Spoilers might swap places with you.
I have a bit of a weak spot for asian comedies. Well done, they can keep you laughing long after the movie is done. Add in a bit of drama and they can become endearing, specially when you involve family and kids. This one’s got something of an old concept, that has been overused in the past, but not as much lately: the body swap. It’s been a long time since Freaky Friday, but this dramedy has turned the concept on its head.
The Dude in Me is directed by Kang Hyo-jin and written by Park Dae-sung. Gangster Jang Pan-su (Park Sung-woong) goes into a coma after Dong-hyun (Jin Young) lands on him after falling from the roof. When Pan-su awakes, he’s in the body of Dong-hyun. As he accepts the situation, he realizes that Dong-hyun gets bullied at school and takes measures to change the situation. Along the way he meets fellow classmate Oh Hyun-Jung (Lee Soo-min), a shy girl that is also bullied herself. As it turns out, her mother Oh Mi-sun (Ra Mi-ran) is someone from Pan-su’s past.
There’s a lot of fantasy fulfillment for high school in this movie, starting from the part in which an actual gangster is facing school bullies while in the guise of a kid. Soon, the gangster-kid will start ruling the playground, but he’s not invincible. A rival gangster is trying to take over Pan-su’s territory and he’s not above trying to kill him while he’s in a coma. Fortunately, Pan-su has one loyal henchman in Man-Chul (Lee Yun-Hyuk) who is willing to train the two kids into fighting machines, including shaping up Dong-hyun to become the school’s new heartthrob.
Highly recommended for lovers of asian comedies. The movie also includes a healthy dose of martial arts, which will satisfy most action fans that were dragged to see it. The performances of both Park Sung-woong and Jin Young are excellent but it’s Jin Young who steals the movie as both the shy, overweight kid and later, the re-incarnated gangster. This one is a riot from beginning to end, including some very heartfelt moments. See me after school. Bring your lunch money.
That will do for now.