Thursday, May 3, 2007

My Wife is a Gangster 3 (Korea 2006)

My Wife Is a Gangster 3 (Jopog manura 3) centers around half Chinese-half Korean, Lim Aryong (Shu Qi) who gets sent to South Korea to "lay low" by her father (Ti Lung), who just happens to be the head of a major Triad gang and is engaged in a bloody power struggle in Hong Kong. In Korea, Aryong meets kindhearted gangster Ki Chul (Lee Bum Soo) who, unaware of her identity, tries to protect her from the legions of thugs hunting her down.

Well, before you get too excited for the third installment in this wildly successful series, you should know that it has nothing to do with the previous films, other than the title and the director (well, from the first one anyway). The first big change is the fact that the female lead is no longer played by Eun-Kyung Shin and has been replaced by Chinese star Shu Qi (The Transporter, So Close, and Gorgeous to name a few). It seems that the trick this time around is location, location, location, by emphasizing the fact that the Chinese main character is stuck in South Korea while having no knowledge of the Korean language. While there, she is baby-sat by three "would be" triad tough guys, led by Ki-Chul. Ki-Chul and his crew hire a translator, Yeon-Hee (Yeong Hyeon), to help communicate with Aryong. They soon get on the same page with Aryong telling them she wants any information they can find on her long lost mother whom she believes is somewhere in Korea. During all of this, the two leads, Ki-Chui and Shu Qi, fall for each other (love knows no language) right in time for her fathers enemies to catch up to her!

My Wife is a Gangster 3 is a mixed bag if there ever was one. It has a popular Chinese film star in a fish out of water storyline with everything needing to be translated and drug out for one hundred and fifteen minutes. The only way I can recommend this is if your a fan of Shu Qi and that's about it. The story is comprised of a paper thin plot and is primarily what you're exposed to for the film's incredibly long (for a comedy) running time. The fact that the poorly choreographed fight scenes are so few-and-far between don't help matters either. The majority of humor in the film is placed on Ki-Chul and his two lackeys as they sit back and receive mistranslated dialogue from Aryong via Yeon-Hee. These jokes get old pretty quick and are relied upon for laughs far too often. By the time the movies finale rolls around, the action and the comedy taking place begin to feel like "too-little-too-late", leaving the viewer feeling ultimately dissatisfied and disappointed in a series that seemed to have so much potential. At this point, I can't say that I'd be too excited at the prospect of a My Wife is a Gangster 4. (Converter)

Buy My Wife is a Gangster 3 on DVD or VCD at YESASIA!

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