Miss & Mrs. Cops (2019) ☆☆☆(3/4): A good start for two female cops

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At first, I did not have much expectation on South Korean comedy film “Miss & Mrs. Cops”, which did not look that fresh or interesting to me when I came across its trailer a few weeks ago. However, after hearing some good words from others including a South Korean critic I have trusted for many years, I eventually decided to give it a chance, and I am happy to report now that it is fairly entertaining with some fresh elements which are more than enough to compensate for a number of weak aspects in the film.

During the opening sequence, we see how things initially looked promising for a feisty female police detective named Mi-young (Ra Mi-ran). After willingly hurling herself into numerous cases including the one involved with a petty drug dealer who unwisely underestimated her right from the beginning, she received a commendation for her public service, and she also happened to encounter a guy whom she would marry later, but, alas, her life and career did not go that well during next several years. While her husband has been a pathetic bum still trying to pass a state law examination, she has been stuck in the public service department at a police station somewhere in Seoul, and, to make matters worse, it is possible that she will be fired due to the upcoming downsizing of her department.

And then there comes an incident which draws her attention. While she is going through another mundane day along with her young co-worker Jang-mi (Choi Soo-young) and Ji-hye (Lee Sung-kyung), a rookie detective who recently got assigned to work in Mi-young’s department due to her inadvertent trouble, a young woman comes to them, but then she hurriedly walks away for some reason. Sensing something wrong from her, Mi-young instantly follows after her, but then this young woman lets herself hit by a vehicle, and that certainly shocks Mi-young and her two colleagues.

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Fortunately, this young woman does not die, but she remains unconscious at a hospital, and Mi-young and her two colleagues eventually come to learn of what happened to this young woman. A few days ago, she and her friend went to some popular nightclub, and they met a group of guys who seemed to be interested in having a fun time with them, but, when she happened to be left alone with these guys, she was drugged and then taken to some place where she was not only raped but also videotaped during this heinous act of crime. The video file in question is going to be released at a certain imminent point via a seedy website run by these guys, and it goes without saying that there will be no way to prevent the video file from spread all around the world once it is unleashed on the Internet.

Understandably becoming quite angry, Mi-young and Ji-hye try to bring more attention to the case, but, not so surprisingly, they only find themselves more frustrated and exasperated. While people at the department handling cybercrime are too busy to pay attention to the case, the other members of Ji-hye’s squad, who all happen to be male, do not give a damn about the case at all, so it becomes quite clear to Mi-young and Ji-hye that they must handle the cast for themselves. Although Mi-young’s direct boss does not allow anything outside their office work, they are willing to try as much as possible behind their back, and Jang-mi turns out to be a pretty helpful ally as fully revealing her particular set of skills involved with computer (Personally, I could not help but become delighted to know that she actually graduated from Korean Advanced Institute of Science Technology, which is incidentally my alma mater)

As Mi-young and Ji-hye delve further into the case, the movie steadily provides small and big funny moments which frequently induced laughs and chuckles from other audiences around me. While some of these moments are a little too broad for me, I will not deny that I was amused a lot by the humorous sequence unfolded around two foreign tattoo shops in Itaewon-dong, and I was also tickled by several scenes involved with Mi-young’s husband, who conveniently appears at right moments for his wife but, to our amusement, turns out to be not much of help on the whole.

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Of course, the mood inevitably becomes more serious as Mi-young and Ji-hye approach closer to their targets, and the movie sometimes loses its balance as its comic moments clash with a number of darker moments later in the story. Its subject is quite timely considering a recent cast involved with a certain famous South Korean entertainer, and the movie sincerely makes a strong point on its subject via its two main characters, but I still think the movie could be a bit more thoughtful in handling its serious story elements.

Anyway, the movie is still engaging as keeping things rolling under the competent direction of director/writer Jung Da-won. Thanks to the spirited performances from Ra Mi-ran, Lee Sung-kyung, and Choi Soo-young, we come to root for their likable characters while also caring about what is being at stake in the story, and you will probably come to want to see their next story after the movie is over.

Although it is not entirely without flaws, “Miss & Mrs. Cops” deserves to be mentioned along with “Coin Locker Girl” (2015), “Miss Baek” (2018), and other recent South Korean movies driven by female characters. Sure, this is essentially your average police comedy action flick, but it is really nice to see that ladies can be as funny and tough as guys, and, considering its fairly solid box office success in South Korea, I sincerely hope for more good female movies to come after this.

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