Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Review: The Mafia, The Salesman (2007)

The Mafia, The Salesman (Review)
Shim Seung-Bo/Lee Sung-Jae/2007
Where to Watch:
Netflix Streaming
Amazon Prime

"...I always had a smile on my face."

After similar nightmares of foreign takeover plague the gang, a mob boss tasks Gye Doo-Shik (Lee Sung-Jae), the gang's only college graduate, with leading their globalization.

The Mafia, The Salesman continues with Doo-Shik entering the corporate world. He starts at the bottom, selling insurance until he can rise to the head office where he plans to learn more about globalization. The whole purpose of this is for Doo-Shik to learn how corporations branched out across the world -- so, the mafia's learning from legitimate criminals. However, it proves to be more difficult than expected. The story never really focuses on one issue or plot point, it just kind of wanders until it finally ends. The ending spirals further into absurdity, similar to the ending of To Catch A Virgin Ghost; it's a bit predictable and generic, and over the top, but it is humorous.

The Mafia, The Salesman is a quirky crime comedy. It's not to be taken seriously, you'll especially realize this during the ending. But, I like quirky comedy. There are more than a handful of laugh out loud moments, and I always had a smile on my face. The characters are likable, despite a cliche corporate villain. The gangsters in particular are memorable and fun, the definition of quirky. Regarding the story, however, it feels very light; it doesn't really have a purpose or direction. In turn, the runtime is bloated, it feels like it overstays its welcome by a full 20 minutes. There is just not enough content to warrant the runtime for this comedy. If you can get past the lack of story in The Mafia, The Salesman, then you'll find a simple, good time.

Lee Sung-Jae delivers a good performance. The character isn't demanding, but he has some great charisma and charm. The cast in general is great, a fun and enjoyable group of actors. The film is shot nicely. (I saw the film on Netflix Streaming, and the picture quality is decent with full bars likely due to the print or film's age.) The music matches the quirky tone of the film, but it's not memorable. Shim Seung-Bo serves as writer and direction, but it really doesn't feel like there is much direction going on; he does a good job creating bizzare situations, but there is no context or focus.

Overall, The Mafia, The Salesman is a fun film for a night in. It offers plenty of laughs and a bizarre, charismatic cast of characters, but not much else. I recommend renting or streaming before purchasing. If you're fan of this type of quirky comedy, I also strongly recommend To Catch A Virgin Ghost.

Score: 6/10
Parental Guide: Some blood and violence.


  1. The cast is different from the previous series of My Boss, My Hero. And I don't like that.

    1. Hello! Thanks for reading and commenting. I actually didn't realize this was a sequel until you commented. I'll try watching My Boss, My Hero soon, though.