Holiday Review

Founder and Editor; Toronto, Canada (@AnarchistTodd)
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Yang Yoon-Ho's previous film, the martial arts drama Fighter in the Wind, is one that came on the scene with high expectations and left many feeling underwhelmed. While Yang's technical skills were obvious his script left a good bit to be desired and the cast wasn't strong enough to overcome the weaknesses of the text.

Enter Yang's latest, Holiday. Again Yang's technical skill is abundantly clear and, once again, the script is the film's glaring weakness. Emotionally manipulative on a level that would make Spielberg blush with shame Holiday's characters are written in the broadest possible strokes, the point of the script driven home with a force equivalent to using a sledge hammer to drive in a tack. However, in this case Yang has something that he didn't have for Fighter: an incredibly charismatic and likeable cast. While Choi Min-Soo's performance amounts to little more than scenery chewing, Lee Sung-Jae is stellar in the lead role and the rest of the supporting cast are similarly strong, giving the film a much needed boost and glossing over many of the script's more obvious faults. As a consequence Yang here delivers a film that is perversely likeable despite being obviously unable to bear up under close scrutiny.

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RahatMay 16, 2006 4:46 AM

Todd, very much agree with you on many counts. I felt that there was enormous potential here, and a great story to boot. Unfortunately, the emotional manipulation got annoying by the end. At certain points, I kept on thinking, "Why isn't he doing that? It's the most logical thing to do, but he's not doing it!" Actions that would have made sense were left out in support of an overdramatized climax. However, I must say the final scene where the Bee Gees' "Holiday" plays is one of my favorite scenes in film this year.
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