Friday, March 6, 2015

Film Review: Jail Breakers (2002)

Jail Breakers (Review)
Kim Sang-jin/Cha Seung-won, Sol Kyung-gu/2002
Where to Watch:
Netflix Instant
Amazon Prime

"...a very versatile and enjoyable blend of comedy."

After years of imprisonment, Mu-suk (Cha Seung-won) is finally prepared to escape, and he's bringing his swindler buddy, Jae-pil (Sol Kyung-gu), along...

Jail Breakers is a story of prison life. It's a triumphant story of escape and redemption. It's a story of lost and rekindled romance. It's a story of... a man and his spoon. Jail Breakers follows Mu-suk, who was jailed for stealing bread and has been digging himself out of prison for six years. It also follows Jae-pil, a swindler who has been playing model prisoner to get released early. After Mu-suk decides to finally escape, Jae-pil tags along to stop his ex-girlfriend's wedding. Their plans for freedom go haywire, as does everything in the prison during their absence. Jail Breakers is a fun story that leads to a good ending.

As a comedy, Jail Breakers packs quite a bit of story. I know my synopsis seemed silly at times, but all of that actually happens in the course of two hours. In fact, even more happens than what I mentioned - including a funny riot. Fortunately, it's mostly enjoyable. The constant bickering between Mu-suk and Jae-pil was hilarious. There's also plenty of slapstick humor, as well as some bizarre comedy – for lack of a better term. I had a blast with every spoon scene. The only problem I really had with the film was the long-winded presentation. Sure, I love that there was plenty of character, story, and humor in the film, but I started to feel exhausted towards the end.

The acting was great. I especially enjoyed Cha Seung-won's performance – plenty of charisma and wit. Sol Kyung-gu, who also stars in Peppermint Candy, is very energetic. The cinematography was great, and the music was well-fitted. Director Kim Sang-jin crafted a very humorous film. It has a lot of pieces and, fortunately, they connect very well. The only issue was the bits of filler that could have been cut, which in turn affected the pacing. Otherwise, Kim gives us an uproarious comedy with strong performances.

Overall, Jail Breakers is a great film. If you're a fan of Korean comedies, you likely know what to expect. Some cheeky, slapstick, and even a little odd humor – a very versatile and enjoyable blend of comedy. I had a smile across my face for most of the runtime. It's a little bloated and lengthy, but I had a lot of fun.

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

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