TKFF 2012 – Invasion of Alien Bikini Review (Kirk Haviland)

Toronto Korean Film Festival 2012

Invasion of Alien Bikini

Starring Ha Eun-jung and Hong Young-geun.

Directed by O Yeong-du

TKFF’s Sci-fi night starts with the first true Korean Independent film of the festival, Invasion of Alien Bikini. Shot for only 15,000 dollars and using minimal locations, cast, and crew, Bikini is, at a brisk 75 minutes, a smaller, more intimate film rather than a sprawling Sci-fi epic.

Young-gun (Young-geun) is the self-proclaimed ‘City Protector’, a wannabe super hero, ala ‘Kick-Ass’, that goes around fighting crime after dark using his passable Muay Thai skills to protect the innocent and a obviously fake mustache to protect his identity. One night Young-gun overhears the cries of a young lady being chased by three men. After interceding on her behalf and beating up these men, and after they desperately attempt to tell him that she is not as she appears, Young-gun takes the young lady home to recover. After discovering her name is Ha-Monica, or Harmonica (Eun-jung), Young-Gun and Monica start to get to know each other. But Young-Gun eventually discovers Monica is the Alien of the title and she desperately needs one thing – sperm. Monica must be impregnated that evening so she can reproduce, but this could destroy our planet. And of course there is the strict vow of chastity that Young-gun has sworn to and is determined to protect.

Invasion of Alien Bikini is a small film that keeps its action primarily to a handful of locations and the bulk of it occurs in the small apartment of Young-gun. The stunningly beautiful Ha Eun-jung makes it easy to see why she has been chosen for the role of temptress. She also radiates in the role, switching between vulnerable and aggressor at the drop of the hat. Hong Young-geun’s Young-gun is there to carry the bulk of the comedic elements of the film. His bumbling hero, who gets beat up as much as the punishment he doles out, is there to be endearing and sympathetic, but unfortunately does not achieve this 100% of the time. The production team deserves kudos, as the film looks much more invested than the budget constraints should allow. Director O Yeong-du’s direction feels uneven at parts, as the film feels like a fleshed out short film with filler as opposed to a streamlined feature film.

Rapidly paced in parts mixed with long drawn out sequences later, Invasion of the Alien Bikini comes off as uneven for the most part, but ultimately more of it works than does not. I give Invasion of Alien Bikini a mild recommend.

The Toronto Korean Film Festival continues until July 1st with screenings of the amazing Mother, Failan, and a near perfect cinematic closing night of Sympathy for Lady Vengeance and one of my favorite films of ALL-TIME in Oldboy. Tickets are still available.

Till Next Time,

Movie Junkie TO

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