In a sport, both sides should know they’re in the game …

mr go

Of all the creatures ever made, Man is the most detestable. He is the only creature that inflicts pain for sport, knowing it to be pain
Mark Twain

Title
Mr. Go  (2013)
Also known as
Miseuteo Go 
Genre
 Comedy,   Family
Written by
Directed by
Starring
  Xu Jiao,    Sung Dong-il 
Country of Origin
South Korea    &   China
Running time
132 minutes

oh! … brief

A teenage girl (Wei Wei) is left to run the family circus after her grandfather dies in the Great Sichuan earthquake. Unfortunately, when he dies, he leaves his granddaughter with a significant debt and the loan shark who lent the money comes to collect. Wei Wei cannot pay off the debt so she is forced to enter into a contract with a shady baseball scout and sports agent. Her secret weapon, Ling Ling, a baseball bat-swinging gorilla joins the South Korean Doosan Bears. But it is not all as it appears.

oh! … talks film

A family comedy that will bring the right amount of laughter and surprise that anyone could want in a film that is simple entertainment.

The screenplay is based on Huh Young-man‘s 1984 manhwa titled The 7th Team.

Kim Yong-hwa wrote this screenplay and it was Korea’s first ever film to be shot entirely in 3D. The storyline is almost fantastical, but something that children will certainly enjoy. The writing is basic, the plot and twists are entertaining, somewhat scary at times, but amusing nonetheless.

Kim Yong-hwa also directed this production and I admit I am fairly impressed with the 3D and CGI aspects of this production. Not too shabby! The mostly comical film is tinged with some suspense and gorilla antics, which will amuse most people, even overly serious adults.  There were moments where I was laughing hysterically and then caught myself surprised. Yes, it’s that funny!

The cast was comprised of my favourite Chinese child actress and some renowned South Korean heavy-hitting actors!

Xu Jiao plays Wei Wei, the 15-year old circus owner and ringmaster. This young lady continues to impress me with her ability to dominate her roles. She was impressive as this young circus owner. Her body language and the way she carried herself, oozed self-confidence and there was no doubt that she was a shrewd young business lady. I never felt that Xu Jiao lost her character, I feel like she became her character. She is a very skilled young actress and there will be lots to come from her in the future.

Sung Dong-il plays Seong Chung-su, the shady baseball scout and sports agent. Sung Dong-il is another of my favourite South Korean mature male actors who have an impressive drama and film portfolio with many awards to his name. Love the guy! As Seong Chung-su, Sung Dong-il delivers a suave, smooth talking con artist. But he doesn’t stay that way. Ling-Ling and Wei Wei win him over. Sung Dong-il mastered his facial expressions and gave an exciting performance.

Lin Xiaogang, the dim-witted loan shark was played by Kim Hee-won and he did a great job at delivering the film’s clown. He was hysterically funny and while threatening, he wasn’t scary. Kim Hee-won brought the funny to the show with his interactions with the gorillas and the circus performers, not to mention his thugs. It was nicely done!

The Doosan Bears manager, Kim, was played by Kim Kang-woo. Not surprisingly, Kim Kang-woo gave a great performance. I particularly enjoyed watching him slowly grow angrier and more frustrated when the great idea of adding a gorilla to a baseball team started to falter. Kim Kang-woo can be one or the other in his acting ability – spot on, or, overacting. In this production, he was more on the money than off it, if you get my drift. It was a good performance!

oh! … sidekicks

Jin Yoon-tae, the Korean Baseball Organization commissioner (party-pooper) was played by renowned Kim Eung-soo. This guy likes to take acting gigs where he plays the bad guy! I’ve not liked any of his characters that I’ve come across so far, but that is because he plays them so well, that he delivers them exactly as they should be. And he did that again for this production! He has mad acting skills!

Another guy I must mention is the orthopaedic doctor played by Jo Jae-yoon. While the role was a minor one, Jo Jae-yoon who has never been a favourite of mine did a fine job.  I’m going to look and see if he is in other productions I plan on watching because I think there’s a much better actor lurking there than I initially assumed.

oh! … that’s a wrap

If you’re looking for some entertainment that is mostly light-hearted but has some suspense thrown in for good measure, or, if you’re looking for something to watch on a family night, then this is a good option. Slightly long-running, but well worth the two hours.

I give Mr Go, two thumbs up for family entertainment.

oh! … tidbits

The budget was ₩20 billion (or US$18.62 million), with ₩12 billion spent on visual effects. 25% of the budget (or US$5 million) came from Chinese investor Huayi Brothers. It also received ₩30 million from the International Co-Production Incentive Support 2013, a project run by the Korean Film Council (KOFIC),[and director Kim spent ₩3 billion from his own pocket.

Of the 2,000 shots in the film, 1,000 are special effects shots of the gorilla Ling Ling.

For four years, a team of more than 500 animators and CG professionals led by visual effects director Jeong Seong-jin, developed motion capture technology, facial motion capture technology and a digital fur production program to make the gorilla as realistic as possible, followed by another year of editing.

With consultant Kim Tae-yong of Rhythm and Hues Studios (famous for its work on Life of Pi), the production team established a new company Dexter Studios (with 180 employees), which created the software, Zelos System, to process large amounts of data efficiently so that the film cost 10 percent of the budget demanded by most Hollywood movies.

oh! … soundtrack

Placeholder for when or if I find the soundtrack online or on Spotify.

oh! … gallery

oh! … trailers

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