Review: MY GIRLFRIEND IS AN AGENT 7급 공무원 (2009) | Casey's Movie Mania | Movie Reviews, Features & Others

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Review: MY GIRLFRIEND IS AN AGENT 7급 공무원 (2009)

RATING: 2.5/5

Korean's answer to MR. AND MRS. SMITH (2005) but in the fluffy and corny tone of a typical local flavor of over-the-top romantic comedy excesses. These winning ingredients, coupled with two good-looking popular actors, are more than enough to generate this into a strong box-office hit. So strong that this film, MY GIRLFRIEND IS AN AGENT, even outperform Park Chan-Wook's highly-anticipated THIRST (which both released in the same month of April) in its  total box-office grosses. 

From the outlook, the film is no doubt a crowd-pleaser and it's especially entertaining enough to watch how Kim Ha-Neul and Kang Ji-Hwan often bickering against each others with frequently hilarious result. It's just pity the film is also an overblown and sometimes overlong piece of work that doesn't particularly sustain its promising quality to the last. 
The plot, in the meantime, goes like this: For six years, Ahn Su-Ji (Kim Ha-Neul) has been living a lie who disguised as a travel agent, whereas she is actually a top-secret government spy who can't reveal her true identity whatsoever to her geeky boyfriend, Lee Jae-Jun (Kang Ji-Hwan). While she is off chasing bad guys during her operation disguising as a bride, Jae-Jun has grown tired of her excuses and breaks up with her after finally decided to leave Korea. When Su-Ji tries to stop him from getting on the plane, she is unfortunate enough to miss him and left devastated. Three years later, Su-Ji starts to date somebody else and at the same time, she is also later assigned to work on a Russian mafia case involving the smuggling of a biological weapon. During her undercover operation where she poses as a cleaner, she is unexpectedly runs into Jae-Jun during her stakeout in the men's restroom. Not surprisingly, she ends up losing completely out of control and attacks Jae-Jun (a funny moment) for leaving her and lying about his current whereabouts. But unbeknownst to her, Jae-Jun has his own secrets as well. He is currently works as a rookie secret agent, in which he has actually went on an assignment to Russia to monitor the very same Russian mobster, headed by Victor "The Count" Bovchav (Domashchenko Vadym) that Su-Ji also works on the bust. Now back in Korea, he disguised as an international accountant but actually works for NIS (National Intelligence Service) and enters as a newbie for the specially-formed task force nicknamed "Harimao", headed by the no-nonsense Chief Seok (Ryoo Seung-Yong). Naturally, a series of mishaps ensues when Su-Ji and Jae-Jun collide against each other, attempting to rekindle their shaky romance relationship and at the same time trying to keep their secret agent work apart from each other. 
The two lead actors are especially charming, likable and engaging enough to warrant this a must-watch for this kind of film. Kim Ha-Neul, who is no stranger to romantic comedies, is naturally amusing and at the same time, brings a convincing presence portraying a spunky secret agent in which requires her to handle a lot of physical action. Kang Ji-Hwan, in the meantime, is a plain riot as a bumbling secret agent that at times, he even overshadows Ha-Neul. Whether watching him how he has frequently fails on his simplest field job to disguise as a room service assistant or attempting to trail on someone, or even squealing like a girl when he's in mortal danger, he proves to be a very funny actor to watch for. 
One particular laugh-out loud scene involves him and The Count shooting against each other in the weapons gallery, using air guns. 
Despite the film's winning charm of its comic timings, director Shin Tae-Ra tends to go overboard and even repetitive with the formula -- just how many times we have to go through the same old scene watching the two of them going on-and-off with their bickering relationship over and over again? The action, in the meantime, is mediocre and the ending is especially a letdown. 
It's hardly a genre classic, but definitely worthwhile.

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