April 12, 2008

Guns & Talks: Hitting All the Wrong Notes

There was a point midway through this awful buddy comedy (co-starring Lee Seo-jin) about hired killers when I wondered whether Guns & Talks would work better as a musical. As the young narrator (a bee-stung lipped Won Bin) waxed philosophical about the transformative power of love, I thought maybe this wouldn't be so unbearable if it were sung to a catchy tune. A later scene in which Shakespeare was shouted by actors in an avant garde production of Hamlet had me thinking: Yes! Yes! And here director Jang Jin could use Verdi's operatic version of the tragedy instead! But even that idea grew tired as the clock ticked away and my drifted to whether the toilet needed cleaning or the dog brushing and so on. Subplots involving a pretty newscaster, a smitten high school student, and one of the unlikeliest abortion strategies that I can recall never got overly complicated but they didn't add much to the experience either. The one surprise about Guns & Talks was Cantonese was the default language on the DVD even though the film is Korean. A background soundtrack lifted from a bad seventies porno movie meant no matter whether the actors were dubbed or speaking in their native tongue, the dialogue always sounded out of tune.

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