Part-Time Spy

Director:  Kim Deok-soo
Year: 2018
Rating: 6.0

Country: Korea

When I first started watching this, I put it on pause and went to the Internet to check whether this was a film or a TV show. I think I had downloaded it from YouTube and so wasn't sure. It just had that shiny TV look to it - though there are some pretty good Korean TV shows out there. But it was a movie and once I got to watching it further that became more obvious. It is an amusing silly female buddy comedy that if made in the USA would have starred Melissa McCarthy in the role of the nerd and perhaps Scarlett Johansson as the hot, hot tempered smack them around partner. At least that is how I would cast it but then I would cast Johansson in pretty much every film. So yes, it is a goofball film in which two women of totally opposite temperaments and skills work and bond together to get the bad guys. We have been here a hundred times with men but with women it is still a bit of a rarity. The action can be taken or left behind, but it has some funny bits that seemed to go well with the Indian food I was having for dinner.

Jang Young-sil (Kang Ye-won) is 35 years old and has been trying to get into the NSA for years - those are spies - but keeps getting rejected. But while waiting, she has taken jobs or courses in dog talking, farming, Chinese, taxi driving and more. She looks to be a total nerd with her very frizzled or frazzled hair, large spectacles and timid demeanor. She finally gets called to duty as a temp to do computer work, but later when they have to make cuts, her boss  Deputy Park (Jo Jaeyun) gives her the boot. But she finds out that he has been the victim of a phishing scam and sent a ton of money to get a promotion. When the promotion doesn't come, he turns to her to find out where the money went and get it back - in turn she will get her job back.

She gets a job working for the phishing company - very white collar except they are mainly well-spoken nice looking women who talk people out of their money. And are quite gleeful about it. Her male boss is a honey (Min Namkoong) who she develops a crush on and she turns out to be great at cheating people over the phone. But she recognizes a police woman working there undercover too - this is the very attractive and prone to violence Na Jung-an (Han Chae-ah). She is looking for the Chairman of this operation before the police shut it down. And the movie goes exactly as you would expect it to - we could have written it- but both actresses have good comedic parts with a couple of moments that were so silly I could not help but laugh - Chae-ah trying to seduce her boss by rubbing against a wall is classic and Ye-won having to seduce two attack dogs with gyrations on the floor. It is the sort of film that easily drops off of anyone's radar  - harmless fluff - but I found it funnier than I expected. And that isn't such a bad thing these days.