Watching a slow-paced movie during the day is one thing but watching one at 11pm is another and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. Humanist is one of those slow-paced offerings that you know you need to sit all the way through just to see if there is anything redeeming in it - unfortunately there isn't really anything after the initial kidnapping to keep our interests awake.

Humanist is a story of greed, deception and friendship, told by the main character Ma Te-o (Ahn Jae-mo) as he sits in a prison interview cell telling his tale to anyone who will listen.

Ma Te-o is a greedy, spoilt little rich kid who wants but doesn't give anything in return. When he goes joyriding with his friends Euglena (Kang Seong-jin) and Amoeba (Park Sang-myeon) he finds himself in a situation that he can't really buy himself out of when he hits and kills a traffic cop.

By himself out he does though, as the traffic cop's friend is bent and offers to keep his mouth shut for a substantial amount of cash. A plan is hatched that Ma Te-o, with the help of his two sidekicks, will kidnap his wealthy dad and hold him to ransom.

As you can probably guess all kinds of problems occur after the initial kidnapping and the kidnappers find themselves with even more trouble when they are involved in a car crash that kills the kidnapped victim. I won't give anything else away just in case anyone out there wants to see this but be warned that up until and after the actual kidnapping nothing happens.

It is hard to see how writer/director Lee Mu-yeong went from this to Sympathy for Mr Vengeance although throughout the sordid mess of this movie you can see the director trying so desperately to get a great performance from his cast.

The outstanding character award for this movie goes to the bum, KimMyeong-su, as he leeches off Ma Te-o and gives the friends something to think about, all the while trying to gross them out with his infected, maggot infested leg.

This movie is a last resort for someone with extra 100 minutes to spare when they wouldn't rather be painting, taking the dog for a long walk or even drinking.

Also, I would advise anyone watching to pay attention to the soundtrack - I swear that all the songs were done by the Sesame Street crew (Cookie Monster most of all).

Reviewed on: 27 Jul 2005
Share this with others on...
Humanist packshot
A spoilt, rich kid tries to get away with murder by staging a kidnap.
Amazon link

Director: Lee Mu-yeong

Writer: Lee Mu-yeong, Park Chan-wook

Starring: Ahn Jae-mo, Kang Seong-jin, Park Sang-myeon, Park Young-gye, Myeong Sun-mi, Sim Myoeng-su

Year: 2001

Runtime: 95 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: South Korea


Search database: