My Girlfriend Is an Agent (Review)

My Girlfriend Is an Agent

aka 7-geup gongmuwon

Directed by Sin Tae-ra
Written by Cheon Seong-il

Kicking it old school TarsTarkas.NET as we go over a Korean romantic comedy, something we haven’t done in over four years. Oddly enough, there hasn’t been a lot of good Korean romantic comedies in the past four years (although there are several from back then we haven’t covered and might get to eventually.) But retro TarsTarkas.NET is where we are right now!

This is a return of the kind of quality we took for granted from Korea for a few years, but then the industry crashed and the flow of great films slowed to a trickle. Still, some great films came out, and we hope that the slow trickle will once again turn into a mighty Mississippi again.

My Girlfriend is an Agent had great use of editing. I specifically enjoyed the use of flashbacks/scene cuts to complement dialogue. I personally find that smart filmmaking, though I know there are people who don’t like it. But screw them, this is my website! There is also some nice splitscreen editing.

The Korean title 7Keup Kongmuwon means literally 7th level civil servant – in South Korea the ranking of public servants starts from 9th (lowest) on down to 1st (highest). Now you are an expert in Korean culture and should go out and eat some kimchi.

Ahn Soo-ji (Kim Ha-neul) – An agent of the Industrial Security Team NIS, which is a secret to everyone, including her long-suffering boyfriend Jae-joon who leaves in the beginning of the film and then pops up later in her life. Then the romantic comedy/spy drama happens. Kim Ha-neul was previously on TarsTarkas.NET in My Tutor Friend and Too Beautiful To Lie.
Lee Jae-joon (Kang Ji-hwan) – A mild mannered accountant. And by accountant, I mean secret agent. His ex-girlfriend Soo-ji is also a secret agent, and both are secret to each other. Wacky things happen!
Chief Kim Weon-seok (Ryoo Seung-yong) – – Chief Kim of the Harimau doesn’t take any guff, even from rookie Jae-joon.
Team leader Hong (Jang Young-nam) – – Coworker and good friend of Soo-ji. Is the best friend character, but isn’t a wacky best friend like she would be if this was an American film.
Victor (Domashchenko Vadym) – Count Victor is the Russian guy who is totally evil. How evil is he? He’s so evil he isn’t really Victor, he is secretly…
Sonya Victoria (Elizabeth Sujin Ford) – The evil mastermind! She’s so evil, she jumps bikes over the Grand Canyon.
Officer Jang (Yoo Seung-mok) – Officer Jang is the cop who is always on duty when Soo-ji and Jae-joon get into arguments. Factors into the finale of the movie. It pays to be the cop on duty during domestic situations.

The film opens with Ahn Soo-ji dressed up in a wedding dress during her photoshoot with her hubby to be. But said hubby to be is not her boyfriend Jae-joon, as we find out since he calls her! Soo-ji is in the middle of a sting operation, as she is a secret agent and is tracking a handoff to Russian agents. Jae-joon is leaving the country and is upset she is not there to send him off, but while she is jetskiing after a fleeing speedboat he is screaming into the phone. Though Soo-ji saves the day, she arrives too late at the airport and is hauled away hysterical by security.

Hey, nice opening credits, sort of like a it is the Mission Impossible TV show…

Three years later… (Three years after the credits?)

Soo-ji has finally met a new man named Sung-joon, and she is pretending to be a travel agent. But she isn’t that into him. Meanwhile, work has a new assignment. Dr. Ryo Hyung-kyu is a doctor with bioagent that will mutate the entire country if it gets leaked. And he has disappeared. So now NIS must track him down. Soo-ji’s job will be to tail him, made easier by injecting him in the butt with a microtracker. But first they have to get him into the restroom so she can sneakily inject him, involving drugging a drink with something that will make you instantly have to pee. Why do they have to inject him in the bathroom? Who knows, just go with it.

No one seems to care there is a female maid cleaning the restroom as the guys pee. he is injected, but matters were complicated when everyone in the hotel seems to be going into the bathroom, including the Russian contact Dr. Ryo was meeting, and someone else…. With a penis that looks very familiar to Soo-ji…

It’s Jae-joon! So she starts beating him up!!! They get called into a police station, who are amused at their arguing. It’s nice to see a romantic comedy from Korea that doesn’t pretend the leads are 30-year-old virgins.

