REVERSAL OF FORTUNE (2003-KOREA)
review by Neo


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Ha Ji WON!
Ha Ji Won is probably Neo’s favourite Korean actress, she is pretty, hot and sexy. After watching her daring performance in Sex in Zero, Neo became a fan ever since. It’s been a while since I last finished a Korean movie, and Reversal of Fortune marks as my first in 2006. There is something special about every Korean movie, and in saying that I am talking about fresh blood actors/actress or new directors. New directors bring a fresher approach even to an otherwise cliché storyline. Yes, this is what one can be safe to call – a typical Korean romantic comedy, but then again at least it works. It is fast paced, enjoyable and light weighted. It is exactly the kind of flick that HK cinema doesn’t make well anymore. HK relies more on music videos to evoke emotions, while Korean movies dilutes that in a better way. Sure, this isn’t an original flick, but who can resist the charm of Ha Ji Won dressed in strings?

The movie goes like this: Kang Seung-wan (Kim Seung-woo), who used to be a young golf genius, has been leading a routine life working for a securities firm. One day his life is no longer ordinary when he gets fired and chased by a powerful gang because of a failed investment he has made on behalf of the gang leader Ma Kang-sung (Lee Moon-shik). Caught and beaten up, Seung-wan have no way to run but drive into a tunnel at full speed out of despair. His life comes to an end and a start at the very same time when he crashes his car seeing another man who looks exactly like himself! Seung-wan wake up as fabulously rich golfer and while he is enjoying the wealth and luck brought along by his new identity, another danger is just ahead of him…

Kim Seung Woo plays his role in a convincingly manner as both a loser and coming of age in a life that changed so dramatically. He is an actor to cheer for and he succeeds in playing this role to an extremely likable character. Ha Ji Won, the name itself is already good enough before commenting. Her performance is really nothing surprise, but a sense of bias from Neo, she performed adequate in a role that doesn’t require much more than who she already is – pretty, hot and cute! She is convincing through crying scenes and her face is cuter than ever. So what more am I asking for, yeah, stuff it!

Overall, Reversal of Fortune isn’t a terrific flick, but rather an ordinary one that works to its aims. It is fun, easy, simple, and ultimately entertaining. The story is really nothing and the lines are quite typical, but what made the movie works is the average direction, well made production values and the likable Kim combining well which the irresistible Ha Ji Won. Basically, Neo is bias, he likes Ha Ji Won and so, the movie seemed a lot better than it probably deserves. Oh yeah, it touches upon the idea of parallel universe as well, which you probably not interested in. Summing up, this is really a movie for Ha Ji Won fans and nothing more…

I rate it 7.5/10

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Genre: Romance/Comedy
Director: Director: Im Yoo-jin (???)
Cast: Kim Seung-woo (???), Ha Ji-won (???), Kang Seong-jin (???), Im Yoo-jin (???)
Reviewed by Andrew (Neo), June 2006