November 29, 2013

Girl Scout: Girls Just Wanna Have Funds

There was a stretch where I was enjoying Girl Scout, Kim Sang-man's chick-flick, action-pic comedy. Now I'm trying to remember when I completely lost interest. The movie definitely has elements in its favor. It's a heist film. It's grrrl-powered. It's periodically funny. It's class-conscious. It's even efficient in how it sets up its plot: Four friends must retrieve money from swindlers so one (Kim Seon-a) can open her dream diner, one (Lee Kyeong-shil) can get her child an operation, one (Na Mun-hee) can quit a degrading job, and one (Ko Jun-hee) can go on a shopping spree. So where did it go wrong exactly? One problem is the movie doesn't establish definitively who the villain is. The vixen (Lim Ji-eun) who's stolen their money is actually in cahoots with a crook (Park Won-song) who may or may not be her boss. Is the lady thief a victim? She sure gets slapped around a bit by her partner. Are they working as a team? It doesn't seem so. What's their history? And why do they also have two million dollars in government bonds alongside the stolen cash?

None of these questions arose while I watched Girl Scout, mind you. My curiosity dwindled down to nil about halfway through the pic. I didn't care what the crime was. I didn't care who the criminal was. I certainly didn't care if justice was served. What's weird is that you get the feeling that the main four women don't care that much about each other either. At least two of the four friends are easily persuaded to betray the others, and no one seems overly concerned with the one woman's son getting the surgery he so desperately needs. (The doctor included!) As to the loan shark (Ryu Tae-joon), he's more distraction than attraction despite his photogenic looks. Whether he's a good guy or a bad guy, he barely registers at all.

Note to Korean Filmmakers: Jeon Ji-ae, who has a bit part as a waitress who works at the bar where much of the action occurs, is really good in a very small part. Someone please cast her in a bigger role!

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