Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Review: The Righteous Thief (2009)

The Righteous Thief (Review)
Jeong Yong-gi/Lee Beom-Soo/2009
Where to Watch:
Netflix Streaming
Amazon Prime

"Lee Si-young steals the show..."

Hong Mu-Hyeok (Lee Beom-Soo) and his family of thieves steal from the rich and give to the poor. Their current target is Lee Jeong-Min (Kim Su-Ro), a rich and eccentric yet cold-blooded businessman...

The Righteous Thief follows Mu-Hyeok and his family, which is his actual blood family, as they attempt to burglarize Jeong-Min. But, as Jeong-Min catches on to their tactics after countless burglaries, the stakes rise and the game becomes too risky. On top of that, Mu-Hyeok has to balance his relationship with his odd girlfriend Song Hyeon-Hwa (Lee Si-Young), who's brother is a city prosecutor. Balancing its quirky moments with some serious tones, The Righteous Thief reaches a great climax, filled with stylish action, great suspense, and more hilarity. The ending of the film leaves room for a sequel, but it's still satisfying.

The Righteous Thief is a fun, heist-type of film. The film focuses on its quirky characters, as well as the burglary planning. The mixture of comedy and drama felt kind of lopsided where some moments where absolutely hilarious, then it would quickly switch to a serious tone. Fortunately, this doesn't happen often. I really liked the story and concept, but it is longwinded by a small margin. Also, there were some plot contrivances; although most are forgivable and likely purposeful, one or two of them were way too convenient. The characters were the best part of the film. Mu-Hyeok is funny, but Hyeon-Hwa is downright hilarious; her character really brings some unique, quirky, and often bizarre humor. Much of the film really relies on quirky comedy, which I love. Aside from some balance issues and some pacing issues, I really enjoyed The Righteous Thief.

The acting was all-around great. Lee Beom-Soo is great, very charismatic and humorous. Lee Si-Young steals the show with a very energetic and humorous performance. (I think the biggest disappointment was not seeing her in the skin-tight leather suit she wears on the poster.) The film is shot well, the camerawork is a bit overwhelming during some action sequences, though. At first, I really enjoyed the music, but then it became so repetitive as it was used over and over. I like Jeong Yong-Ki's direction, I just wished he honed in more on the comedy.

Overall, The Righteous Thief is a funny and entertaining film. It has some hilarious moments and a few exciting action sequences, but it's not perfectly balanced. There were also some pacing and length issues, and the music was repetitive. Fortunately, the wonderful cast holds the film up for its runtime. Recommended for fans of quirky comedies.

Score: 7/10
Parental Guide: Some violence and blood.

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