Carter (2022 Korean Action Thriller) Yay Or Nay

If you, like us, are an avid JooWon fan, you will have taken notice of the release of his latest project, “Carter”. A Netflix original, this movie became available on their platform beginning of August. Korean movies are usually so vastly different from K-dramas and can be a hard miss, so I approached this with a hint of hesitation. After seeing the poster and watching the trailer though, I was looking forward to the movie.

Boy oh Boy! Not in a long while have my expectations been turned on its head like this. Based on the trailer I imagined a Jason-Bourne-type of action movie. However, what I got instead was Ninja Assassin. Except the ninjas had been replaced by secret agents hailing from different nations. But, So…much…gore…!!!

Let’s start of with a brief summary of Carter’s plot.

Carter Lee (JooWon) wakes up in a room covered in blood, surrounded by secret agents pointing their guns at him. They ask him about the owner of the house, Dr. Jung, and his young daughter Ha-Na. Dr. Jung is the only one able to invent an antidote against a dangerous virus. He used this antidote to successfully cure Ha-Na.

People infected with the virus essentially turn into violent zombies and are doomed to a painful death within weeks. Due to the severity of the issue, Dr. Jung’s antidote and it’s recipe are highly coveted by powers across the world. Thus his safety and that of his daughter are in grave danger.

Back to Carter. Once awake, he has no memories of anything, including his own identity. Even his own appearance in the mirror seems foreign to him. Add to this a recently stitched up wound in the shape of a cross at the base of his neck. A female voice from a device embedded in his head suddenly starts giving him instructions. The voice directs him to find and save Dr. Jung’s kidnapped daughter. Refusing to do this will end in his own demise as well as the death of his own daughter (who he can’t remember).

And so it begins. Carter manages to find Ha-Na and thus starts their bloody journey of bringing her to safety. Along the way, he is told different “truths” about himself by different entities. One prevalent being that he is a former secret agent named Michael Bane. However, someone likely changed his physical appearance as he looks completely different now.

END of summary


If you don’t care for any further spoilers or more of my opinions, this would be your last chance to turn away.

Okay, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.


The acting: I have only good things to say about the actor’s work in this. From the main cast including the child actors all the way to supporting actors, everyone seemed to put in their 100%. There was chemistry in their interactions and the action scenes were well executed. Also no cringe to report during the English dialogues within the movie.


The plot: Although the basic storyline of “Carter” is nothing new and seems like a mash-up of famous action films, I am okay with that. Sadly however, the plot gets lost among overly long fighting scenes. Fewer and/or shorter action scenes would have allowed time in between to actually develop the plot. I mean there is so much to discover for the main character. Not only his identity but the real intention of all these different groups vying for his trust.

Some scenes felt like such a waste of time since they did not explain anything about the plot. Like why am I watching a 10-20 minute long scene of Carter fighting off the occupants of an entire sauna while only wearing thongs? Couldn’t the clothing brand product placement scene have been inserted before this one? Just asking, don’t come for me.


The cinematography: It seems a lot of folks are torn about the camera work on this movie. Listen, I loved the different angles of each shot, and contrary to many it did not have a dizzying effect on me. Doing a continues shot while turning the camera on its head or going full 360 degrees is for sure a different way of doing things.

What made me stop the 2 hour and 14 minute movie at the 1 hour and 30 minute mark was something else. Due to the over the top action scenes (think “Fast and Furious” on steroids) it was glaringly obvious every time the actors were using a harness/rope for these scenes. As mentioned earlier already, said scenes were also just too long and too frequent. I started scrolling on my phone waiting for each of these to be over so we could get back to the story. Chatting with R. who was also watching it in her corner of the world also greatly helped.


The directors vision for “Carter” seems to also have grossly exceeded the movie’s budget. CGI effects and graphic design are absolutely disastrous. It is also blatantly obvious every time a green screen was used, which seems to be in most if not all of the car chasing scenes.

The final verdict: In case you did not guess it by now, “Carter” is a resounding Nay for me. Hopefully some select audience somewhere enjoys it more then I did, since the director and cast seem to have worked hard on it.

Until we drama again,


“Hit-and-Run Squad” (South Korean Movie) Review

“Hit-and-Run Squad” [뺑반 Bbaengban] is a 2019 South Korean investigative movie with a running time of approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes.

Warning: This is NOT your typical Korean romcom drama, but a R rated crime/action movie. So…proceed accordingly.

