The professional success of a safe cracker, Ji Hyeok (Kim Woo Bin), and his two partners in crime catches the attention of a ruthless mob boss. He offers them a job they cannot refuse, involving the theft of millions of dollars from a highly fortified customs center. Cue overly elaborate plans, double crosses, and Ji Hyeok’s smug face.
Junggugeo Kaenada 중국어 캐나다: ★
Only 만: ★
Only 만: So, last night, we may have eaten too much in an effort to get over our disappointment with The Con Artists.
Junggugeo Kaenada 중국어 캐나다: Sitting in the movie theatre, about half an hour into the movie, I thought to myself, “We have made a grave mistake.” The Con Artists was just that painful and boring.
Only: I even started tearing the label off my water bottle out of boredom, thus adding to your annoyance. But, let’s talk about what we liked, if we can find something. Personally, I have to say, not much.
Junggugeo Kaenada: I had a thing for Kim Woo Bin after “Heirs”, and a series of amazing editorial shoots. Then, he and his management decided to aim for ‘boy next door’. Well, there were still glimmers of the attractive Kim Woo Bin in The Con Artists. For whole seconds, I was reminded that he still looks great in clothes.
Only: I amused myself by keeping an eye out for a long-haired male model type who was playing a background thug. He was nice to look at, though he never spoke. But, given the dialogue in this film, that’s probably a good thing.
Okay, now that we’ve finished with what we liked, let’s unload. You first.
Junggugeo Kaenada: The characters were amazingly one dimensional. Kim Woo Bin’s lead character, Ji Hyeok, was obnoxious without any positive qualities to counteract how unlikeable he was. However, the worst thing that a heist film like The Con Artists can be is boring.
Only: That was my number one problem. It became tiresome to the point that I was actually annoyed at Kim Woo Bin’s gratuitous shower scene for extending the running time. Also, I have to agree with you, Ji Hyeok was pretty annoying; there’s nothing more obnoxious than a central character who knows everything, all the time. Not to mention, it drained any dramatic tension from the film.
Junggugeo Kaenada: Even the secondary characters did nothing but reinforce what a dick Ji Hyeok was. His partner, who was about 10 years his senior, was treated like a bumbling lackey. And, there were none of the benefits of the overconfident asshole character. For instance, he never came on to the sole female character, though they tried to force a connection between them at the end.
Only: I can’t even remember the name of the female character. I refuse to look it up, since she was so obviously shoehorned into the story, and then given nothing to do, but look attractive. Even the usual romantic storyline would have made more sense, and made Ji Hyeok look like less of an ass.
Another issue I had was that the dialogue felt completely stilted. You imagine in a heist film that there would be some banter between the characters, but that never materialized. Instead, the movie pretended like everything Ji Hyeok said was clever and funny, though it never actually came off that way.
Junggugeo Kaenada: Ji Hyeok was not a clever raconteur, but more distressingly, he wasn’t even the criminal mastermind that he was supposed to be. This may sound like a minor detail, but it drove me insane when he decided to strip out of his SWAT suit in the middle of the action just so he could run around in loafers with no socks on. Otherwise, I could see no reason why he would want to stick out like a sore thumb, wearing his white leather jacket in the middle of a customs yard.
Only: No, at that point, it was yet another poke in the eye. Another instance was leaving the sole female character in the hands of a murderous criminal, who could kill her at any time. That seemed pretty stupid to me.
Junggugeo Kaenada: So stupid, so boring, and entirely populated by unlikeable characters. I think this may be a new low in our Korean movie watching experience.
Only: I would say so. Between the boring heist story and the insufferable lead character, The Con Artists is just a flashy exercise in mediocrity.