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Over My Dead Body - Movie Poster
Original Title:
Sichega Dolawassda

South Korea 2012

Comedy, Action

Wu Seon-ho

Lee Beom-su
Kim Ok-bin
Ryu Seung-beom
Jeong Man-sik
Yoo Da-in
Ko Chang-seok
Jeong In-gi
Sin Jeong-geun
Bae Jeong-nam
Nam Kyeong-eup

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Over My Dead Body

Story: Baek Hyeon-cheol (Lee Beom-su) and his friend are betrayed by their boss, who wants to flee the country with the invention of the two in order to make millions overseas. But Hyeon-cheol and the media are exerting pressure on the company boss and don't let him leave the country. When Hyeon-cheol's friend is run over by the boss's men and ends up in hospital, Baek vows to take revenge. The daughter of the friend, Dong-hwa (Kim Ok-bin), is also completely worked up and doesn't know how to pay the hospital bills. At the same time the company boss is backstabbed by his right hand Steve Jeong (Jeong Man-sik) and ends up in a casket. In his body the microchip with the details of the invention is stored for Jeong to smuggle it outside the country along with the body. But Hyeon-cheol and Dong-hwa come up with the idea to kidnap the body and demand a ransom. Baek doesn't know how valuable the body really is, though. While Jeong wants to get back the chip no matter the cost smalltime con artist Ahn Jin-oh (Ryoo Seung-beom) first upsets Baek's plans only to help him afterwards. A gigantic chaos that becomes bigger by the minute breaks loose.

Review: If you think of comedies from South Korea you most probably will remember some romantic comedies. Simply a really good comedy is actually something very rare. Strangely enough they are often also a bit too much hyped-up as is the case with "Over My Dead Body". At least the movie succeeds in bringing some good jokes to the screen. This is mainly achieved by the two main actors who also create an interesting chemistry between their roles. Apart from that the plot shouldn't surprise anyone in respect to it being full of mix ups and entanglements that warrant a wild hunt along with humoristic scenes. That's fun, but unfortunately at the end of the day there isn't much sticking to you.

Therefore it's very likely that you will have forgotten "Over My Dead Body" after only a few days already. And this even though the premise is very much over-the-top. A dead man gets kidnapped. But after all the kidnappers haven't really got the right body but instead an extremely lively annoying new accomplice. But that doesn't matter anyway as gangster boss Jeong as well as anybody else still believes that the kidnappers have the right person. How it actually came to this is very convoluted and demanded numerous chance accidents, parties and unfortunate events, leading to things looking everything but very likely, of course. Accordingly the movie is very predictable in this respect since we know that we have to anticipate everything and shouldn't question anything when it comes to the far-fetched story.

It is absolutely obvious that there inevitably have to be some plot holes but they are soon forgotten since the comedy is moving forward in a break-neck pacing and doesn't leave you any time to become agitated about it. Moreover, this is the kind of movie where after a while you learn to check your brain at the entrance. However, it still remains a big problem that there are too many parties and supporting characters involved. Because of this the comedy oftentimes seems overloaden and runs the risk of becoming completely confusing. Eventually things luckily prove not to be that complicated but there still isn't any time for appropriately fleshing out the supporting character, of course, so that we are asking ourselves if it wouldn't have been a good idea to just discard some of them.

Later on in the movie the pacing is more and more picking up, but oftentimes the scenes just seem too hyped-up. There are also more and more twists coming up, which from a certain point onward simply feel forced and by far not that genius as the director might have hoped them to be. The film mainly builds on the actors. Lee Beom-su ("More Than Blue", "Death Bell") is pleasantly not that comic-like as in many other comedies featuring him, instead this part is taken on by Ryoo Seung-beom ("The Unjust", "Arahan"). There is no doubt that Ryoo had one hell of a fun-ride shooting this movie but sometimes it is still a bit too much and his role gets reduced to a slapstick act. Nevertheless, it has to be pointed out that it's more than anything else him who manages to create some good laughs.

The trio is complemented by Kim Ok-bin ("Thirst", "Dasepo Naughty Girls"), who with her introverted nature may serve as the quiet element in the film but because of that is oftentimes pushed to the back as well. Apart from that there are, as already stated, numerous other character who in most cases, though, just cover certain clichés. "Over My Dead Body" is fast-paced and entertaining but a lot of its humor seems to be hidden inside the dialogue which is why western audiences most probably won't get everything. But there is still a hyperactive Ryoo Seung-beom that can make you laugh on a multicultural level. Sadly, the comedy proves to be too insignificant as to be recommended to everyone without restraint.

(Author: Manfred Selzer)
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