“Love, knife-wielding Korean mobsteress style…”
Another slightly clunky Korean title (see also Guns & Talks), but the first forty minutes or so of this are about the driest comedy/action you could ever hope to see. In order to fulfill the wish of her terminally-ill sister, mob boss Eu-jin (Shin), or “Mantis” as she is known, decides she to get married. Of course, she needs an especially stupid husband who won’t realise her true occupation, and finds one in Soo-il (Park), a civil servant with a 0% success rate on his blind dates. Their courtship, pre-nuptials and wedding (the last interrupted by a rival gang – a “martial arts demonstration”, as a fast-thinking sidekick calls it) are executed perfectly, largely thanks to Shin and her expressions of shock and horror at the mating game.
After this, the film does lose its way a bit, drifting without much direction or aim; there’s a bit of humour, a bit of action as her rival White Shark tries to muscle in, and a good chunk of pathos due to the deaths of two major characters, none of which really sit well with each other. A more consistent approach would have helped, and there’s no doubting director Cho’s talent for comedy. However, it perks up again with a rousing finale, pitting Mantis against a large number of thugs, which doesn’t end as you’d expect – though, being honest, neither does it perhaps end as you’d want. Still, you can see why it has reportedly been bought by Miramax, as the concept is great, even if the execution goes mildly off the rails.
Dir: Cho Jin-Gyu
Star: Shin Eun Kyung, Park Sang-Myeon, Ahn Jae Mo, Kim In Kwon