|Steal It If You Can (2002)|
|Starring:||Park Sang-Myeon, So Ji-seob and Song Seon-mi|
|The Plot: Sang-Tae is a lowly government employee who married into a rich family. Although everything seems to be going great for him, appearances are most assuredly deceiving. Despite his huge television, his beautiful home, his wonderful children and his gorgeous wife, upon examination all things show cracks underneath the surface. His wife’s hobby is cooking, but since she was born without the ability to taste she consistently makes awful meals that he is forced to endure. His children are more concerned with their own affairs and Sang-tae feels antiquated in their modern home. Things are about to get interesting however, as Gang-jo has decided that Sang-tae will be his next home to burglarize! You see, Gang-jo is a famous software developer who has a string of successful video games under his belt. He has a litany of special interests and hobbies, but his biggest secret is his love affair with burglary. He routinely breaks into homes and businesses in order to get the rush that he so desires. When he burglarizes Sang-tae’s home, he soon discovers Sang-tae’s wife’s cooking… and he absolutely loves it! With Sang-tae looking like even less of a man in front of his wife and children, he is forced to find a way to put a stop to this burglar and finally prove himself in front of his family!|
Hackneyed doesn’t begin to describe the comedy that absolutely dominates Steal It If You Can. Although this is almost equally as hackneyed to use in terms of film criticism, I have to remind the audience at this point that comedy is the most subjective of all genres in cinema. What leaves one audience in stitches within one market place may be considered trivial and boring within another. So, perhaps this is all just a case of one culture having very different ideas of what makes for perfected comedy. As much as I would like to believe that, there are many brilliant South Korean films out there that I can list out that are amazingly creative in delivering new and hilarious ideas within the world of comedy. The best way I can think to describe Steal It If You Can is that it is utterly bankrupt in terms of comedic ideas. I can only laugh at the same old jokes so many times, and Steal It If You Can takes joy in repeating cheap jokes without any form of wit or intelligence behind their meaning. A “favorite” sequence of mine revolves around the character of Sang-Tae as he begins to take martial arts lessons in an attempt to take on the burglar Gang-jo. The martial arts teacher, through a series of HILARIOUS demonstrations, shows us that his particular martial art is concentrated on punching and kicking men in their testicles! Oh the hilarity! Oh, but what is one to do if they are attacked by a woman? Well, where is a woman’s “vital point?” The answer is simple! Their nipples! The teacher then shows Sang-tae the art of the “purple nurple.” These “jokes” are followed by yet another head scratching question, what happens if you are attacked by someone who is gay? Why this changes anything, as far as vital points goes, I can not explain. All I can tell you is that a gay man’s “vital point” is apparently located within his rectum and the teacher then demonstrates how to hurt a “gay” by poking Sang-tae in his buttocks with two folded fingers. Sure, this is absolutely offensive due to its bizarre jab at gay men as being somehow different biologically than straight men, but the most offensive aspect of this scene is how utterly stupid, idiotic and terribly unfunny it is.