Monday, June 2, 2014

Review: Scandal Makers (2008)

Scandal Makers (aka Speedy Scandal) (Review)
Kang Hyeong-cheol/Cha Tae-hyun/2008
Where to Watch:
Netflix Streaming
Amazon Prime

"...gets funnier and funnier as it progresses."

Radio DJ Nam Hyeon-soo (Cha Tae-hyun), who lives a bachelor's life, may have to abandon his lifestyle when Hwang Jeong-nam (Park Bo-young) shows up at his door claiming to be his daughter... and she has a son...

Scandal Makers follows Nam Hyeon-soo as he tries to keep Jeong-nam quiet. If he kicks Jeong-nam out and she tells the media, the bits and pieces left of his career will be over. So, Hyeon-soo has to tolerate Jeong-nam and her son, Ki-dong (Wang Seok-hyeon), to stop a scandal from arising. This includes tolerating their very messy lifestyle, trying to teach Ki-dong a complicated family tree, and trying to stay afloat at work. Its concept is original and some of the humor is unique, but the story is very predictable, as are the cliché character arcs. The ending was heartfelt, despite being predictable, though; the credits were hilarious, too, so stick around.

The first act of Scandal Makers is the weakest point for the film. It only had a handful of laughs and wasn't very efficient; it did work in setting up the plot and characters, but some more humor would've helped. Fortunately, the film gets funnier and funnier as it progresses. This is especially evident when Ki-dong starts being used more; the scenes where Ki-dong and Hyeon-soo are at the kindergarten are hilarious -- a highlight for the film. There are plenty of other quirky characters, but Hyeon-soo and Ki-dong really steal the show. The predictable story and cliché character arcs are tolerable for most of the film; but, they are very obvious during the climax -- you know exactly what's going to happen and which character is going to have a change of heart. There quiet a few plot contrivances, as well; some are "roll your eyes" convenient, but a few are hilariously executed.

The acting is great from the entire cast. I like Cha Tae-hyun as the lead, he's very funny. Park Bo-young is also great. Wang Seok-hyeon is also very funny, a great child actor. The film is shot well, the cinematography is up to standard. Music plays a semi-large role in the film; fortunately, it's great. Writer and director Kang Hyeong-cheol does well in creating a lighthearted comedy; it does have some flaws, like the cliché characters and the been-there-done-that plot, but it is genuinely humorous and positive. This is a very promising debut for Hyeong-cheol and I look forward to seeing more.

Overall, Scandal Makers is a very good comedy. It does start off somewhat slow, but it does eventually flow into pure hilarity. The character arcs and generic story are disappointing, but tolerable enough. Definitely worth watching for fans of lighthearted comedies.

Score: 7/10
Parental Guide: Some sexually suggestive themes, but generally a tamed film.

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