My Wife is a Gangster
"Overall, My Wife Is A Gangster delivers the goods. It's filled with enjoyable sequences that range from well-choreographed martial arts action, to some clever comedy tidbits that will leave yourself saying "holy shit" in hysteria mode."
- Mighty Peking Man
My Wife is a Gangster (2001)
AKA: My Wife is Gangster
Director: Cho Jin-Gyu
Producer: Soon-Yeoul Lee
Cast: Shin Eun-Kyung, Park Sang-Myeon.
Running Time: 105 min.
Plot: Cha is the the bad-ass supreme of one of the big Korean mafia families. Cha is infamous for eliminating targets every time. Cha is also a woman. When she learns that her sister has terminal cancer, and her sister's dying wish is for Cha to be married and lead a normal, assasination-free life, Cha takes her sister's wishes to heart and begins her move toward normalcy.
Availability: This title is available at HKflix.com
MIGHTY PEKING MAN'S REVIEW: I never thought I'd actually enjoy "My Wife Is A Gangster", a title that sounds too much like it's in the same range as "Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot". But hell, a bad titled Hollywood film is one thing, and a bad titled Asian film is another. After all, "My Wife Is A Gangster" is a Korean film, and shitty Korean films hardly exist in this Wong Jing- -Andrew Lau- -Barry Sonnenfeld- -Weitz Bros. infested world.
Director Jo Jin-Gyu really should have called this film "Gangsta Bitch" and resurrected Apache's one-hit-wonder of the same name (by the way, Apache was a half black/half indian rap artist that didn't quite make it back in the 90's...). I'm sure Apache could have used the money. Besides, it sure beats the hell out of that awful Korean-rap song they used. For some of the things that happen in the film, Apache's lyrics, "I wanna gangsta boogie with my gangsta bitch", are too appropriate for this film to be ignored. Oh well, there's always the Hollywood remake or re-release, if one is planned. Not that I'm up for soundtrack changes, but, you get my point. Anyways, enough about theme song talk...
The basic premise of this film goes like this...
Cha (Eun-Kyung Shin), a female head-gangster, has a close sister who is dying slowly of cancer. She has one last wish before she goes bye-bye: She wants to see Cha get married AND have a family. Cha, faithful to her sister's last wish, goes on to make her wish come true - no questions asked.
Sound cool? I didn't think so either. But it ends up being pretty damn interesting in the long run.
Eun-Kyung Shin (who also played the desperate hero in"Ring Virus") is outstanding as the no-nonsense female head-gangster. I 'm not familiar with a whole lot of Korean actresses (yet), but I'd still bet money that none of them could have pulled it off better than she did. What I like about her the most, is the fact that she doesn't overdo or overact herself when dramatic or rage-filled reactions are called for. Instead, she keeps calm and gets her point out with her cool-cat reactions rather than flippin' out Al Pacino-style. Her looks are obviously nothing she relies on. Not that she's ugly, she's just not particularly "pretty". She's average, practical, and her overall presence does the job making her a beautiful person, as opposed to looking beautiful (if that makes any sense).
Most of the supporting cast hold the movie just as strong as Eun-Kyung Shin. The only real problem I had was with the husband (played by Park Sang-Myeon?). I'm not sure if it was him, or how he was presented, but you can pretty much say that he was more of an end-crust in the pizza, than an actual slice. His role should have been a bit more important, especially since he's the main reference to the title of the film. He had a significant share of screen time, but there was something unintentionally mysterious about him that leaves the audience barely convinced about his part. We could have used a bit more background - Why was he single at such an old age? What led him to marry Cha in such strange circumstances? Maybe it would have been more appropriate to have him tell the story by first-person narration. Like I said earlier, "Gangsta Bitch" would be a more fitting title because of this small flaw concerning the husband.
Overall, "My Wife Is A Gangster" delivers the goods. It's filled with enjoyable sequences that range from well-choreographed martial arts action, to some clever comedy tidbits that will leave yourself saying "holy shit" in hysteria mode. Much of the comedy is sexual... one of the film's great moments come when Cha is getting lessons on how to turn her husband on. Since she's highly clueless in practically everything but her mob lifestyle, she LITERALLY follows directions given to her which result in some pretty wet and wild situations. Don't let these Korean filmmakers fool ya - these horny little bastards got the balls to do some pretty freaky stuff.
Pretty good movie, pretty stupid title. Check it out.
MIGHTY PEKING MAN'S RATING: 7/10