December 26, 2008

No Blood, No Tears: Raising a Fist for the Sisterhood

The world needs more movies about women who learn to fight back. Ones featuring ladies who bond while kicking butt are even better. So here's to Ryu Seung-wan's No Blood, No Tears, a jopok chick flick with female fists as capable of drawing blood as they are of being raised in sisterly solidarity. Admittedly, both lead women aren't natural born killers. That honor goes to a down-on-her-luck cabbie (the unstoppable Lee Hye-yeong) who's stuck between a rock and a hard place because her AWOL husband's left her in debt up to her ears. Attempting to stay straight, she's reluctant to pair up with a gangster's moll (Jeon Do-yeon) as a way to get out of her situation but desperate times call for desperate measures. And so, the two misfits pair up to outwit the syndicate, the police, and one decidedly misogynist boyfriend (Jeong Jae-yeong). Little do they know that they'll also have to contend with a trio of goofballs led by none other than the director's adorable brother Ryu Seung-beom. With as many fistfights as there are doublecrosses, No Blood, No Tears would've been noir of the highest order if Ryu had simply spent a little more on the soundtrack. (The score is awful.) It's a B-movie, that's a B+.

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