Pinterest
NewsLetter DailyWeekly
 
My HanCinema | Sign up, Why ? Your E-mail   Password    Auto| Help
HanCinema :: The Korean Movie and Drama Database, discover the South Korean cinema and drama diversity Contact HanCinema HanCinema on TwitterFaceBook HanCinema PageHanCinema on Twitter

[HanCinema's Film Review] "The Suck Up Project: Mr. XXX-Kisser": Brown-nosed, but not Beaten.

2013/02/23 | 1689 views | Permalink

Film: "The Suck Up Project: Mr. XXX-Kisser" (아부의 왕)

Director: Jeong Seung-koo

Stars: Song Sae-byeok, Sung Dong-il, Lee Byung-joon & Ko Chang-seok

Review Score: 3 / 5

Despite his past experience on films such as Lee Chang-dong's "Secret Sunshine" and the 2006 action film noir "A Dirty Carnival", Jeong Seung-koo has chosen to make his own entry into directing with the satirical comedy "The Suck Up Project: Mr. XXX-Kisser". Fans of Korean cinema will be familiar with Jeong's mocking encomium and witty humour as he critiques Korea's self-serving socio-political bureaucracy. Jeong promised that it would not be 'empty laughs' as audiences will surely recognise the pressure and frustration of challenging that misty glass ceiling that continues to loom over many of Korea's young minds.

Jeong's promise is not without merit as his intentions are clearly representation through the film's edgy and reflexive concerns. Song Sae-byeok plays Dong-sik, a reserved young businessman whose naïve sense of ethics gets him into trouble in both his professional and private life. Korean cinema seems to have a soft spot for such taciturn and feeble heroes, a favouring that speaks to their, almost epic, rise to success and personal enlightenment. As with all good epics, our hero needs guidance and nurturing if he is to survive. Enter Hyeo Go-soo (Sung Dong-il), a snappy dresser with a sharp tongue who is able to seemingly get what he wants from people, especially those who hold power over us. He advice is simply: shut up and listen, give a calm smile, and just nod.

 

 

 

 

 

After being essentially demoted from the development team of a large insurance company, Donk-sik finds himself not only not climbing that corporate ladder but falling from it at a comically awkward rate. His superiors and colleges, who ignore and subvert his idealised worldview in favour of subordination and submission, snuff his outstanding moral fibre. In addition to his professional woes, Dong-sik discovers the dirty family secret behind his father's recent promotion to head principal, as mother confesses she took a loan from some street sharks to pay for it.

Dong-sik's is left frayed but not defeated. He boldly, if unknowingly, takes on the responsibility to defend his father's honour and pay back the exuberant sum. Through hard work, dedication (and eventually learning to leave his ego at home, in the fridge specifically) Dong-sik believes he might just be able to make back the money and succeed at his job. However his enthusiasm does not reward him immediately though, as his raw youthful energy and innocence needs to be channelled by someone more experience, some how has mastered the art of "ass-kissing".

 

Between his corrupt and pompous boss and the preservation of his family's honour, Dong-sik finds himself rudderless and almost defeated. He has no role model to help guide him through the falsehoods of power and its realisation. In his desperation he tracks down the only man he feels is suited to help him stay afloat, a mentor who processes elite knowledge of the art of brown-nosing or, as Hyeo Go-soo puts it, the art of charming your boss. It's this duo that drives the film's intent, both comically and thematically, and fans of modern Korean comedies and dramas will enjoy getting whipped up in the film's conventional approach to the genre, but if you are waiting for a comedy that deviants as well as stands on its own, "The Suck Up Project: Mr. XXX-Kisser" will do little more than simply entertain.

"The Suck Up Project: Mr. XXX-Kisser" contains some wispy and hilariously honest dialogue as well as some great situational exaggerations that kept things light yet teeming with his directorial intent. Many of his frames are accented by comical social parodies and Jeong also had fun with his transitions and special effects, although initially these flirtations will distract more than amuse. His hopes that film would be relatable to Korean audiences didn't translate into a box office success, as this charming flick fell just short of half a million admissions during its run last summer. Still, international audiences may be more welcoming to the film's social commentary and Jeong's witticism.

 

- C.J Wheeler (chriscjw@gmail.com)

* Christopher is a film writer and a graduate arts student at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. He lived and worked in South Korea for four years and there he channelled his passion for film into the Korean cinema scene. Driven by his rampant cinephilic needs and Korea's vibrant cinema, Chris now enjoys watching Korean films and writing about what he thinks of them.

 

Available on DVD from YESASIA 

DVD 2-disc (First Press Limited Edition) (En Sub) DVD Single Disc (En Sub)

Attention You're reading the news with potential spoilers, make them spoiler free, dismiss


 

 

 Previous news

Subscribe to HanCinema Pure to remove ads from the website (not for episode and movie videos) for US$0.99 monthly or US$7.99 yearly (you can cancel anytime). The first step is to be a member, please click here : Sign up, then a subscribe button will show up.

Settings

Remove ads

Sign up

Sharing

Activate

Spoilers

Visible, hide

Learn to read Korean in 90 minutes or less using visual associations