Posts Tagged ‘MOSS movie 2010 review’

MOSS [IGGI | 이끼]


KOREA 2010  Directed by: Kang Woo-Suk  Written by: Jo Woo Chung   Internet Comic by: Yoon Tae-Ho  Produced by: Jung Sun-Young  Cinematography by: Kim Sung-Bok, Kim Yong Hong  Editing by: Go Im-Pyo  Music by: Jo Young-Wook  Cast: Park Hae-Il, Jeong Jae-Yeong, Yu Jun-Sang, Yoo-Sun, Yu Hae-Jin, Kim Sang-Ho, Kim Jun-Bae, Heo Jun-Ho, Kang Shin-Il, Lim Seung-Dae, Jeong Gyu-Su, Lee Cheol-Min, Keum Dong-Hyun, Jeong Gi-Seop

When Ryu Hae-Kuk travels upcountry to bury is late father in the village he reclusively lived in for decades, a chain of mysterious events begins. The villagers, especially their head Cheon Yong-Deok, are less than fond of the visitor from Seoul and can’t wait for his departure, but Ryu Hae-Kuk has reasons to stay on and look into the circumstances of his father’s death. Soon he discovers that a conspiracy beyond imagination is going on, and it seems that his father was a vital part of it.

Summarizing all the various plot threads and points of MOSS is a useless enterprise – mostly because nothing, but really nothing in the movie makes really sense. MOSS is best described as being overly ambitious, and falling short of creating the grand piece of art it set out to make. On the contrary, nothing makes for a pair of shoes here.

Starting with the opening that is supposedly providing the background – and later denouement – of the story. This is all highly constructed and intentionally misleading, so that when things come full circle at the end we are confronted with a very dissatisfying conclusion. In between there is too much going on that is going nowhere: every time a new discovery is made, every time a new mystery presents itself it feels like a dead-end, or puzzling at least.

For a mystery thriller, MOSS is neither mysterious nor thrilling enough. All along the way we are waiting for something really exciting to happen, or something really bizarre, or both, but Mr. Kang just can’t do it. MOSS is a film filled with empty promises. Don’t think that MOSS comes even remotely close to a Yukihiko Tsutsumi film, or that it is even remotely close to the sharp analytical storytelling of an Agatha Christie or Sherlock Holmes novel, or that it has the deeper meaning of STRAW DOGS, a movie that probably was a source of inspiration among many others. The villagers who are in cahoots over something and attempt to threaten the hero’s life are a well-known thriller ingredient, only that in MOSS the secrets they keep are anti-climatic and unsurprising at best.

When the last battle is fought and the last word’s been spoken, MOSS feels like watching LOST up to season 3 or so – we may get some clumsy explanations for what’s going on, but it doesn’t feel right, or believable, and essentially is nothing but a huge let-down. For the first half of the film we are collecting countless evidence, and then we realize that the evidence doesn’t really point to anything. The secret tunnel, the role of Ryu Hae-Kuk’s father, the former detective’s motifs, the sidekicks’ justification of existence, the largely undisclosed, unexplained criminal activities, the past relationship between Ryu Hae-Kuk and prosecutor Park, about everything we encounter remains evidence for nothing in particular.

On the surface MOSS is a solid, even entertaining thriller, after a proper reality check however it must be said that MOSS is also the film of 2010 that is least making sense. Just imagine your average football player talking quantum physics for two hours, and you get the idea.

With MOSS Mr. Kang delivers another half-cooked work that compared to the overrated PUBLIC ENEMY movies is even less stringent and coercive (maybe that’s also thanks to the source material). After more than twenty years of filmmaking TWO COPS (1993) remains Mr. Kang’s best film to date, a creative, smart and witty genre entry that was never surpassed by any of his following movies. So grab that old VHS tape from your collection and watch it once again instead of MOSS, as it will save you some grave disappointment.