Jungle Juice

Two bozos from Seoul's red-light district have three days to find missing drug money in "Jungle Juice," a fitfully amusing comedy crimer centered on its popular young leads, Jang Hyeok and Lee Beom-su. Former a.d. Jo Min-ho's first feature drew a respectable 800,000 admissions nationwide in March, but humor and archetypes are too parochial.

With:
With: Jang Hyeok, Lee Beom-su, Son Chang-min, Jeon Hye-jin.

Two bozos from Seoul’s red-light district have three days to find missing drug money in “Jungle Juice,” a fitfully amusing comedy crimer centered on its popular young leads, Jang Hyeok and Lee Beom-su. Former a.d. Jo Min-ho’s first feature drew a respectable 800,000 admissions nationwide in March, but humor and archetypes are too parochial to draw much offshore interest.

Young punks Kit (Jang) and Cheol-su (Lee) are hired by a gangster, Min (Son Chang-min), as assistants. When Min screws up a drug deal, and both the coke and the cash go AWOL, Kit and Cheol-su team with a brassy hooker, Meg (Jeon Hye-jin), who’s tougher than both of them, to save their skin. Film picks up an hour in when the action shifts south to Busan port, where Meg has some former girl-gang associates; but in general the cuss-strewn dialogue and endless yelling are over-familiar from other delinquent movies. As the seriously idiotic Cheol-su, Lee bests Jang in screen presence, with strong support from Jeon as the gutsy hooker and Son as the psychotic gangster. Pic has no special visual style, but technically is pro.

Jungle Juice

South Korea

Production: A Big Blue Film release of an iPictures/TeraSource Venture Capital presentation, in association with MVP Capital/Cinema Service, of a Sidus Corp. production. (International sales: Cinema Service, Seoul.) Produced by Kim Jae-weon. Executive producers, Cha Seung-jae, Choi Jae-weon. Directed, written by Jo Min-ho.

Crew: Camera (color), Lee Du-man; editors, Ham Seong-weon, Kim Seon-min; music, Kim Jae-weon, Park Yeong; art director, Lee Dae-hun. Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival (market), May 18, 2002. Running time: 98 MIN.

With: With: Jang Hyeok, Lee Beom-su, Son Chang-min, Jeon Hye-jin.

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