the recent action-comedy film “Midnight Runners.” The film was directed by Kim Joo Wan, who gained national acclaim for his recent film “Koala.”

The film sold 5.61 tickets. Combined with the $39 million USD it pulled in made it the 4th highest South Korean grossing film of 2017.

High-spirited Ki Joon (Park Seo Joon) and witty Hee Yeol (Kang Ha Neul) enter the Korean National Police Academy with different goals. Ki Joon, who was raised by a single mom, simply wants to graduate there because the tuition is free. His mother cannot afford to send him anywhere else to college. Hee Yeol, on the other hand, graduated from one of the prestigious science high schools in Korea and wants to take a different path unique from his former schoolmates.

After surviving the intense two-week training process, the two police academy students manage to became friends. After two years, they are allowed to go on their first leave. In search of a good time, they go to an exclusive night club to find their match but end up being turned down by every woman they encountered. They decide to call it a night when suddenly a young woman (Lee Ho Jung) passes by. When arguing with each other about who will approach the woman, they witness the young lady being abducted by unknown guys in a van.

Still in a state of shock, they decide to hunt down the suspect and help save the woman. Recalling what the academy has taught them so far, they apply it to their investigation. Upon chasing the kidnappers, they end up in a night full of epic comedic fails and encounter many disturbing stories of reality.

The writer and director of the film, Kim Joo Wan, confidently marches into the commercial arena with his film “Midnight Runners,” satisfying the crowd with what they wanted to see. Kim’s impressive transition from slapstick comedy and rough-and-tumble action to the upsetting drama of reality marks a unique blend of genres that is sure to offer a little something for every moviegoer. As we bear witness to the young men’s convictions and passionate drive to do what’s right, viewers are left treated to a thought-provoking story that also allows the natural charm to flow between the two lead stars.

Like other films, it also follows a familiar outline. At first, they dislike each other before overcoming their differences to ultimately become friends who support each other and together confront any crisis along their paths. Despite this predictable timeline, the story and characters have their own distinct charms that easily distinguishes one way from the other.

With the help of veteran actors, the cast delivers a very solid performance. Sung Dong Il plays Professor Yang who awakens his students’ youthful enthusiasm of saving people in need. Park Ha Sun, the strict instructor with the nickname of “Medusa,” makes them realize the importance of camaraderie and support of each other. Go Joon, who is the leader of the gang, impresses viewers with his action skills.

It’s been a while since we’ve seen a cop buddy film with a fast-paced thriller story, all while being wrapped up in a slapstick comedy package. The film manages to show the us the story of struggle, hardships, family, friendship and the sometimes harsh reality of the police environment. They also tackle the depressing issue of human trafficking, allowing the film to serve as an eye-opener of the limitations of authority and the problems this young generation faces.

This may not be a groundbreaking film, but the production strives to get the work done in their own creative way to sincerely catch people’s interest and affection. With impressive onstage action, thrilling timing, excellent tone and balance, along with the good casting and great chemistry, this film really strives to take comedy to a higher level. That’s why this author personally recommends the film as a “must-see” movie.

Check the trailer below, and make sure to watch the movie when you can!

ging1030 is a multi-fandom fan of Kpop since 2010. She enjoys watching Asian dramas and variety shows like “Running Man”. She is an avid fan of Song triplets and Song Joong Ki.  For her, Kdrama is life. They are her inspirations in life so she can live on and do what her heart desires!

Media: Lotte Entertainment

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