Yes, that’s child with an e. Don’t know why. No one’s asking.
So, the rave of the week is Park Hoon-jung’s latest movie The Childe. Featuring a bevy of topflight Korean actors, The Childe is the director’s offering after a pandemic hiatus. Filming during Covid undoubtedly has its limitations, but watching this sleek and quick flick it doesn’t show.
A lot has been written about The Childe. So, let’s just add to the obvious—and maybe add some review bits here and there. No spoilers here. Not in any order, here goes.
Kim Seon-ho plays a baby-faced professional hitman with John Wick manoeuvres and trigger-finger tactics. He’s quite adept at other weapons that lie around much like Jason Bourne. Don’t mess with his three-piece tailored suit, he gets rather anal. Not unlike John Steed or Napoleon Solo. (Google them). Seon-ho’s attempt (weak and feeble, tbh) at speaking Tagalog has been widely circulated. Jury’s still out.
Kang Tae-joo plays Marco a Kopino (or Korinoy). Tried this word with very young people, and they hadn’t even heard of it. Guess it hasn’t caught on. It’s the 21st century version of Amboy, perhaps. Half-Korean-Half-Filipino. Oh, so Tae-joo according to some newsbits apparently bested 1000 other hopefuls for the role.
Kim Kang-woo plays the nasty antagonist with expected flair. Flashes of Jin Cheng Wu (Takeshi Kaneshiro) of Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan filmdom all over the otherwise convincing performance. What’s with barefoot bad boys in bathrobes?
Creazion Studios and Glimmer Studio are the local partners. The former is also known for the surprise hit Patay Na Si Jesus.
Chingu, translates to friend in English. There’s so much riding on this concept of friendship in The Childe that almost makes it a four-letter word. One line caps it best: Friend? My ass. Wait for it.
If not for two kick-ass females (one played by Go Ara) just as gun-firing and gore-galore as the males, The Childe might as well be labelled testosterone-injected. Cars (a penchant for German brands!) speed and suits. An army (literally!) of men in black. Viewers can be forgiven to expect them to break out in flash mob musical, or do a 45-degree back-bend a la The Matrix.
As for inspiration—take your pick. It’s a hodgepodge of glorious movie minutiae.
All the running. And running. And running reminds viewers of Divergence (the Aaron Kwok, Daniel Wu starrer). Or, every Takeshi Kaneshiro, and Tom Cruise movie ever!
Much is written about The Childe and Succession. Hhhhmm. That’s just too obvious and current. And too easy. Not that it’s wrong. Try Wes Anderson, Guy Ritchie, Quentin Tarantino, John Woo, and maybe Doug Liman.
Watch The Childe. For entertainment’s sake.