In Seoul, In-jae (played by Shin Hyun-joon) and Jin-kyeong (played by Kim Won-hee) are middle-aged working professionals who are not...always perfectly successful in their immediate career goals, but have overall bright futures. After meeting in circumstances too hilariously contrived for me to want to ruin, they start to date. They they inevitably run into a glaring problem- In-jae is the heir to an organized crime organization, while Jin-kyeong is a public prosecutor. What will become of them?
As is the case with the other two mid-2000's comedy sequels I reviewed this week, plot is secondary to "Marrying the Mafia II", because the only reason this movie exists is to deliver crude, silly jokes heavily laced with innuendo. It is pretty top-tier innuendo. A running joke about planting trees everywhere is...well again, I don't want to ruin it. Weird unexpected word play makes for a lot of the charm in "Marrying the Mafia II", and it's only slightly less incomprehensible in the original Korean.
Consider, for example, how the mid 2000's was when English loan words started to be huge, to the point that a sufficiently bumpkin Korean could not understand cafe baristas and vice versa. Of course, considering that Starbucks menus mangle several different languages that's pretty easy to relate to. Where was I? Oh yeah, you should know that the entire sequence revolving around the world "orange" is very funny. These people are dumb amusing characters.
There's also a lot of sex jokes of the cruder variety, involving unwanted erections. There's no artful way to pretend that an erection is funny, so I'm not going to. It's crude and stupid, yet the imagery is so apt to be an effective metaphor for how Jin-kyeong will freak out at In-jae being superficially dangerous while personally, even as she expresses no curiousity as to how the apparent face of a charitable organization happens to be so good at fighting people.
Ach, I did it again, even though I should have known better. And that's how the humor works in "Marrying the Mafia II" overall. There is nothing about this movie that particularly warrants praise or deeper thought. And yet I laughed throughout most of it because as obviously stupidly telegraphed as these jokes were, they just look so ridiculous. In-jae gets dumb advice frm his boyfriend and Jin-kyeong is sexually harassed at work.
...Well, hm, I guess the last part isn't so funny but what are you going to do. These were the 2000's after all. Certainly such behavior would not be tolerated in the world today and oh wait I forgot about the horrible thing that happened just last month. Oh well. You know, "Marrying the Mafia II" is the kind of movie that makes me appreciate low-brow tastes. Do you want to be impressed, or do you want to laugh? The comedic timing and delivery in "Marrying the Mafia II" is just about perfect. Even if this movie was probably just a shameless attempt at a cash-grab sequel, everyone in the cast still gave it their A game.
Review by William Schwartz
Available on DVD from YESASIA
DVD HK (En Sub)
Staff writer. Has been writing articles for HanCinema since 2012, having lived in South Korea since 2011. Started out in Gyeongju, then to Daegu, then to Ansan, then to Yeongju, then to Seoul, lived on the road for HanCinema's travel diaries series in the summer of 2016, and is currently settled in Anyang. Has good tips for utilizing South Korea's public bus system. William Schwartz can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org. He also has a substack at williamschwartz.substack.com where he discusses the South Korean film industry in broader terms and takes suggestions for future movies to review.
"[HanCinema's Film Review] "Marrying the Mafia II" + DVD Giveaway"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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