[MOVIE REVIEW] Midnight Runners Starring Park Seo Jun and Kang Ha Neul
If you’re in need of some laughter, then you should catch ‘Midnight Runners’ while it’s still showing in theatres! Besides the fact that the leads are so swoon-worthy, the movie is more than just gratuitous topless scenes (thank you though!) and you will probably leave the theatre thinking a little about social issues. Don’t worry though, the heavy content of the movie is well-balanced with humour so you won’t feel bored or upset. The humour was subtle and cleverly inserted into the right moments of the movie, beautifully balanced with the heavier and darker topics mentioned.
[Please note that there are some spoilers ahead]
‘Midnight Runners’ follows two young men who are enrolled in the Korean National Police University although neither had dreams of being a policeman. After a night of partying, Ki Joon (played by Park Seo Jun) and Hee Yeol (played by Kang Ha Neul) witness a kidnapping and immediately report the incident to the police. However, when the authorities are unable to take action due to frustrating bureaucracy and lack of evidence, the duo decide to track the kidnappers down themselves and rescue the girl, which gets them into all kinds of hilarious, and painful, situations.
The movie starts out light-hearted albeit a little emotional with the new students saying their goodbyes to their families, which quickly transitions into a hilarious scene where Ki Joon tries to stop the barber from cutting his hair too short. After a grueling exercise drill, Ki Joon and Hee Yeol end up forging an unlikely friendship of brawn and brain. When they learn that their classmate found a girlfriend in a nightclub, the duo decided to get themselves one too by hitting the clubs but they end up failing miserably and drinking their sorrows away.
While walking along the streets after, they decided to follow a pretty girl as she walks home (were they too drunk to realise that this is a really creepy thing to do?) when she got kidnapped right in front of their eyes! As the policemen are too busy investigating a high-profile case, it’s up to them to save the girl. As they learned in class, in any abduction case, the “golden hour” after a crime has taken place is the critical window to find clues and locate the abductee; with every passing minute, the risk to the abductee increases.
This is when the plot starts to get intense. The duo soon learns that this is not just a simple abduction case but a criminal ring in cahoots with a hospital (the anger!) to supply human organs for transplants to rich clients. A black market for human organs! When Hee Yeol first entered the building where the criminals housed rooms after rooms of girls abducted for this horrible crime, I couldn’t help but shed angry tears. To see that the worth of a human life is reduced to that of their organs. Knowing that this actually happens in the world really breaks my heart.
But the movie thankfully ends on a good note with the crazy duo beating all odds to outsmart the gang and save all the girls! They ended up being badly bruised, faced punishment for going AWOL and losing police equipment, but by virtue of the fact that they brought down a black market organ trafficking ring which even the police could not accomplish, they were saved from expulsion. Yay to our heroes!
I left the theatres being reminded that sometimes, all it takes is one crazy person to change the world. In this case, there were two. Here’s to wishing that more crazy people (of the good kind only please!) will continue to impact the world in positive ways to make our world a better place to live in!
(Check out our coverage of Midnight Runners’ Gala Premiere in Hong Kong, which Actor Kang Ha Neul and Director Kim Joo Hwan attended.)
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