English Title: Resurrection of the Little Match Girl
Running Time: 119 minutes
Director: JANG Sun-woo
[Synopsis] [Chinese Review] [English Review]
Wirtten by: Ryan Law
The production budget for Korean Films has been increased over the past 2 years. Out of the huge production budgets, JANG Sung-woo, who had previously done LIES, directed the new game thriller RESURRECTION OF THE LITTLE MATCH GIRL at over $ 10 billion Korean wons. Will his blockbuster be another classic as SHIRI, or another failure as R.U. READY?
Director JANG claimed his film as a game thriller. In fact, he has done a genre like that. Once the game started, it looks exactly as what you see in the Game Introduction program on television. Everything looks cyber but it is not as cyber as expected. The first 10 minutes of the film comes with a old-style little match girl seeking all the passed-by on the street buying her lighters. The whole style looks very inconsistent to the whole film. It looks to be the way to satisfy JANG's will.
Then we comes to the leading character Joo, a guy who play games at game center all the time, bought the lighter from the girl with a number and started the game. The remaining 90 minutes of the film is the whole game process.
This film is very well done if you are watching as a demonstration of a new game. They show everything, from every character and your two tasks - to find and save the little match girl who almost loses her faith. Then she will be disappeared again and you have to find her. The film give details for the introduction of each character in exactly war-game screen.
Unfortunately, we are not watching promotion show of a game, we are watching a movie. The whole film is very, very difficult to swallow.
Having be claiming it as a game thriller, the film still failed to cover its weakness in the presentation of characters. All the characters in the film are very disconnection while most of them only appeared once and without any propose. Usually games have some relationship on characters. A person dies may lead to another battle. However, JANG's film cannot see such relationship.
Audiences should also be expected to see the tons of bullet packets. While spending tons of money in production, the whole action scenes are not outstanding as expected. This film has got the whole set of action crew from Hong Kong who is supposed to be experiences in action. The results are just at the same level as what MA Yuk-shing done in BICHUNMOO (2000).
Given the excuse of a game style thriller, this movie has no synopsis at all. The distinct set up of characters lacks elaborations. No one can tell what is the character of the leading Joo nor the Match Girl after the show. The first part in seeking the girl by all parties lacks enjoyment. It resulted in just a series of unplanned fighting scene.
Big-budget film may mean the film is good in production and quality. Unfortunately, it is not a theory. JANG's new film offers nothing on both of them.