[Review] Fighting Spirit – 투혼

 DEADBEAT DAD AT THE BOTTOM OF THE 9TH WITH 2 OUTS

Hotshot Pitcher Yoon Do Hoon (Kim Joo Hyuk) is on a downward spiral after stardom goes right to his head.  After too many bad behavior incidents, he is demoted to a minor team.  His wife, Yoo Ran (Kim Sun Ah), refuses to let him in the house because he’s a cheater and a deadbeat dad.  So he lives off his juniors until he finds out that his wife has cancer.

I got curious about seeing this movie after Kim Joo Hyuk and Kim Sun Ah guested on Running Man and said that they played man and wife previously.  They both have a Gyeongsangdo accent in the film and I think they do it well.

The most important part of the movie is the change that Yoon Do Hoon goes through from an immature ass to a dad that loves and takes care of his family.  I’ve only seen Kim Joo Hyuk in this one piece but his real personality is so utterly different from the character that I kept questioning whether it was the same person.  I think that’s an actor’s best piece of wardrobe.  You don’t need the special effects makeup or the clothes, all you need is talent.

I especially enjoyed the scenes with Do Hoon and his son, Dong Chul (Oh Jae Moo).

Dong Chul is like his father and fast becoming a rising star on his Little League team.  Do Hoon continues to support his son and encourage him to keep playing despite Yoo Ran’s worry over Dong Chul’s grades.  At one of Dong Chul’s games, he sees the bunting sign that’s given to him by his coach and ignores it in order to just swing away.  Despite hitting the ball, Do Hoon disciplines his son for not being a teamplayer, just like Do Hoon was.

Wow, Kim Sun Ah has sure been playing a lot of cancer patients recently but she’s delightful to watch as Yoo Ran.  She’s a woman that’s relatable but not boring.  She just wants to make sure that she could rely on her husband to take care of the kids if the cancer got the better of her.  Perhaps it’s because a movie is a significantly shorter length of time than her dramas but I didn’t find her stagnant in this film at all.  I did miss her cute, quirky side that we often see in her dramas.  That’s because the focus of the story is more on Do Hoon rather than Yoo Ran.

Maybe if the film had more time…  I wished the movie was a little longer so I could enjoy the reconciliation between Do Hoon and his family here.  I was loving all the cute scenes with the kids and the harder scenes in which Do Hoon was learning how he could support his wife through her cancer.

If I had to critique anything here, it’s that the movie was a bit abrupt at the climax.  Yoo Ran is getting surgery for her cancer and Do Hoon pitches almost a perfect game when exhaustion gets the better of him and he voluntarily steps down for the relief pitcher.

This time around, Do Hoon’s ego doesn’t get the better of him and finally becomes a teamplayer, not only to his team but also to his family.  The moment afterwards is kind of left to the viewer’s imagination in order to give an ethereal feel of fighting spirit that’s in the air.  After all, that’s the title of the movie right?

However, I felt it was rather forced and I would have let the performances just speak for themselves.  No editing effect could top a great performance and you just need to be patient and let the image speak for itself.  Other than that, the movie is a feel good movie that is funny and heartwarming all rolled into one.

Rating

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