The Stars:

With big names such as the ones listed above, it should come as no surprise that this is a masterpiece. Despite the cliché trope of police corruption, it is the character interpretation that made this one worthwhile watching.

Jo Jung-Suk’s portrayal as the story’s antagonist impressed me especially. A long time admirer of his acting abilities, his interpretation of a villain solidified my high regards for his skills.

Hit-and-run Squad

Hit-and-run Squad

Eun Si-Yeon (Gong Hyo-Jin) is a member of the regional investigation unit at the South Korean National Police Agency. Her team, lead by her superior Yoo Ji-Hyun (Yum-Jung-Ah), has been working on a high profile case involving corruption within the police itself. However, the team fails in their mission, resulting in its disbandment. Police Lieutenant Si-Yeon subsequently receives a transfer order to the Incheon hit-and-run division. As the name indicates, they are in charge of investigating Hit-and-Run incidents.

Hit-and-run Squad

Initially taken aback by her new unit’s unconventional way of doing things, Si-Yeon soon comes to acknowledge her colleagues abilities. She inevitably becomes close to her team leader Woo Sun-Young (Jeon Hye-Jin), and Police Constable Seo Min-Jae (Ryu Jun-Yeol).

It isn’t long before Si-Yeon learns about repeat hit-and-run incidents involving powerful former Formula One racer Jung Jae-Cheol (Jo Jung-Suk). Due to Jae-Cheol’s wealth and connections, the team has been unable to bring him to justice. Turns out this is not the first time Si-Yeon hears about Jung Jae-Cheol and his involvement in shady dealings. He happens to be the very criminal her previous team was trying to put away. Suspected of bribery involving high officials within the police force, her team kept eyes on the spoiled CEO of JC Motors has long .

Hit-and-run Squad

Old friendships get put to the test and new alliances are formed in this fast paced story following a dedicated police unit.

Someone prepare the popcorn [read “Ramyeon”].

Until next time,


“Rockin’ on Heaven’s Door” “Ddeugeowoon Annyeong” (Korean Movie) Spotlight

Hello once again. Shining a light on the 2013 Korean movie “Rockin’ on Heaven’s Door” has been a long time coming. I feel as if this beautiful movie has often been overlooked. Most likely due to its decidedly somber theme.

With that being said, my advise to keep tissues on standby while watching this, should come as no surprise.

Ft. Island’s front man Lee Hong-Ki portrays Choong-Ui, the movie’s main character. Other cast members include Baek Jin-Hee as An-Na, Ma Dong-Seok as Moo-Sung, Lim Won-Hee as Bong-Sik, Jeon Min-Seo as Ha-Eun, No Kang-Min as Him-Chan, and Jeon Soo-Kyeong as Director Nun.

Rockin' on Heaven's Door

🎵 🎵 🎵 🎵

When popular singer Choong-Ui’s attitude gets him in hot water with the law, his agency is prompt to react. They manage to work out a deal for their artist to only be sentenced to community service.

What better way to do damage control, right?! While their young star practically gets off scot-free, his stint at a hospice care center holds possibilities of being spun into a nice story by their PR team.

Subsequently, Choong-Ui finds himself en route to the designated hospice, located far from the city in a rather rural area. He is to stay at the hospice until he completes his hours of community service. However, if the young man thought that charming his way through this was going to work, he could not have been further from the truth.

Rockin' on Heaven's Door

He is off to a rocky start with the hospice’s terminally ill residents and fellow caretakers alike. Everyone makes no effort to conceal their disapproval of Choong-Ui’s rude attitude. As a result, his assigned tasks consists of the most taxing and dirty daily chores.

Rockin' on Heaven's Door


Fortunately, things seem to improve when several residents approach him to help them with a project. They are practicing as a band in hopes of participating in an upcoming audition to win money for the hospice. The hospice has been unable to meet its financial requirements with the existing sponsorship funding. Without new additional funds, their beloved care center will have to close its doors for good.

Rockin' on Heaven's Door

The band now looks to Choong-Ui for a original song, hoping it will give them a decided edge against other participants at the audition. Initially completely unwilling to help, it is An-Na who eventually persuades the young man. She promises to make sure that any time spent helping them gets added to the total count of his community hours served.

The other members are unaware of the deal An-Na made with Choong-Ui, believing he had a sincere change of heart. Thus they are excited about his participation.


