Saturday, August 18, 2007

See You After School (Korea 2006)

Goong-Dahl (Bong Tae-Gyu) is the unluckiest person alive. So unlucky in fact, he is constantly being bullied and abused. He signs up for a year-long clinical study that analyzes people who have been affected in this way and helps these "rejects" mesh back into society. After a large number of previous transfers, Goong-Dahl finds himself at another new school where he runs into Yeon Seong (Kim Tae-Hyeon), also a graduate from the self-help clinic. Seong brings him up to speed on the school, how things are done, and how he's managed to do so well there. His tactic of survival is like that of the sea. Basically, pick on students smaller and weaker than you and you'll get by just fine. To test this theory for himself, Goong-Dahl intervenes with some punks led by Kang Jae-Koo (Ha Seok-Jin), who happens to be harassing Choi Min-Ah (Jeong Koo-Yeon), Dahl's instant crush. So in his blind love for Min-Ah, Dahl has instantly angered the toughest kid in the school who now wants to destroy Dahl on the rooftop after school. Fearful of the impending beat-down which is sure to keep his reject status intact, Dahl with the help of his buddy Seong, now have to figure out a way to get out of this painful situation before the school day ends.

Well, if you've seen the 1987 movie, Three O'Clock High, then you've pretty much seen See You After School. Nevertheless, it still receives passing marks as an enjoyable movie. Technically it's fine and easy to watch, but it starts off rather slow with Dahl coming off as a dork and basically sucking at everything life has to offer. Slowly but surely, he gets his chance to shine as most of the humorous moments in the film fall entirely upon his shoulders. He does a great job in taking control and making the scenes result in a laugh. There are some CG touches to add to the jokes, as well as some slap-stick humor, but it's not enough to take the slack off of Bong Tae-Gyu. The supporting cast is all but non-existent, which makes the drama really lose it's punch. Unfortunately, a movie like See You After School really needs that dramatic element to work in order to make the comedic aspects stand out even more, and sadly that balance is never reached here. The film tries to sneak as many jokes in as possible near the end which really just hurts the movie all the more because it makes it drag on. See You After School isn't a bad movie, it just has one too many loose elements that keep it from being great. The geek and bully formula is a strong one, and we as an audience are sure to see more incarnations of it. Maybe we'll get 'em next time. (Converter)

Buy See You After School on DVD at YESASIA!

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