My Mighty Princess

((summary taken from azntv))

무림여대생 / Murim yeodaesaeng

Hailing from a celebrated martial arts family, So Hui (Shin Min Ah) is the darling of the martial arts community with her superhuman strength and high-flying prowess. But being a martial arts prodigy isn't much help when it comes to getting handsome brooding hockey player Jun Mo (Yoo Gun) to notice her.

Much to the dismay of her father (Choi Jae Seong) and longtime friend Il Young (Ohn Joo Wan), So Hui decides to quit martial arts and join the college hockey team. While So Hui's pining after Jun Mo who's pining after an older woman, fighting breaks out in the martial arts community as a decades-long conflict comes to a head. So Hui may be the only person who can subdue the evil Black Tiger and solve the mystery surrounding the strife.

My Sassy Girl director Kwak Jae Yong strikes again with the delightful romantic action comedy. Taking Kwak's sassy-heroine formula to another level with Hong Kong-style wirework, My Mighty Princess delivers action, laughter, and pure popcorn entertainment.

Directed by: Jae-young Kwak
Cast: Min-a Shin, Ju-wan On, Geon Yu

My Rating:

I'm a huge fan of martial arts comedies (as any fan of Ranma 1/2 can tell you), so of course I loved this (enter slight bias here). The martial arts were awesome, and I liked the originality of the plot (and it had very cool stunt work and special effects). I especially liked the big battle at the end, as well as the first big fight with the four older "masters." Of course it wasn't perfect... but I'll address the biggest problem I had with it later (and I bet it's not what you're expecting).

First, I really liked how they combined the ancient with the modern. At first, I was a little uncertain what time-period this was supposed to be set in (with the flashbacks to ideal Wuxia-land--or where ever that place was) but eventually I grew to like the uncertainty. It made me feel like I was watching a classic martial arts film, with dashes of modernity thrown in for fun (though I'm sure I'm alone in this opinion, lol). Plus, I like how it highlighted the tension between tradition and youthful rebellion, and how people are still naturally drawn to the conventions of custom, no matter how much they try to escape it. That's what I personally really liked about the ending... it brings our main characters back to the beginning, and forces them to confront what they've been fighting against all along (though, really, they didn't put up that much of a fight, haha).

However, I wish it hadn't come quite so late into the film.

In the end it would have been nice to see how the incident at the end changes the characters and forces them to grow... but unfortunately we're shown very little of the aftereffects of the battle. I would love to see a sequel, but I'm sure that's not going to happen seeing as how this took about 2 1/2 years just to come out.

Oddly enough, the one thing that prevented me from giving this five stars was the love triangle.

As much as I loved her friend Il Young, I don't like how they made his character seem so goofy, and well, fruity. I actually thought he was supposed to be her gay best friend... though it was probably my own mistake. He was hilarious and cute, but because of my aforementioned assumption, I never pictured him as a serious contender for So Hui's affections. Plus, he seems more interested in motorcycles and being used as comic fodder--not as possible relationship material. And I know how the goofy-best friend thing works (I LOVE Love At First Fight) so I'm not sure if it was just because of the actor playing him or what, but there you go...

Il Young's intentions become clear much too late, so I found it hard to forget my first impressions and completely get behind them as a couple... which is sad, because I couldn't really see her with the hockey player either. However, many of my favorite parts in the movie came through Il-Young's actions (doing laundry, trying to climb up the building, "camouflage"). Plus, he was cute. It seemed like they didn't quite know what to do with his character though (unlike the other main characters). His revelation at the end (and his transformation into an awesome bad-ass who could kick butt) should have come sooner. If we'd been introduced to him doing something martial-artsy, my opinion might have been different. Plus I liked him better with short hair (but that's just me being difficult). Still, he was hilarious.

As for the main character: I really like Shin Mi-Na's portrayal of So Hui. She could do the cute, innocent boy-crazy stalker to perfection AND throw a punch and handle a sword like no other. Actually, I don't think there's a movie or drama she's been in that I haven't liked. She's one of my favorite Korean actresses (which is pretty impressive when you consider all the Korean actresses I don't like, lol). I LOVED her character.

Bottom line: if you like martial arts-oriented comedies, then you'll love this. I did. Just remind yourself that Il Young actually likes her, and you should clear the hurdle I stumbled over quite easily. ^_^


Anonymous said... Reply to comment @ December 28, 2008 at 2:03:00 AM MST

A sequel would definately compete the story since at the end you're kinda left with your own imagination of what would happen. So lets do it guys!

ANGELA JEWELL said... Reply to comment @ December 28, 2008 at 9:55:00 AM MST

I'm totally with you!

Sequel! Sequel!

Anonymous said... Reply to comment @ June 15, 2009 at 4:29:00 AM MDT

yes, i totally agree that a sequel is in order since it was just getting good.
i want a sequel!!!!

Tim said... Reply to comment @ March 21, 2011 at 2:48:00 PM MDT

Why did the guy do his laundry with change from the fountain? Was he poor? He wore the same outfit in every scene while his father had a really clean white suit on. They didnt explain why he had only one outfit or why he had totake money from the fountain. A bit of a directorial problem or they simply forgot about that?

Anonymous said... Reply to comment @ July 26, 2011 at 4:39:00 AM MDT

i love 8...

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