I’ve been pretty hyped up about this movie ever since I heard about its conception back in 2011. It took me a while, though, to get around to watching it, but boy was it worth it. If you’re looking for a film with depth, swift execution, and stellar story, this is not the movie you’re looking for. If instead you’re looking to watch a comedy that will make you laugh out loud and catch live feed of Kang Ji Hwan’s fantastic abs, this is the jackpot.
I began the movie expecting to see a male version of Miss Congeniality, and while there were some ogre to beauty makeover elements preserved, the story just wasn’t the same. While Miss Congeniality was more about Gracie’s maturation (at least to me), Runway Cop was all sorts of just slapstick. Great slapstick at that. I loved Kang Ji Hwan and his willingness to give his all no matter how ridiculous the scenario was. Whether he’s hanging at the edge of a bridge, edge of a truck door, or stuffing sausage into his mouth, Kang immersed himself in the boisterous actions. And that’s what’s so great about him as an actor. He can do melo, crying with a plethora of facial expressions; he can do anger, submerging his audience in the intensity of the scene; and he can do comedy, because he can let himself go and pose like an idiot without the restraints of a hallyu star. I. Just. Love. Him.
The story revolves around an undercover stint by the Korean police force in trying to catch some powerful Meth dealers. They suspect that a popular male model, played by Lee Soo Hyuk, is helping a bunch of mobsters smuggle drugs during fashion shows. A recent police infiltrate into the fashion scene, as a crew member, was murdered, and now they need Detective Cha to crack the case. Detective Cha, played by Kang Ji Hwan, is an overweight and dedicated officer that’s willing to put his life on the line in the name of justice. He lives at work, refuses to shower in the name of staking out, and loves meat. He is assigned the job and works with the fashion designer Go Young Jae, played by Sung Yuri, to lose weight and become more model-like. The two headbutts the first minute they meet but eventually re-kindles when they realized they were high school classmates. (I love the set up already, high fashion diva versus pushy stubborn detective). And thus, hilarity ensues.
It was so obvious that Kang was in a fat suit throughout the entire movie. I wondered why they needed him to be fat in the first place. Why couldn’t he have just been hideously dressed, unshaven, and smelly, without being 20kg overweight, I don’t understand. The transition was so not believable, because seriously, who can make such a huge transformation in 2 weeks without plastic surgery. And to top it all off, he was always stuffing his face when he was fat and screaming with his mouth full. I felt someone needed to be there to do the Heimlich Maneuver at all times. The editing and scene transitions were also a little odd at times. Some stares took too long, and some scenes were pointless. The villains were jokes and I’m definitely questioning how they even got so powerful in the first place. There was pretty much no character development and I’m still not clear what the models did to help with the drug smuggling.
Sung Yuri’s diva designer was a riot. Her hand gestures still make me chuckle, and her crazy outfits are Lady Gaga level. But goodness, she can pull them off and make them look gorgeous while doing it. (Now I kind of want her pink dress-thingy-ma-bob.)
Her chemistry with Kang was off the hook and every time they were in a scene alone, which were a-plenty, I can feel the static electricity.
The fashion was definitely there, and the clothing that the male models toted at the runway were pretty impressive, especially what Detective Cha was wearing as the main piece.
Overall, it was a fun ride. Light, slapstick, and silly. I’d recommend it!