When I was looking through the list of movies coming out this week in Singapore late last year, I was disappointed on how horrible the movies were. I mean, there’s the “94% Rotten Tomatoes”-rated Arrival but I have had enough of aliens invading earth and the impending doom that the idea of stepping into the cinema this week seems depressing.
Then, came the saviour – 마스터 (Master), a Korean movie starring Kang Dong-Won, Lee Byung-Hun and Kim Woo-bin. The casting sounds impressive already so I decided to give this a shot. And boy, I didn’t regret it at all.
Kang Dong-Won starred as Captain Kim Jae-myung, leader of the Financial Investigations Crime Unit, determined to bring down President Jin (Lee Byung-Hun) of ONE Network, for investment fraud. Before taking him down, he needed to bait in the mastermind and brain behind President Jin, Park Jang-goon, played by Kim Woo-bin.
The summary plot sounded like a bore. Who ever wants to watch about financial crimes, right? But it was enjoyable from start to finish. It has everything from that conniving evil person to the fallen hero to the cute geeky sidekick. Yes, by that I meant Kim Woo-bin though he does not, on paper, look cute-ly geeky (wait till he wears the glasses and puts on that hoodie and a cap, ladies).
You might think it would be full of action and kicking butts and car explosions, which you would expect from Hollywood. But no. It was made to look as realistic as possible. I mean, if someone commits investment fraud, would the cops be like guns-ablazing, cars-exploding and butts-kicking? No. They would probably be all spying and trying to catch the person red-handed, quietly. I mean, there were butts being kicked and bloods being spilled but it’s not too much of it that it becomes a cliche.
It is also full of laughter and it’s all thanks to Kim Woo-bin and the guy acting as his best friend (I can’t read Korean, I don’t know who he is and he’s not in the cast list in any of the websites – like why?). Woo-bin even busted out his moves with “Single Ladies”. I swear, I almost wanted to die looking at this handsome muscly guy dancing to Single Ladies. He is no Beyonce for sure but I appreciate the butt. I’m still a warm-blooded single lady who appreciates good butts.
What I also love about the movie is the bromance. There’s a bromance between Dong-Won and Woo-bin’s characters and as a fangirl, I appreciate that a lot. Thank you, writer-nims!
And let’s talk about the acting. I mean, it’s Lee Byung-hun. This guy is a legend. If Hong Kong has Jackie Chan, Korea has Lee Byung-hun. Though he’s probably not yet at Jackie Chan’s level but he’s almost there. He’s critically acclaimed for being able to play a myriad of characters and he’s not afraid to try out anything. Here in this movie, he’s a charismatic fraud. What’s not to like? Or hate actually.
All in all, if you, like me, does not want to watch the cliched Hollywood movie that is Arrival, feel free to go watch 마스터 (Master). Ladies, you’ll appreciate the handsomeness on screen. You’re welcome.
I give this movie a 4 out of 5.