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Windstruck Review

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by Casimir Harlow Apr 1, 2005 at 12:00 AM

    Windstruck Review
    I've seen some great Asian thrillers recently - top of my list would be the Infernal Affairs trilogy, which is about to get unnecessarily remade - and I've seen some great horrors, mostly spawned by The Ring. Then there's martial arts: Crouching Tiger, Hero, Flying Daggers - they're all great. But I haven't come across many romantic comedy-thrillers before. The closest thing to Windstruck is probably a Jackie Chan movie like Twin Dragons or Police Story - and those have largely worked because of Chan's wondrous martial arts antics and have had much less comedy-romance - so how does a movie like this work?

    The startling opening shot of a woman seemingly falling to her death fades out into a flashback of the final events of her life. We find out that she is Officer Kyungin, a beautiful, young cop who manages to apprehend the wrong man, Myungwoo, after a thief steals a lady's purse. Even though they let him go, she mistakenly arrests him again - for the same crime. Embarrassed at her gung-ho stupidity but unable to apologise through sheer obstinacy and Myungwoo, furious at the treatment he has received, but intrigued by this strong-minded woman, you can see this is the start of a budding romance. He follows her on one of her patrols and, before you know it, the two end up in a whole world of trouble.

    I cannot decide what exactly this movie is trying to do: are you supposed to take it seriously or just go along for the ride with your tongue firmly secured in your cheek? Do you laugh, or cry at the sweet romance that evolves? Whatever the answers, I'm not sure it really matters because I think the movie just works. I can't explain how, or why, but it had me gripped from the opening shot - understandably considering its shock value - and it kept me intrigued throughout. I suspect that it managed to sustain my interest mainly because of the two great leads, and perhaps even just for Hyuk Jang alone, the girl who plays Officer Kyungin. She's cute, sweet, quirky and a little bit crazy. She kicks ass, shoots straight and even has a soft spot underneath her protective armour. She's lovely, and perfectly for the role. Jhyun Jun, the guy who plays her match - Myungwoo - is just as well chosen, and cleverly avoids trying to outdo her machismo, instead playing it out as charming, witty and most definitely crazy about her. It's a match made in heaven and with just the right amount of love, humour and action - and even a little bit of fantasy - the movie strangely works. At times serious, there are enough twists and turns to keep you interested to the end - even if that is slightly unsatisfying. I'm sure it won't be to everybody's taste, but if you take it with a pinch of salt and a little suspension of disbelief, it can be quite enjoyable.