“You are my religion, at least until you die”

After the feel-good dramas “Paper Flower” and “Eomung” in 2019, ventures in comedy-land with a re-elaboration of the acquainted theme of gangsters in disguise.

The movie begins with a household extermination that may set off a private vendetta later within the story. Well, truly, the extermination is none apart from the unintentional loss of life of little hamster Hairy underneath the wheel of a gang Boss’ automobile. In reality, Hairy’s proprietor, Cha Do-pil A.Okay.A. “Mad Dog” () is an eccentric policeman who regards the little animal as his daughter and his entire household, whereas the family-annihilator is Boss Hwang (), on his approach to take down a rival gang. The latter is celebrating their Boss Jang’s birthday with a picnic on the seaside and a Hamtaro-shaped cake (Boss Jang loves hamsters too!). However, the merry day is interrupted by Hwang and his thugs who storm in, kill Boss Jong and attempt to do the identical with the gang’s members. Jong’s 2 loyal henchmen Park Kyung-cheol A.Okay.A.“Bear Paw” () and Lee Tae-yong A.Okay.A. “Baldy” () barely handle to flee and in the course of the evening, they discover shelter respectively within the run down Church of Angels and the Buddhist temple Hidden Shrine.

Bear Paw discovers that the Church of Angels had beforehand been depleted and ruined by a crooked pastor. The little however fervent group of devoted is overexcited in welcoming him as the brand new pastor and he reluctantly performs alongside, with surprising, good outcomes. In the meantime, within the different non secular establishment close by, Baldy integrates with the monks, managing to eliminate a lot of little scammers and petty thieves who hold across the Shrine, incomes himself the title of defender of the Temple. Policeman Cha Do-pil, investigating Boss Hwang, comes throughout the 2 gangsters in disguise and convinces them to workforce up with him to search out Hwang and avenge each Boss Jang and little Hairy. As Cha Do-pil is sometimes possessed by the ghost of slightly shaman lady, useless by fried rooster (do not ask) the unlikely trio decides to name itself PMS (Priest, Monk & Shaman) and really quickly they’re out for revenge.

South Korea has a reasonably various non secular panorama, and a fame for being tolerant of this range; the truth is, freedom of faith is enshrined within the structure. A good portion of the inhabitants identifies as both Christian – with Protestantism and Catholicism being the dominant branches – or followers of Buddhism, which has an extended historical past in Korea courting again to historic occasions, adopted by a smaller variety of adherents to different faiths, like Confucianism and numerous types of shamanism. “Holy Punch”, written and directed by Koh Hoon, takes benefit of this religiously multi-colored panorama and units a light-hearted comedy of disguise and revenge, based mostly on the evergreen gags of strident contrasts and displacement. As the Buddhist abbot summarizes sooner or later: “If the power of faith is combined with different religions, the effect could be multiplied”.

The three foremost characters, that from mid movie turn into a correct motion trio, are various and have good interactive rhythm, particularly the 2 gangsters, glossy Bear Paw (due to a pair of vicious, spiky gloves he wears when combating and saying mass) and chubby Baldy, vaguely harking back to the opposite motion hero Ma Dong-seok, if just for the way in which he oozes a mixture of congeniality and goofiness. There is an effective chemistry between the actors, though Oh Dae-hwan stands out above the remaining after we uncover his angelic voice and his repressed expertise for singing. A point out goes additionally to Kim Jung-tae, who completely embodies the useless and foolish Boss Hwang, a wannabe influencer, poorly attempting to realize followers on social media, in each attainable “instagrammable” manner.

Amusing conditions originate spontaneously when the gangster discover themselves pressured to impersonate non secular authorities and tame their routine manners, or – even higher – apply their strategies for trigger. However, we should not overlook that “Holy Punch” can also be an motion film and it would not disappoint as so. Fights are refreshingly nicely orchestrated and Ji Seung-hyun as “Mad Dog” Cha Do-pil reveals off his proficiency and a lot of cute hamster T-shirts. “Holy Punch” is the form of household pleasant motion that does not overtly present blood of gore. Nevertheless, a subplot of organ trafficking feels a contact too intense and considerably misplaced, though its apparent function is justifying a personality’s betrayal. The movie easily wraps up in 1 hour and 38 minutes – which is changing into a novel asset these days – and it leaves an open risk for PMS of getting extra adventures collectively.

To conclude, “Holy Punch” swiftly delivers what anticipated, a little bit of enjoyable, a little bit of motion, a little bit of silliness. All in all, an entertaining popcorn film.

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