A mosquito from Transylvania finds its way to Seoul where it bites Na Do-yol, a corrupt police officer. Soon after he begins to develop a thirst for blood, and finds out that he has vampire super powers whenever he becomes sexually aroused. When Do-yol's past misdeeds come back to threaten his partner and girlfriend, he decides to clean up his act and sets out for revenge.
How far did I have to look for a vampire-themed action/comedy with a touch of romance you might ask? Only as far as I usually look when I'm in need of my fix of cinematic bliss. So came Ricky, a boner-fide vampire cop, in a not all too familiar setting, that most would have associated with such a person, South Korea.
All of this with the help of a single mosquito, that got the best of a certain Dracula of Transylvania. Ricky, which is the commercial name of the character played by Su-ro Kim of the Volcano High fame, portrays a crooked cop, that gets bitten by this very mosquito. The crookedness and the basic transition in the main character was somewhat reminiscent of Stephen Chow's never ending recipe of a misguided good guy mingling with the wrong kinds, until the inevitable turn for the bright side. Ricky's turn is anything but bright, as the symptoms become very visible and his hunger for blood rises. One thing that gets Ricky's blood pumping is rage, but so do good looking women, as he explains to a priest "I turn into a vampire whenever I get hard".
All of this might seem like throw-away humor but it's not, it's actually good when it gets the time on the screen, but this being a Korean comedy, issues like buddy-cop drama, girlfriend that wants him to turn his life around consume their share of the film and humor is sometimes put on hold. Now the action was the least impressive to me. The whole Bruce Lee mannerisms and 'one punch and you're out' fighting style have been done to the death and beyond, so here it felt as a cover up to avoid coming up with fresher fighting sequences. The actors do a fine job, considering how much is asked from them. The flamboyant villain, played by the veteran actor Byung-ho Son adds a new spin on the crime lord persona, but the entire film stands on Su-ro Kim who avoids exaggerations and plays his character out with adequate vigor both in comedic and dramatic moments.
But, because the film stood at 2 hours, it left itself with as many good parts as it did with not so impressive and useless parts, however it at least tried to inject some drop of creativity into the old formulaic fusion of comedy, drama and romance, even if the comedy was its strongest and limited value. So with the sequel somewhere in works, I don't know what to expect, but because the win some lose some attitude will never disappear in the money driven film industry, it is anyone's guess how much better or worse the next feature will be. Good fun as Ricky, a cop of dubious virtue has deal with two problems which claim his soul and cast him into the outer darkness. Cleverly mirroring his gradual change into a vampire with his attempts to reclaim his good name as a police officer, the script offers some jokes and some action along the way. It leaves plenty of room for a sequel as the concept has some more mileage.
The lead is engaging and brings the necessary vitality to the role. As with most Korean films,it could perhaps do with some editing as it goes on for 2 hours, but the film didn't outstay it's welcome.
The special effects were fine and the action well shot. A deserved success. a5c7b9f00b
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