Haeundae / 해운대 [2009]

Posted by :: sixtwentyseven :: | Posted in | Posted on Sunday, October 16, 2011

Now this is something that is out of the norm. 2 movie reviews in a day! Well, I've seen my movie folder increasing in size and yet I'm not clearing it. Hence, I thought it's time to remove some so that more could be added later. I've decided to Haeundae due to the fact that Ha Ji Won is in it and apparently it's the first disaster movie S.Korea ever produced. Hence, i gave it a try and came out with mixed reviews.

Haeundae is about an impending tsunami that is about to hit the beach town of Haeundae. Kim Hee (Park Joong-Hoon) is a seismologist who is monitoring abnormal earthquake movements occurring off the coast of Haeundae. Due to his passion, he neglected his wife Yu-Jin(Uhm Jung-Hwa) and his daughter Ji Min(Kim You-Jung) does not recognise him. Yeon-Hee (Ha Ji Won) is an orphaned child due to the indian tsunami where she lost her father. Man Sik (Sol Kyung-Gu) was on the same boat as her father and feels responsible for his death due to his on board decision back then. Meanwhile, Man Sik's brother Hyeong-Sik (Lee Min-Ki) got involved with a female tourist Hee Mi (Kang Hye-Won) when she fell overboard a yacht. All the characters intertwined with each other when a mega tsunami hits Haeundae and changed their lives forever.

Now, I believe most of us should have watched at least a disaster film, be it a sinking ship ala Poseidon or an impending world diasater ala 2012. Now, I shouldn't compare these blockbusters to a first time offering like Haeundae but it's a bit hard to ignore when Haeundae puzzles me a bit. Let me describe the pros first.

For a first time offering, I'd say the computer graphics in Haeundae is pretty decent, also taking into consideration that this movie is a 2 year ago production. Acting by all the artists is pretty consistent and for once I was somewhat relieved that Ha Ji Won does not take up that much screen time. After all, the main lead is the tsunami and nothing else.

Which leads me to the puzzling point. Even though Haeundae is a disaster movie, I thought the director took too much time to develop the plot regarding the tsunami. Instead, he spent more time trying to sort out the emotional plots between Yeon Hee and Man Sik. When you spent air time on human developments, especially for a disaster movie, you technically removing time from the main plot. This point in particular leaves me somewhat frustrated as I'd expect more action with regards to the natural disaster. Instead, it really shows what a tsunami is all about: coming in a rush, and pulling everything away with the same speed as well. This itself left me rather disappointed.

Although Haeundae is a good production, future offerings should take focus on what they want, action or human emotions. And even the human emotions left me shortchanged as the ending was pretty rushed again. A good effort, but more could be done.