January 5, 2013

Mapado 2: Back to the Island - Shut Your Fat Trap, Granny

Mapado 2: Back to the Island will make you hate old people. In a very deeply felt way. The ageist dystopia depicted in the scifi thriller Logan's Run? Suddenly, not so horrific! Why anyone would want to spend five minutes -- never mind two hours! -- with any of the quibbling, bull-headed grannies who dominate this sequel... Well, you know what? No one would. They're unbearable. Which is too bad because I actually remember the first Mapado as being a stupid-cute stoner comedy with much of the same cast. Clearly, neither Medicare nor AARP has anything in place to ensure people retain comic timing when hairs turn gray.

And I'm not just wagging an arthritic finger at the ancient actresses. The dearth of talent extends behind the camera, too: Kim Won-jin's script doesn't have one decent punchline; Lee Sang-soon's direction fails with both slapstick and martial arts moves. Why didn't they didn't bring back the original writing/directing team? Why didn't they revisit the pot-harvesting plot-twist in the predecessor? Was the film created specifically for senior citizen centers at which the audience would be expected to forget that they'd already seen this crap the night before? Or did actor Lee Mun-shik, who I find quite likeable despite the larger embarrassment, simply want to star in a movie in which he gets to wear ladies pajama pants and occasionally show off his legs? The PJs do look comfortable, the legs are sexy. But next time, Lee, indulge these desires at home. You're better than this! In truth, all the actors are. They'd have to be. Although with Lee Kyu-han, I have my doubts.

As the movie's one representative of youth, the exceedingly handsome model (?) -- surely, he's spent some time silently serving face -- shares so many variations of "the blank look" that you'd be justified in fearing that the body snatchers really had landed on Earth. The few times that Lee is called upon to emote, it's not a pretty sight. (That anguished scream in the ocean is really terrible to witness.) In his defense, you could say that no one here was mentoring him. Perhaps those old broads just wanted to get down his pajama pants: Mapado 3: Cougars on the Prowl. That was a joke. Please don't make another Mapado movie!

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