May 23, 2010

Murder, Take One: There's No Reason to Take a Second Shot

My friend Graham suggested early on that I stop watching Murder, Take One and ask the readers to tell me the ending. It was that boring. But I stuck with it, and writer-director Jang Jin's police procedural did finally pick up with the late entrance of a motherly exorcist (Lee Yong-lee) and her child sidekick. Prior to that, I was basically wondering how tall is that dashing detective (Cha Seung-won) -- He's 6'2" according to Wiki -- and why has he agreed to have his interrogation of the main suspect (Shin Ha-kyun) videotaped for prime time? Can the resultant program possibly be getting good ratings? Who are the sponsors? They weren't questions I felt deeply. Just things to think about while I clipped my toenails or nibbled on a frosted strawberry pop tart. But ghosts can make a movie more interesting. What had been a not particularly suspenseful murder mystery wrapped in a bland TV news special now became a ticklishly spooky character portrait about a cute cop who may have some connection to the other side. When the cocky television producer got possessed by the victim's spirit, I had to confess: This wasn't the worst Korean movie I'd ever seen. Up until then, it had been in the running.

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