Korean action-comedy film “Midnight Runners” can successfully captivate film-lovers in the highly competitive screen market in early August amid worries that it has to compete with much-anticipated movies such as “The Battleship Island” and “Taxi Driver.”
“Midnight Runners,” directed by Kim Joo-hwan, is neither a high-budget film nor a story reporting a significant historical event as the other two are. Compared with the two, Kim’s comedy film is lesser known.
However, “Midnight Runners” has the potential to appeal to the hearts of movie-goers as it has its own story and strategy to attract audiences.
“The characters and the plot make the whole movie,” said Kim during the press conference at Lotte Cinema in Gwangjin-gu, Seoul, Tuesday. “Two students at the police training college find out about the illegal trade of woman’s eggs in the black market and try to investigate the case. The message is not light but we didn’t want it to be too serious, either. Here, Seo-joon and Ha-neul needed to show good chemistry.
The comedy film is about two Korean National Police University students_ Ki-joon, played by Park Seo-joon, and Hee-yeol, played by Kang Ha-neul _ who are tracing an abduction case they witnessed during their furlough. When the case is stuck in ambiguity with a lack of evidence and bureaucracy, Ki-joon and Hee-yeol agree to conduct an investigation and this entails all sorts of hilarious troubles.
“I think the film turned out better than I had expected while I was writing the script. After I finished editing the final draft, I was confused if it was I who made this movie or was it the two actors who did it,” said Kim.
“They got along with each other very well outside the filming and it eventually led them to show good chemistry in the scenes. I wanted them to be friends through their behavior or language that young 20-somethings use in the real world,” added Kim.
Park added that he was a little worried about getting along well with Kang before they both met with the director. But it didn’t take long for them to become friends when the three went to play a computer game together after meeting.
“There is no particular case through which we came to be close. Thinking about how I got close with my other best friends, it just happened,” said Park.
“We just tried to talk like we would with our high school friends in the real world because it would best show how real friends act at school,” added Park.
In the latter half of the movie, Park and Kang become more comfortable with each other and make more improvisations, which have played a big part in finishing the movie.
“We talked to the director a lot, suggesting ad-libs when we had good ideas. The director gave us the nod to improvise freely with his guidance,” said Kang.
The only hardship the two actors faced while shooting was cold winter weather. They both suffered while running a lot in the face of the freezing winter wind and Park said it was definitely not a pleasant experience and he didn’t want to do it again.
“The weather was so cold, I felt the cold air invade my lungs. I have done many action scenes but I learned doing one in winter is another level,” said Park.
“Midnight Runners” will hit local theaters on Aug. 9.
By Kim Jae-heun
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