Director: Kwon Nam-gi
Starring: Ahn Jae-mo, Yoon Eun-hye, Lee Jung, Hyun Young, Jeong Jun-ha, Park Seul-gi
Youth comedies are a genre that is pretty accessible, no matter where the film you view is from. Providing a glimpse into another culture’s school life while introducing young actors, provides studios a means to produce generally inexpensive but entertaining films while showcasing talent and hopefully new celebrities. The Legend of Seven Cutter seems to have been cut from that mold; so is it just another mass produced and disposable entertainment, or does it have more to offer than the other dozens of this type of film produced every year?
The Legend of Seven Cutter tells the story of Jung Han Soo, a new high school transfer student who finds an unusual reception from his new classmates and teachers. Unsure of the reason of the avoided gazes and lack of friendliness, he discovers that everyone in school thinks that he’s the Seven Cutter, a legendary student fighter and delinquent that seems to have the same name as him. When he gets accosted by the school bully and inadvertently wins in a fight, everyone seems to have their perceptions reinforced. Also, when confronted by Han Min Joo, a talented female boxer, due to a misunderstanding, he chooses to avoid a fight by giving her the impression that he is in love with her. Despite having a crush on another girl, he finds himself drawn to Min Joo, in spite of their rocky introduction. When a group of hoodlums come looking for the legendary Seven Cutter, Jung Han Soo finds he has no choice but to finally stand up for himself.
Jae Mo Ahn plays Han Soo as a guy totally in over his head. His attempts at a normal school life and the resulting realization of how it’s probably going to turn out showcase some good physical comedy and genuinely funny scenes. Eun Hye Yun, as Han Min Joo, provides her strong character with a bit of tenderness and vulnerability. Known for her unique beauty, Eun Hye Yun definitely made for an appealing female lead. Supporting performances are adequate, though ultimately only serve to showcase scenes of sex related comedy and assist the leads. I find it odd that there is a lot of gross out type humor in many Korean comedies that do not seem to need it and this film also follows that trend. I always get thrown a curveball when the comedy of a film is typically clean physical humor when out of nowhere; a genital gag comes on screen. It’s something I’ve gotten used to, but it always seems too forced when viewing.
There are a few action scenes that are generally well done, nothing too standout, though there is some very good tae kwon do on display. As this is not an action film, it was a pleasant surprise to see such competency in this aspect where other films would have phoned it in. For Asian cinema fans, there is also a nice spot of a modern classic at a movie theatre which served to remind me of the age of the film, and ultimately how deep my personal backlog of films seems to have gotten. Sigh.
In conclusion, The Legend of Seven Cutter is a fun and slightly better than average teen comedy. There is a lot to like in the film, from the enthusiasm of the young actors to the light tone of the film. Unfortunate, it suffers from the clichés of the genre and does not add much, if anything, to differentiate it from other films like it. Definitely an entertaining 90 minutes or so, it is solid light fluff that goes down well and is interesting enough, especially for a look at a younger Eun Hye Yun, who is nowadays really coming into her own as an A-lister in South Korea’s entertainment world.
You make like The Legend of Seven Cutter if you liked: My Tutor Friend or Conduct Zero