Producer SONG Soo-jung (JUN Ji-hyun) has been producing human-interest documentaries for a television station. She is sick and tired of wringing fake tears and emotions that tug at sympathy. She quits, saying she would rather film the non-hyporcritical African lions. However, the Africa shoot is suddenly cancelled and on top of that, her camera gets stolen. It’s then that a man in a Hawaiian shirt chases the thief and recovers the camera for her, later claiming to be "Superman" (HWANG Jung-min). He cannot use his superpowers, however, because villains have put Kryptonite inside his head. This "Superman" intrigues Soo-jung and she goes ahead to unravel the mystery of his past…
Despite all it’s initial craziness and absurdness, If I were Superman slowly builds up a heartwarming portrayal of one man’s tragedy and selflessness to help others. Personally, there’s never a dull moment in If I were Superman.
The first half of this movie was filled with zaniness that was a delightful to watch. From the special effects to depict “Superman”’s power to the explanation of what’s actually going on, it was intriguing to see what’s going on in a crazy man’s mind. This movie also managed to make acting crazy in public look so winsome.
Then the second half took a turn for serious melodrama which aims at tugging the heartstrings. It explores the tragedy that created this crazy “Superman” and took a swipe at the general unhelpful public. If I were Superman also poised the question if normalcy is really what everyone needs to be and the tragedy to grind someone so special into a boring normal lifestyle. It also transformed the constant weaving in and out of reality and imagination from comedic effect into heart touching moments.
The most important factor in “If I were Superman”’s success was due to the performance of Jun Ji-Hyun and Hwang Jung-min. This film marks the return of Korean superstar, Jun Ji-Hyun to movies after two years and there are drastic changes to be noted. Her performance as the tough cynical uncaring documentaries producer felt like a big change from her pervious dainty fragile role in Daisy. Even her image change was apparent and it actually me took a while to recognize her from her previous performances.
Hwang Jung-min forms the other strong half for this show. While acting crazy for his role, Hwang Jung-min did just enough to amused, without stooping to any low brow acts. When the moment called for it, he did just enough once again endear himself to the audience with his tender performance. Last but not least, with the cute Jin Ji-hee (last seen in Hansel and Gretel) around, always helps to make this film just a little bit more adorable than it already is.
The underlying notion that’s being set here could be rather hard to swallow and it might be hard to appreciate the viewpoint of a crazy man but there are positive message in this movie that shouldn’t be ignored. Personally, the message that I got from this movie would be that you have to stay true to yourself even when the whole world do not share the same view. There are moments to laugh, there are moments to cry and there are moments to ponder about extending our kindness to those who need it, even if they are strangers to us.
This DVD contains an Photo Gallery Bonus feature. Basically it contains stills from the movie and basically not much of an extra bonus for this movie.
The Visual presentation of this movie is as vibrant as “Superman”’s Hawaiian Tee and the Audio Aspect did well enough to bring all the special effects to life.
Review by Richard Lim Jr