The Huntresses (2014)
Director: Park Je Hyun
Cast: Ha Ji Won, Gang Ye Won, Son Ga In, Song Sae Byeok, Joo Sang Wook, Ko Chang Seok
Genre: Action and Comedy
Running Time: 107 minutes
Jin Ok (Ha Ji Won), Hong Dan (Gang Ye Won) and Ga Bi (Son Ga In) worked as bounty hunters as a team together with Moo Myung (Ko Chang Seok) who allocated them job assignments. Meanwhile, secret enjoys, who are in charge of delivering a stauroscope to the King of Joseon Dynasty, are killed by unknown assassins. One of the secret envoys is able to escape. A high-ranking official is sent by the King to ask Moo-Myung and the ladies for help in finding the envoy and stauroscope. The official offers a large sum of money as a reward. The three ladies then set out to find the envoy. They are soon attacked by assassins and Jin Ok finds herself facing the man who is responsible for her father’s death.
The Huntresses reminds me of Charlie’s Angels movie but it is set in the Joseon historical period setting. The typical beautiful women in action catching the baddies to get money as rewards. Unfortunately, it is a disappointing film to watch. There are a lot of gaps in the surface storyline including lots of confusion of overlapping between saving the royal kingdom from the baddies and Jin Ok’s past. The plots were not successfully connected leaving me to wonder why the draggy storyline when there is so much spaces to fill in that would not bore me with frustration.
There is lack of balance in focusing on Ha Ji Won, Gang Ye Won and Son Ga In. Although there are the main casts of this film, most of the screen time are given to Ha Ji Won to showcase both her charisma and captivating fighting style. Not much character development can be seen on Gang Ye Won’s and Son Ga In’s side while only a few pointers of characteristics are being highlighted in the film. I see Ha Ji Won as the main character of the film rather than all three of them. Gang Ye Won and Son Ga In are just sidekicks supporting Ha Ji Won that it doesn’t support the overall title and storyline of film. I am impressed with Ha Ji Won’s acting styles on how she evoke the character’s personality in the film. However, as I said previously, there is a lack of screen time for the other two that I don’t see what Gang Ye Won and Son Ga In could portray more on the characters.
The most annoying part that I do not enjoy watching the film is the fighting action scenes. The camera focus and shifting from one scene to another within seconds are very messy. It didn’t give audiences enough time to see how the three ladies are in action knocking out the baddies. There is not a single flow within these scenes that keep me watching. It is much more of combine or ‘cut-and-paste’ all the fighting scenes together into one. The production team didn’t consider how the fighting action scenes should be shown in a fast and smooth pace in terms of what should be focus and time duration for each cut.
Overall, it seems that the ladies’ beauties and personalities in an historical period action film are focused more than the storyline and fighting scenes. It is a good attempt to provide some pointers of storyline and characters in the film but not good enough due to the lack of balance on screen time for Ha Ji Won, Gang Ye Won and Son Ga In and surfaced storyline. The fighting scenes are totally messed up with lack of flow and attention. For me, it is not the best female action film that I watched so far.