Runway Cop 차형사 車警官 (2012) – Korea
Review by: Andrew Chan FCCA AACTA
Review Date: 16th October 2012
Available on DVD
“Runway Cop” is one of those all over the place type of comedy. In fact it starts off with an interesting yet cliché premises, but the film drags on for far too long in the middle parts, before a highly uneven yet redeeming finale. “Runway Cop” is really quite a mess of a film.
Korean cinema has evolved through times, but “Runway Cop” feels like something we have all seen before. While a rehash of materials is nothing new and can be extremely welcoming if done well. The same cannot be said about the latest comedy directed by Shin Tae-Ra. Sure, the premise starts off in an interesting manner, much like Hollywood’s “Miss Congeniality”, except the gender role is being reversed. However, the film is constantly hampered by a paddling and overlong mid-section that seems to just never ends. The film suffers from some much needed sharper sense of humor, better chemistry between the two leads and the change in body size in just a matter of weeks which simply defies logic. It must be noted that the film ends particularly strongly and even at times effective, but the stark differences in quality only fuels further frustration from the audience, as their overall feelings is quite frankly being played.
Kang Ji-Hwan has the looks and frame to play the undercover model and cop, but lacks the required acting skills and presence as a leading man. While his expressions excels in action scenes, namely the Jackie Chan’s style jumping and hopping between buses and trucks, but his obvious lack of vital facial expressions to make this a truly hilarious performance. Adding to the mix is his lack of apparent chemistry with his co-star (played by Sung Yu-Ri) who performs the role of the up and coming designer. Yu-Ri contains a far too generic and superficial pretty looks and there is not a moment where she stood out or provides a memorable performance. The best of the lot comes in the small yet hilarious role from veteran Park Jung-Hak (“As One”) who simply plays the dead serious and slightly goofy comic timing with an utter ease.
Director Shin Tae-Ra in making “Runway Cop” pretty much forgot the vital ingredient for any comedy. For the audience to invest into the film, it is crucial to have interesting and relatable characters that they will like to follow, laugh with or even laugh at. There are far too many unnecessary scenes in the middle part that adds nothing to the film. Sometimes spontaneous cheesiness can be extremely fun when done well, but when one overloads with constant cheesiness throughout, the film just becomes annoying and somewhat to the point of boredom.
All in all “Runway Cop” is really a mixed bag of a film. It feels far too commercial and superficial for the audience to establish a connection. Perhaps director Shin Tae-Ra should take a leaf out of “Scandal Makers” and “Sunny” director’s book in being able to balance comedy, emotions, comedy and drama. It is by no means an easy feat, but with an uninteresting characters, a muddling mid-session and a somewhat out of place finale, “Runway Cop” is simply a failure and nothing more. (Neo 2012)
I rated it 4.5/10