Written and directed by Choi Dong-hoon
With Gang Dong-won, Kim Yoon-suk, Lim Soojung, Yoo Hae-jin
South Korea, 2009, 135 min.
New York Premiere
Thursday, September 30: 7:30 PM at MoMA
Saturday, October 2: 9:15 PM at BAM
The New York Korean Festival, presented by the Korea Society, continues through October 3rd. In addition to tomorrow nights showing at MoMA of Woochi, which will also screen at BAM on October 2nd, the full schedule, including tonight's films, can be found by clicking here.
In Choi's whizz-bang time-traveling comic fantasy, the title character, a Taoist wizard trapped in an enchanted scroll since 1509, is freed in 2009 to capture a gaggle of evil goblins. Woochi is directed with such verve and panache, you might start believing in magicians and monsters.
An Archgod's pipe, three bumbling Taoist priests, and a bunch of pre-maturely freed goblins (who can take human form) join Woochi the trickster wizard and Master Hwadam in this fanciful hybrid of a film about the battle between good and evil. It's part period-piece and part contemporary, but 100% fun. There's some fine wire-work that reminded me of the best Hong Kong films are renowned for offering. The CGI also is top notch, and it's used in service of the story, not overdone as can sometimes be the case to the ruin of a film.
Woochi is a wondrously silly and often hilarious bit of entertainment.
ACF rating: 3 out of 4 stars, solidly recommended.