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The Foul King (2000) – English Review

A man who works for a bank is constantly humiliated by his boss. One day he walks by a professional wrestling school. And after convincing the owner he’s a man who wants to become a professional wrestler, he starts to train there. Now he will show his boss who the actual boss is, and maybe he will fulfill his big dream of becoming a professional wrestler.

This is an action-comedy mixed with a small dose of drama. The Foul King was the second movie for director Kim Ji-woon. His first movie was the wonderful The Quiet Family, followed by A Tale of Two Sisters, A Bittersweet Life, The Good, the Bad, the Weird, I Saw the Devil, and The Last Stand. So he made some interesting movies in different genres.

In the lead role, we find Song Kang-ho. That man needs no further presentation. He‘s as safe as the bank, and he gets to show off his comedic side here. The movie is fun, and the last fight is energetic and well-choreographed. I love the scene when he accidentally takes a real fork instead of the fake one and stabs his opponent. This scene will make you laugh hard when the blood squirts out.

There is only one thing I can put my finger on. That’s the story of the protagonist’s friend. What the point of this story is, I don’t understand. It’s the only drama element in the movie, and it doesn’t fit in at all. This was a strange choice by the director, for the man knows how to make a movie. It would have been nice with an explanation from the director why he chose to keep this in the movie. It’s not interesting at all, but fortunately, these scenes don’t last long.

For people who were disappointed with Nacho Libre starring Jack Black, check out The Foul King. It has everything Nacho Libre didn’t have. Next to The Wrestler, The Foul King is the best professional wrestling movie. The Wrestler is dark and serious, and The Foul King is light, cheerful, and a little bit crazy.

Rating: 8/10

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