Posted in Fantasia 2013, Fantasia International Film Festival, Film Festivals, Reviews, Trailers, Video

The Grand Heist review – Fantasia 2013

The_Grand_HeistThe Grand Heist / 바람과 함께 사라지다 / Baramgwa Hamjje Sarajida (2012)
Director: Kim Joo-ho ; Screenplay: Kim Min-sung
Cast: Cha Tae-hyun, Oh Ji-ho, Min Hyo-rin, Lee Chae-young

As one can predict, this is a heist movie but what makes it interesting is that it takes place in the JoSeon era and the goods they’re stealing are blocks of ice. That might sound silly today but makes sense when considering a time way back before freezers existed. Corrupt officials and merchants are price-fixing the ice blocks which prompts a group of experts to execute an elaborate plan to steal the Palace’s storage of ice blocks and release it to the people. The movie is billed as a historical comedy which would be accurate.

There is some action and explosions but it is limited since only one of the experts is a fighter. When they do occur, the fights scenes are not bad. There is some CG use which I’m not a fan of and it’s done okay here (except for the intro sequence where it’s just too obvious). The film is a bit too long, particularly in the first hour. I would say the scenes that show the Palace officials and their scheming were the least enjoyable to watch, not necessarily bad but sometimes over-complicated with how they were connected with one another. There were too many of the officials for me to bother to keep track of and once I figured out who the the main baddie was, I only cared about how the experts would steal the ice and only paid attention to scenes with the experts which were highly entertaining. There is some over-acting at times but more often than not it enhances the humour. Some jokes are overplayed though but there are lots of good laughs to be had.

Overall, it turned out to be a very funny and entertaining film with some nice surprises at the end but definitely needed some parts to be trimmed. Be sure to stay for at least the beginning portion of the credits for a couple of extra scenes. Trailer after the jump.

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Author:

Longtime fan of East Asian films. Former "movie reporter" on the music radio show / podcast "Beats From The East" broadcasted on Concordia University's CJLO 1690AM radio station in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

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