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Fantasia 2006: Vampire Cop Ricky

So you see a big budget Korean blockbuster like (say) Vampire Cop Ricky, and you get…

I liked Independence Day, but it didn’t stick with me. This was about the same. South Korea, from my limited experience, has less of a national character when it comes to film than Japan or Hong Kong; the technique and acting is on a par with and deeply influenced by Hollywood film, without the minimalism and immediacy of so much Japanese film or the visceral propulsion I associate with Hong Kong cinema. I know Korean cinema is not a new institution, but it feels to me like they’re still finding their way, at least as far as mainstream big budget stuff goes.

There was some interesting cultural stuff. Digital media players are clearly popular enough in South Korea so as to not require any introduction for a sight gag. Even more fascinating to me: the crime lord’s primary source of income was a cyber racing parlor. Yep, a room full of degenerate gamblers betting on a horse race that exists only in the computer, with the odds constantly reprogrammed by the crime lord. Funky.

So the premise of a crooked cop who gets bit by a vampire mosquito and only turns into a vampire when he has a hardon? You might not see that if it starred Owen Wilson. But you might, and it’d be entertaining, which is what this was.

Grade: B.

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