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The Childe (2023) – English Review

A half-Korean-Filipino boxer needs money for an operation that his mother requires. It doesn’t look good, but then he finds out that his father is a very rich man living in South Korea. He takes the trip over to South Korea, but what he was expecting is not what he gets. Who is that smiling guy who keeps following him around? And he isn’t the only one who wants a piece of the protagonist. Why does everyone hate him?

“The Childe” is an entertaining movie, sometimes. However, the story is weak, and so are most of the generic characters we meet. I love the smiling guy who is following the protagonist around. We know that he is a killer, but is he one of the good guys, and if so, what does he want?

The protagonist is boring. Come to think of it, he doesn’t do much in the movie. For the most part, he is useless. It’s the other characters that he meets that are doing the heavy lifting while this bum just runs around being scared. He is useless, so fish him!

What is most disappointing about the movie is the pacing and the weak story. The movie is 25 minutes too long, and the long scene when the main villain kills a couple of old farts takes forever. The villain feels too generic to be entertaining. The actor is pretty good in this role, but the way his character is written feels too familiar.

But the footchases are excellent. They are so fun and took me back to the South Korean classic, “The Chaser.” It’s enjoyable to watch the crazy killer who is running after the useless protagonist. He brings some comedy when he follows the protagonist around. He put a smile on my face every time he showed his face. I can’t say the same thing about the boring protagonist. He must be one of the most boring and useless protagonists in movie history.

The long action scene towards the end of the movie is mediocre. A lot of people get killed, well, 97% get killed, but I have seen it done much better in other South Korean movies. The action choreography lacks big highlights that will make the audience smile. It’s not enough with a lot of people getting killed after Indonesian movies like “The Raid” movies and “The Night Comes for Us” changed the landscape.

My feeling is that the average Joe will find “The Childe” more entertaining than people like me who have watched South Korean movies from the early 2000s. It’s too bad that it has the pacing issue because, with a tighter runtime and some better scriptwriting, this could have been a really fun watch if it had maintained the quality we experienced when the smiling guy was running after the boring protagonist.

Rating: 6/10

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