In the days that follow, Choong-Ui inevitably becomes increasingly involved with the residents and their families. Without being aware, witnessing them dealing with the knowledge of their terminal illnesses, slowly begins to change him.

However, it also reveals that Choong-Ui himself carries deep sorrow since his childhood, which he avoided facing up until now. Choosing instead to resort to acting up, getting angry, and keeping people at arms length.

Time spent at the hospice, may surprisingly be just the thing needed for the young star to find himself again. Here, surrounded by people facing their final moments, will Choong-Ui encounter a new beginning?

🎵 🎵 🎵 🎵

Despite its [plentiful] tear inducing moments, “Rockin’ on Heaven’s Door” is a story of hope.

Rockin' on Heaven's Door

“Seducing Mr.Perfect” (Korean Movie)

Time to introduce another Korean movie that has long since become one of my favourites: “Seducing Mr.Perfect”.

Daniel Henney and Uhm Jung Hwa Kiss in Seducing Mr. Perfect

Original release: December 7, 2006

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Run time: 1 hour 47 minutes


Min Joon (Uhm Jung-Hwa) works at a international Merger & Acquisitions Firm. Fairly competent at her job, it is her personal life that could use some improvement.

Especially in matters of the heart. Min Joon seems to have no luck when it comes to men. She keeps getting cheated on or dumped, oftentimes even a combination of the two.


One day, while heading to the airport for a getaway with her boyfriend, Min Joon is involved in a car accident. The driver of the other car turns out to be an extremely attractive man, who addresses her in English.

Aware that she is at fault for the incident, Min Joon pretends not to understand what he is saying. Even though she does understand and speak English.

Cought in a lie Seducing Mr. Perfect
“No! I don’t speak English. Not a word!”

Regardless of her protests, the stranger proceeds to obtain her contact info and the two part ways.


Upon her return to work the next business day, she is shocked to once again find herself face to face with the stranger.

Daniel Henney
“It’s a pleasure to see you again.”

Turns out his name is Robin Heiden and he is her new boss, sent down from the head office.

However, that is not the worst of it. Because he has caught her in a double lie: Her ability to speak English, and the fact she faked being sick to obtain a day off from work on the day of the accident.

Uhm Jung Hwa in Seducing Mr. Perfect

Seducing Mr.Perfect

Robin Heiden (Daniel Henney) is of Korean-American descent but was raised in the US.

Daniel Henney as Mr. Perfect in Seducing Mr. Perfect

Although he understands the Korean language, he does not speak it well. Therefor he prefers to mainly communicate in English.

Due to his diligent personality, Robin has been nicknamed “Mr.Perfect” by his peers. Known to always close any deal swiftly and without complications, he has managed to work his way up the corporate ladder.

In order to lead negotiations for a important new Acquisition, headquarters decided to send Robin to South Korea. There he is to select capable members from their office on location for his team.

But things do not go as smoothly as he had hoped. Starting from the day of his arrival and a car accident with a strange woman. She seems out of sorts, to say the least.

Because of this, Robin is surprised when she is presented to him as a potential candidate for his new team.

Despite his initial reservations towards her, he soon discovers that Min Joon is indeed capable at her job. He comes to respect her and consider her a definite asset in bringing negotiations to a close.

There is obviously so much more to her than a first impression could have ever revealed, and Robin is intrigued.

Daniel Henney and Uhm Jung Hwa

Through their time spent together, he learns of her romantic woes. In an effort to help her, he offers to teach her how to be successful in a relationship.

Author's Note

Author’s Note

As mentioned at the beginning, “Seducing Mr.Perfect” is one of my favourite Korean movies and has held this spot for a number of years.

I love everything about it! The story, the cast and the execution.

Beyond that, it is always nice to see when language barriers are not considered as such.

As a multilingual myself, communicating with people in whichever language best suits them, is nothing new. It has become a normal in my life and I know I am by far not the only one. So it is always nice to see this sentiment reflected in movie or drama projects.

And with that, I shall stop babbling so you may go and watch the movie. 😉



Sunset View Seducing Mr. Perfect

“My Lucky Star” (Chinese Movie) Review

“My Lucky Star” is a 2013 Chinese movie, starring:

Genre: Adventure/Romantic Comedy

Runtime: 1 hour 54 minutes

My Lucky Star

Sophie works at a travel agency and is somewhat of a daydreamer. In her spare time she likes to draw spy comics.

