REVIEW: The King’s Case Note (2017)

thekingscasenote

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2017, CJ Entertainment/Film RAM Productions

Director:
Moon Hyun-Sung
Producer:
Aram Choi
Writers:
Heo Yoon-Mi (comic)
Kang Hyun-Sung (screenplay)

Cast:
Lee Sun-Kyun (King Yejong)
Ahn Jae-Hong (Yoon Yi-Seo)
Kim Hee-Won (Nam Geon-Hee)
Joo Jin-Mo (Jik Je-Hak)
Jang Young-Nam (Soo-Bin)
Kyung Soo-Jin (Seon-Hwa)
Kim Hong-Pa (Prime Minister)
Kim Eung-Soo (1st Vice-Premier)
Jo Yeong-Jin (2nd Vice-Premier)
Jung Hae-In (Black Cloud)

This historical action-comedy has perhaps one of the most smart-alecky kings in the Joseon Dynasty.

Yoon Yi-Seo has been hired to become the new royal chronicler in the Joseon Dynasty. The King, Yejong, is not your normal monarch, but rather he likes to work as a detective. Impressed with Yoon’s memory skills, Yejong hires him as his personal assistant. When one of Yejong’s shadow men suddenly dies at the same time a scarecrow appears with a letter as a threat to take down the kingdom, Yejong and Yoon decide to figure out the case.

With the letter indicating that perhaps Prince Jaseong, who Yejong’s nephew, is attempting to take over the throne has the court in uproar, Yejong suspects there’s more to it than what is rumored. Rumors of a “ghost fish” as a sign of the heavens has been popping up and after a confrontation with the monster, Yejong and Yoon soon learn that there is treachery in the midst on Yejong’s kingdom, but it may not be the teen Prince responsible, but someone far worse. Together, these two unlikely allies must solve the case before it’s too late.

Comic writer Heo Yoon-Mi has come up with a brilliant concept, to take the period piece and mesh it with the buddy comedy with his comic about a king who moonlights as a detective and his smart yet clumsy assistant. With Kang Hyun-Sung writing the script and meshing with Moon Hyun-Sung’s direction, the comic comes to life and it is an action-packed and fun adventure set in the Joseon Dynasty of Korea’s history.

Lee Sun-Kyun is funny to watch as the titular King Yejong, who while ruling the kingdom moonlights as a detective of sorts who takes things in a none too serious approach. As a matter of fact, he is quite the smart-aleck type who takes his role as King in quite a nonchalant manner while taking his other “job” more seriously, especially when his rule is threatened. However, it is that humorous side of Yejong that truly drives the film, notably in his scenes with his clumsy yet intelligent assistant, Yoon Yi-Seo.

Ahn Jae-Hong is the perfect comic foil in the role of chronicler Yoon. Yoon is introduced as a man who because of his new job, finds himself having to be loyal to the King where he makes his announcement to the King like the period films of yore. However, it is when Yejong berates him for using this traditional method that makes one realize that we’re in for a potential buddy comedy element that is the driving force of the film. When the duo work together to solve the case that is the basis of the film, these two have such great chemistry due to their opposing personalities and the reveals do have a bit of a shock that shows perhaps a side of the King that one may think is an over-exaggeration but proves to be as true as how Yejong is the King.

The King’s Case Note is not your typical Korean period piece but a nice meshing of said genre with the buddy action film that is fun to watch thanks to the performances of the two leads as the polar opposites who must stop the threat to the kingdom.

WFG RATING: A


The film was released in South Korea yesterday with the film set to make its U.S. debut tomorrow in Buena Park and Los Angeles followed by a limited release nationwide on May 5. A special Thank You goes to the folks at CJ Entertainment USA for allowing WFG to see this film!

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