My Mighty Princess

Director:  Kwak Jae-young
Year: 2008
Rating: 6.0

Country: Korea

Director Kwak Jae-young was coming off three successful films when he directed this one - the incredibly popular My Sassy Girl, The Classic and Windstruck. Two of those starred Jun Ji-hyun who the actress of this film reminded me of a bit in looks. Which is a good thing. This feels like a step down from those three but it still is reasonably entertaining even if totally schizophrenic. The first half is a full on barrage of cuteness like someone sent you a box of kittens. It is very silly but it is hard not to want to pet it at times. Then out of the blue it turns into a melodramatic wuxia film that isn't bad, but feels like it belongs in another film. But this is a Korean film and you just roll with it because they have the habit of throwing you change ups in the middle of a film.

The cuteness is provided by Shin Min-a (the girl in the amazing gangster film A Bittersweet Life) who must be 99% hydrogen as she seems to float on air - literally at times. She radiates enough cuteness to energize a store of Hello Kitty dolls. When she wakes up late for school, she just runs and jumps across rooftops to catch the bus. You see, she comes from a martial arts family who belong to a larger martial arts clan. But she is in college now and is done with all that much to the chagrin of her father who wants her to keep the tradition and learn the deadly Lightening Strike with her sword. This was her mother's unique skill before she passed away. But all So-hwi wants to do is chase boys, one in particular who barely notices her. But she stalks him till he does. Even to joining the ice hockey team as goalie. But he still seems more interested in a much older police woman. She also needs to hide her extraordinary skills - so when she has to save him from a group of gangsters, she draws on a fake moustache and pulls down a cap - but keeps smiling at him in glee. Very adorable.

An old friend from her childhood and fellow martial arts student when they were young begins to stalk her in order to persuade her to start training again - Il-yeong (On Joo-wan - who much to my surprise is not in a Boys Band) is sort of gender neutral but seems to want to rekindle their old friendship. So at this point you think you know where it will go - is she going to end up with the hockey guy or Il-yeong - because this is clearly a corny comedic romance. Uh-uh. It goes way off course from your expectation as a martial arts killer with the Green Destiny Sword begins killing people in the martial arts family. And even then it doesn't go where you expect it to. A somewhat frivolous film that finally won me over at some point through pure osmosis. I watched it on YouTube.