When I saw the trailer was out, I got a mixed a feeling. I love the predecessor Take Off (2009), but the ending or the game was not really memorable. I expected that this will be too realistic meaning, no glorious ending, just a real event translated in a movie. Take Off (2009) was one of the most anticipated movies that I wanted to watch merely because of the soundtrack. “Butterfly” sang by Loveholic or in other words, all the Fluxus Stars including Clazziquai, Lee Seong Yeol, Winterplay, and My Aunt Mary. They were all my favorite singers at that time. In Take Off, Sung Dong Il’s performance never fails me. But well, it was about the first Ski Jump team of South Korea so there was not so much to see when a man jumped up into the sky. The practice part was more exciting, but the game was just OK. But, don’t get me wrong, I loved the movie. Run Off or in literal means Take Off 2 was about woman iced hockey team. It was also based on real events. More dramas, more comical, and the game… the game was brilliant 🙂
Run Off or Take Off 2 taken place in 2002 when South Korea wants to make the fourth national team to be able to enter Winter Olympic Games. The woman iced hockey team was not intended to be made in the first place; thus, the team was coached by a fading star hockey player Kang Dae Woong (Oh Dal Su), and the team member was a North Korean defector who was once a national team member in her country,Lee Ji Won (Soo Ae), a menace short skate tracker Park Chae Kyung (Oh Yeon Soo), a former figure skater Kim Ye Woon (Kim Ga Yeon), a former field hockey player Ko Yeong Ja (Ha Jae Suk), a high schooler Shin Soo Hyun (Jin Ji Hee), and the sport secretary Jo Mi Ran (Kim Seul Gi). We can picture a group of hopeless people gather to make a national team. The question is, what do you actually expect? Not to mention the coach was so messed up with his life. He does not have a stable life, a single father whom wife is left with an unrevealed reason.
The team was so unwanted; thus, they only got a second hand uniforms which was meant to be thrown away, they practised in the abandoned ice hockey ring, they only got 6 main players, they were just started off messy. Until at the point when the coach realise that he too… needs to clean out his own sh*t.
He does not become a charming coach at one night, he is still forgetful about the technical terms of hockey, but he does have his own perks to be a notable coach *just like other sports game. I had fun seeing the practice session, but it was not so much compared to Take Off (2009). Nevertheless, when we come down to the game, my heart beats so much. I take my hat off to the body doubles (if they do have) since the game was felt so real. You could see the player was hit hard, the puck was thrown here and there, and as a fan of The Mighty Ducks, I could say this hockey game was rough and exciting. I love the real facts inserted in here. We are not seeing the winning team all at once, but we see the journey of becoming one. And, it takes serious sh*t to be one, including to overcome your own personal sh*t. And (again), I am sorry to use a lot of the s word haha.
Talking about my own opinion, I was once doubt about the movie. Oh Dal Su was known as one million fairy since all movies he featured usually be the blockbuster of Korean Movie Industry. However, as I have said before, Sung Dong Il took so much portion of the great coach in Take Off 1. Well, it was about bringing the character into life and Oh Dal Su happened to bring out a slight comedic feature in here. My points are all to the team members – almost all of them.
Let’s talk about Jin Ji hee first. I never noticed her so much to be honest with you. I just have heard about her here and there, saw her here and there, and despite how small portion she takes in this movie, she is believable enough to be the prodigy of a goalie. I love how raw her emotion is pictured. Another spot light was given to Kim Ye Won. It is not a surprise that she is always given a role of girly girl, but what I love was her transformation becoming
one to her team member. And who does not love Kim Seul Gi. Tell me, who does not love this guffball. I love her ever since I saw her on Oh My Ghostess. She definitely becomes my favorite South Korean Actress. Her versatility is unquestioned. Oh Yeon Seo is a bit disappointing. I felt the director does not give her a lot of room as appointed captain. I expected to see more on her role as a captain or maybe she never had a big portion as a captain in her real life character? Oh well…
And now, let’s talk about Soo Ae. Ever since Athena, she could portray a stronger character. I love her backstory in here, and how she overcomes it. At first, she does not felt as the main star, but towards the end, she gradually earns a spotlight, and maybe… this movie is about her character anyway. Talking about Soo Ae’s character, meaning we need to talk about Park So Dam who plays Lee Ji Hee, Lee Ji Won (Soo Ae)’s sister. She only appears in the last half of the movie, and my oh my… Park So Dam needs to be watched out! She is young but strong.
Last but not least, can I say moreeee about Choi Jin Woong!? He only takes a
role as the commentator, but uugh this ahjussi puts more of his little magic. He took a part in Take Off back in 2009 when his figure was still big and not as handsome as now haha. He then was portrayed as a pessimistic commentator, and I just love his genuine actions in every single seconds. He’s truly a champ.
The point of this movie is well blended with the backstory of Soo Ae’s character, and it grows bigger because it involves South and North Korea relationship. In the end of the day, we just feel so affected with all the “drama” in the character. That’s what I personally think make the movie rich.
Overall, Run Off is a heartwarming sports movie. Naming all the big movies about sports, Run Off could be one in he line too. It deserves more spectators than it had. Though, honestly speaking, the first half was not really buying, but I love the game so much. It felt too real. I couldn’t think that the game was actually played by the double. We could not really tell because most of the scenes was taken wide or too close, not to mention the big bulky outfit covered the whole body. Nevertheless, that was the realistic part of the movie that I respected a lot.
Director: Kim Jong Hyeon