Ma Dong-seok, aka Don Lee — the masculine burly man who owns the boxing broom, the mass destruction boxer, the life-pulling box — wears a long wig and pink t-shirt and then sings and dances to the choreography of Twice’s Knock Knock and TT. If you are a fan of the actor, you don’t need another reason to watch Jo Geum-san’s Shidong webtoon adaptation. If not, don’t worry, because Stat-Up still has other forms of entertainment. Movie Review
Taek-il (Park Jung-min) is a rebellious teenager who likes to cause chaos to trouble his mother (Yum Jung-ah), a former volleyball athlete who is forced to bury his dreams in order to support his son. but Taek-il instead refuses to go to school, only filling the day with obscurity with his best friend, Sang-pil (Jung Hae-in). Until one day, Taek-il decides he wants to prove that he can live independently of his mother, runs away from home, and ends up getting a job as a deliveryman at Kong’s Chinese restaurant (Kim Jong-soo).
It was there that Taek-il met people with interesting personalities, like Kyung-joo (Choi Sung-eun) the red-haired fist girl, also Geo-seok (Ma Dong-seok) the fierce chef who often beat Taek-il, but can suddenly be cowardly every faced with a commotion outside the restaurant. Occasionally we also see the struggle of Taek-il’s mother who spends her savings to build a simple food stall, and Sang-pil who, due to financial needs, is forced to work as a loan shark. Best Movie Site
The script, written by the director himself, Choi Jeong-yeol (One Way Trip), tried to compress as many stories of adaptation material as possible in the duration of 102 minutes, rather than processing it based on one or two main stories. But compared to other adaptation films that apply a similar approach, Start-Up is much neater. Indeed the impression of fast-forward that reduces the depth of each story arc is quite pronounced, but Jeong-yeol is able to assemble it into a unified, non-episodic whole. As a result, rather than a mess, the film moves dynamically thanks to a pile of interesting conflicts in various forms.
The negative effect is, due to the lack of deepening of each problem, the various plays lose their emotional impact, even though there is a lot of ammunition, from the relationship of Taek-il and his mother, Sang-pil and his grandmother, to the dark past that Kong and Geo-seok both kept together. . Not only that, as a whole Start-Up is indeed hampered regarding dramatic presentations. The matter of delivering messages for example. The sentence “Do what suits you” several times said from the mouth of the character. But once the film ends, what is about to be said is never certain. Is it a statement that someone should do something that suits him? Or something he wants? Or even something that is right depends on the conditions?
Ma Dong-seok shows off his comedic side without fear of damaging the masculinity that is so attached to his figure even though his once-hit-and-die fist is still shown, Park Jung-min is the protagonist who is likeable even though he often acts, while Choi Sung-eun exudes a mysterious impression draw attention. Even if he had to share the screentime, Choi Jeong-yeol managed to give each colorful character in his film a shining opportunity. Top Movie
There is not enough exploration time due to too many branch lines trying to put together. But at the very least, Start-Up managed to carry out its role as entertainment. Some humor still misses, but the powerful direction of Choi Jeong-yeol who is willing to apply a comical style (although not yet in total) plus the performance of his players keep his jokes to at least be able to provoke a smile.