SPY GIRL (2004-KOREA)
review by Neo


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Spy Girl or Sassy Girl?
Spy Girl is not a comic flick, but really not an action flick either, and then again, it isn't really full on romance. So what the hell is it? Well, it is a difficult question, but this movie although certainly rips and follows the precedents before it, is in the end pretty likable. Although nothing really happen or special or interesting happened, the romance chemistry is sweet and so is the female lead. In a way this movie is very much an inferior version of My Sassy Girl and a tendency to feel as though it is a rip off of it as well. Only real problem with this flick is that the characters aren't fully developed and the plot holes are awfully noticeable. Nonetheless, the scent of sweetness within the material kind of redeems it, making it a pretty average entry to Korean cinema that is a good time killer to watch.

The movie goes like this: Is being alluring an advantage for a spy girl? Pretty and talented, North Korean agent Rim Gae-soon (Kim Jung-hwa) has infiltrated into South Korea for a secret task. Could she gain any privilege on her beauty to complete the mission? Martial arts veteran Rim Gae-soon sneaks into South Korea to dig out Kim Yeung-guan who stole money for spy maneuvers. She intends to cover herself with a fake identity "Hyo Jin" and works in a fast food restaurant. However underhand she does everything, she mesmerizes people around her and every day thousands of guys are flocking to the restaurant just to meet her. One of the guys, Jae Go Bong (Gong Yoo), failed twice to get a place in the university due to his serious constipation and overdose of traditional Chinese medicines. He swoons over Hyo Jin as the others do, but he is called for military service. Discovering Hyo Jin loves chasing men in sunglasses, Jae Go Bong is set to reveal his feeling to her.

The movie attempts to touch upon your emotions, but somehow, I was never really touched, but then again, maybe it is just me. The events and happenings are very much cliché and the meeting between the two because of a website is funny, yet unoriginal. While I am piling up words and knocking the plot line and stuff, there are redeeming factors. The female lead is pretty and sweet and yet a hint of aggression within her, while she is no Sassy Girl, she makes a pretty good girlfriend. The only problem I have is that the screen time between the two leads is not only not sufficient, but dramatically reduces any real sort of emotional impact.

Nonetheless, Spy Girl works well on what it wants to achieve, which is I am not really sure, but in a way it works mainly relying on the sweetness of the material and the female lead. Other than that it is all normal stuff and cliché that we have seen so much in many other Korean movies. However, as I say before, the movie does not bore you, and whether that is a good thing or not, depends on who you are, as for me personally, I find this flick a pretty good time killer and sometimes, a sweet female lead can almost redeem a whole movie... All in all, it is by no means a good movie, but sometimes fun can still be had, and this is certainly the case.

I rate it 7.5/10

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Genre: Action/Romance
Director: Park Han Joon
Cast: Kim Jung-hwa and Gong Yoo
Reviewed by Andrew (Neo), July 2005