Choi Min-sik kicks butt in Hollywood film ‘Lucy’

By Chung Joo-won
  • Published : Jul 28, 2014 - 17:58
  • Updated : Jul 28, 2014 - 17:58

Korean actor Choi Min-sik (top) plays Mr. Jang, an evil ganster, in U.S. sci-fi action film "Lucy" starring Scarlett Johansson (bottom). (Captured from Lucy)

Korean acting guru Choi Min-sik successfully debuted in Hollywood with the Universal Pictures’ movie “Lucy,” which raked in about $44 million in its first week, U.S. media outlets reported on Sunday.

International movie critics highly praised the 54-year-old Korean actor, who gained international fame for his role in the mystery-thriller “Oldboy” (2003), directed by Park Chan-wook. Twitch Film, a Canadian film reviewing site, called him an actor with “many faces” who “brings an impressive physicality to each performance.”

Overall, the sci-fi action movie swept about 32.7 percent of the estimated $134.6 million that the top 12 films earned during the same period in the U.S., according to the California-based Box Office Mojo. It estimates that “Lucy” will make at least $100 million. Lucy’s audience was split evenly between men and women, about 65 percent of whom were over the age of 25.

The commercial and cinematic success of “Lucy” is expected to open up more opportunities for Choi in the international cinematic scene. Luc Besson, the director of “Lucy,” reportedly cast him as he was impressed with his acting skills in “Oldboy.” The director also plans to visit Korea in late August to promote “Lucy.”

“Lucy” stars Scarlett Johansson, who is kidnapped by an evil gangster, played by Choi, and is forced to be a drug mule. One day she accidentally gains 100 percent control of her brain potential, becoming a superhero, and begins to fight her destiny.

The movie’s Korean premier kicks off on Sept. 4.

By Chung Joo-won (joowonc@heraldcorp.com)