In these stories, she depicts herself as the always brave and confident heroine. The opposite of her real life persona who is afraid to really go after what she wants.

And, of course, what would a make-believe world be without a hero…right?!

Sophie’s hero is a tall and handsome spy and always quick to come to the heroine’s rescue. Together they fight their enemies and achieve their Happy End.

One day, Sophie wins a 5 day stay in Singapore through an online contest named “My Lucky Star”. At first wanting to sell the ticket, she is eventually convinced by her two best friends to go on the trip herself.

Adventurous Romance

Upon landing in Singapore, she meets a handsome stranger named David, who helps her out with a luggage issue. Sophie is stunned to discover that this man looks oddly similar to the hero in her stories.

Just like the heroine in her comics, she falls head over heels for her hero. And based on some of his actions, she is convinced to have made an impression on him as well.

A phone conversation with her friends back home persuades her to make an effort to see the handsome stranger again. Her friends continuously remind her, that she is the heroine of her own life. Thus it is ultimately up to her to shape her life according to her dreams and wishes.

So Sophie decides to follow David to an exclusive party at the rooftop of their hotel.

Unbeknownst to our hapless cartoonist, David is a spy and on location on a mission. All his interactions with her were purely by chance. He was actually using her as a sort of cover while keeping tabs on his targets.

David has been charged with collecting a precious diamond that was stolen. It is about to fall in the hands of bad people intent on using it to cause mass destruction.

Sophie’s attempt to go after her hero brings chaos to an already volatile situation. Before she knows it, she is right in the middle of a secret mission and perhaps a bit in over her head.

Spending time with David causes her to become completely smitten for the charming spy. However, she does start to wonder where his spy personality ends and his real person starts.

Is it even remotely possible for him to ever genuinely return her feelings?

Author’s Note

“My Lucky Star” is lighthearted, funny and entertaining, yet also carries a meaningful message about self discovery.

I loved the positive friendship depicted between the female lead and her two girlfriends. Although they were of completely different character, their support for each other was so strong and genuine.

Watching Sophie’s journey from a wallflower to a strong independent woman was inspiring. And it was not about changing her outer appearance but about the inner growth she went through.

Although I rolled my eyes on several occasions at silly scenes/behaviours, they were entertaining and therefor did not bother me.

This is a sweet story about a woman’s journey towards her own happy ending wrapped in action scenes, humour, and of course, romance.



“Close my eyes” [2017] (South Korean Movie) Review

“Close my eyes” – also known as “Eyes Closed” – is a 2017 Korean Movie, starring:

Genre: Crime, Mystery, Thriller/Suspense

Runtime: 2 hour 24 minutes

Rated: 18+ (The movie deals with violence, murder and mental illness. If these are themes that trigger you, please be advised.)

Close my eyes

A young blind man makes his living by singing and playing his guitar for passerby at a underground market. The young man goes by the name of Kim Hyun-Woo (Baro).

Over time Hyun-Woo has become familiar with several of the shop owners, as well as many customers. On occasion they will stop by to talk to him about their life or just things in general.

One day a man sits down next to him and proceeds to describe in gruesome detail, how he killed someone. Upon seeing the shock on the blind man’s face, he quickly says that it is all a joke. The story is simply part of a novel he is working on.

Despite the strangers attempt to laugh it off, Hyun-Woo cannot help but feel uneasy about the incident. Especially when shortly after he is told, that someone was found murdered in an eerily similar way.

Hyun-Woo’s attempts to convince himself that it is all a coincidence, prove increasingly ineffective as additional people around him start disappearing.

He decides to go and anonymously inform the police of his earlier encounter.

But not long after, Mi Rim (Seol In-Ah), a young girl he got close to, vanishes. Fearing the worst, Hyun-Woo takes it upon himself to find Mi Rim and catch the killer.

Author’s Note

This is not my usual genre of movies. However, considering it has Baro as the main actor, I had to give it a try. And I was not disappointed by his acting or the story.

Baro succeeded perfectly in conveying a range of emotions through his character with his facial expressions.

The story has a nice pace to it and keeps you at the edge of your seat throughout the movie. Due to the many nuances of all characters, “Close my Eyes” keeps you guessing on the suspect’s identity until the end.

There is also a hint of romance.**”Le gasp!”, she exclaimed sarcastically** Just enough to add to the overall emotional pull of the story, but not to a point where it ruins the suspense of it.



Young man wearing dark glasses sitting and playing guitar.
Exit mobile version