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After pandemic postponements, Korean movies flow into theaters

By Kim Da-sol

Published : Jan. 29, 2023 - 14:14

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“Count” (CJENM) “Count” (CJENM)

A variety of Korean films are opening in cinemas after their releases were delayed due to COVID-19, as the local film industry starts to show signs of recovery.

In the upcoming month, “The Outlaws” and “Extreme Job” actor Jin Seon-kyu’s new comedy film “Count” will open. The film centers on Si-heon, played by Jin, who is a former Olympic medalist and now teaches students at a high school as a stubborn and sometimes annoying physical education teacher. After discovering talent in his student Yoon-woo, played by Sung Yoo-bin, Si-heon decides to form a boxing team.

Shooting for “Count” wrapped up in June 2020 but the movie's release was delayed due to pandemic. The film was directed by Kwon Hyuk-jae and stars Oh Na-ra and Go Chang-seok.

“My Puppy” (Plus M Entertainment) “My Puppy” (Plus M Entertainment)

Cha Tae-hyun and Yoo Yeon-seok’s heartwarming pet film “My Puppy” will open in cinema on March 1.

Wrote and directed by Jason Kim of 2017 award-winning action comedy “Midnight Runners,” “My Puppy” revolves around the efforts of Min-soo (Yoo) and Jin-guk (Cha) to find a new family for Min-soo’s companion dog Rooney.

Director Kim said the film is based on his experience of separation from his childhood dog. The film was chosen as the closing film of the 5th Seoul Animal Film Festival, where it premiered in October last year.

Crime thriller “The Devil’s Deal,” starring Cho Jin-woong, Lee Sung-min and Kim Mu-yeol, is also coming out in March.

The film, set in Busan in 1992, centers on confrontation and collaboration between an ever-unsuccessful politician Hae-yong (Cho), a political heavyweight Soon-tae (Lee) and a gang boss Pil-do (Kim). The film is another action thriller project by “The Gangster, the Cop, the Devil” (2017) director Lee Won-tae.

Meanwhile, local blockbuster films have already fixed their release dates, targeting high season.

Director Ryoo Seung-wan, behind “The Berlin File” (2013), “Veteran” (2015) and “Escape from Mogadishu” (2021) is coming back with a star-studded cast for crime action film “Smuggle” in summer. Actors Kim Hye-soo, Zo In-sung, Yeom Jung-ah and Park Jung-min appear in the film.

“Road to Boston,” a film based on marathoner Sohn Kee-jung’s life, will be unveiled in autumn, targeting the Chuseok holiday season.

Director Kang Je-gyu, behind hit films “Shiri” (1999), “Brotherhood” (2004) and “Take Off” (2009), will tell Sohn’s story of preparation for the first international marathon held after World War II via two protagonists: Sohn Kee-jung (Ha Jung-woo) and Seo Yun-bok (Yim Si-whan). The film wrapped up in January 2020, and will finally meet with audiences more than three years later.

From left: Posters for “Smuggle” (NEW) and “Road to Boston” (Lotte Entertainment) From left: Posters for “Smuggle” (NEW) and “Road to Boston” (Lotte Entertainment)