‘Miss GO’ gets lost in shoddy comedy

By Claire Lee
  • Published : Jun 14, 2012 - 20:07
  • Updated : Jun 14, 2012 - 20:08
 Ko Hyun-jung’s first commercial film lacks laughs, focus

It all seemed promising in the beginning.

After all, the movie was going to be actress Ko Hyun-jung’s first commercial flick. The popular actress, who has been dominating the local TV drama scene by playing nothing but powerful women, was going to be a social recluse in this highly anticipated comedy. She had heavyweight actors including Yoo Hae-jin and Park Shin-yang as her co-stars.

But “Miss GO,” or “Miss Conspirator,” turned out to be a disappointment when shown to the press on Wednesday. The movie was supposed to be a crime-comedy, but ended up an injudicious mix of too many genres.

The plot of the film develops as Ko’s character, who is a recluse cartoonist, somehow gets involved with one of the biggest organized crime groups in the country, and eventually transforms herself into an extraordinary criminal.

The movie’s lack of a well-knit narrative ruins the essence of the piece: it isn’t funny enough to be called a “crime comedy” while the characters run around and get into trouble they don’t even understand.
Actress Ko Hyun-jung stars in her upcoming comedy “Miss GO.” (NEW)

There is a bit of romance and human drama, but neither is convincing enough to draw in the audience. Ko and her love interest Yoo Hae-jin show almost no chemistry whatsoever, though the duo spent a good amount of time explaining how they both very much enjoyed their kiss scene during Wednesday’s press conference.

The movie is also a waste of the talented actors, especially Ko. The actress, whose previous TV roles include the nation’s first woman president and an ambitious royal concubine, gives her best to deliver the frail and dowdy character who suffers from severe social phobia. The character, named Chun Su-ro, isn’t flat or cliched; her phobia stems from a severe childhood trauma. In spite of the movie’s major shortcomings, it is clear that Ko understands her character’s flaws and woes, as well as her longings.

Director Park Cheol-gwan (Hi Dharma, 2001, No Mercy, 2009) tries to compose a portrait of a struggling individual who eventually overcomes her painful past. But this attempt ― as well as Ko’s riveting performance ― fails to shine as the movie’s comedic element conflicts with and eventually disrupts the serious drama.

Though this is her first foray into commercial cinema, Ko seemed much more convincing in her non-commercial works, including in Hong Sang-soo’s “Women on the Beach” and E J-yong’s 2009 drama “Actresses.”

“Miss GO” opens in theaters on June 21.

By Claire Lee (dyc@heraldcorp.com)