Jae-joon is now an accountant, and also a flashback shows he knew she was lying about being a travel agent three years ago. There is lots of anger between the two, and she won’t even let him get her a better job (as he thinks she is only a cleaning lady now.) But she is no ordinary cleaning lady, and he is no ordinary international accountant. After entering an unassuming garage, he is now in the Overseas Operations center of the NIS Harimao Team. Yep, he is a government agent as well. And he is starting out at the bottom, complete with a Chief who gives him a tough time. Oddly enough, they are working on the same case, just on the other side, tracking the Russians. Victor Bovchav was the Russian contact, he’s a former spy who is in the country as a rep for a company, so they can’t just kick him out easy on visa issues.

Jae-joon later visits his pal, Se-Kyun, who runs a DVD rental place. Se-Kyun trades black market iPhones, while on a run Jae-joon is roped into calling late renters and demand they return their DVDs. One such delinquent is Soo-ji, so now he has an excuse to call her, which not only interrupts a date but results in more yelling. But he’s called back into the Harimao agent office, thus not being at the video store when Soo-ji arrives.

Jae-joon ends up very nervously going undercover to plant a bug in the Russian’s room, but he is immediately suspected and the hidden camera is pointed away as soon as he leaves. He stops by Soo-ji’s apartment, but she tosses him out after beating him with an epee. She then notices he did her dishes and dropped off some skin cream.

Jae-joon figures out the Russians are communicating in code with a deck of cards, and he needs to decode. But the Russians are on the move, and Jae-joon is recruited to tail them in his car. Except he ends up ahead of the Russian thanks to wacky hijinks. Finally, Jae-joon manages to get behind them as they pull into an amusement park to meet Dr. Roh. Jae-joon is spotted by the Russians and the meet is off, while the Russian agent secretly shoots at Jae-joon via gun with a silencer. Added to the mix is Soo-ji running around undercover trailing Dr. Roh, disguised as a pregnant woman, which makes Jae-joon even more confused when he sees her around the park.

Soo-ji trails Dr. Roh into a haunted house (Korean Haunted houses are filled with long haired ghost girls running around, just so you know!) while the Russian Victor confronts Jae-joon in a soldier museum exhibit, which results in dozens of guns scattered across the floor, most are water pistols, so it becomes a water pistol/bb gun fight as they try to find the lone real gun on the floor and shoot the other. At the end of the day, Victor and Dr. Roh both escape.

Jae-joon is yelled at by his superiors for being so green, and is taught the realities of how easily he can be killed when he is made to put on a mesh shirt and grab a gun to shoot his supervisor. The supervisor gets the gun first and shoots Jae-joon (he’s saved by the mesh.)

Jae-joon meets Soo-ji on her birthday when she is home alone. They start to argue, then…Soo-ji remembers the good times teaching him how to fence. Jae-joon reveals when he almost died he realized all he thought of was her. There is passion, but also a record scratch as she has to quickly hide her gun, while he has to hide the bullet prooof mesh shirt he has on. After that, they take it to the bed.

Later that night, they both get called in by their offices.
Jae-joon goes undercover at a nightclub while Chief is busy yelling at him, and Soo-ji also there as a club girl. Dr. Roh is there, as is Victor. There is a blonde Russian girl named Natasha Velleschkova acting as the go-between, and Jae-joon uses his mad Russian language skills to try to seduce her. There is some humorous stuff with Russian language problems as no one else on the team speaks Russian. Things are spoiled as Soo-ji is brought in to the room Jae-joon is in, they see each other, and she goes crazy breaking bottles on his head.

They get dragged to the same police station to argue again with same policeguy watching them.

Dr. Roh and Victor meet up and trade money, Russian will get the virus in their next meeting
break up and both get drunk separately, Jae-joon with Chief
called into meetings

Jae-joon and Soo-ji are called into meetings, each agency has identified the other’s lover as the other contact missing from the spy plot. Not only is it a confusing mess of mistaken identity, but a tragic reminder of what happens when different government agencies do not communicate with each other.

Jae-joon and Soo-ji meet up for a date where both will be putting bugs/trackers on each other. They can barely contain their seething anger. The best part is they ordered lobster, so they both have mallets, and just pound their lobsters into goo they are so angry. The rest of the customers are staring, this is all stuff I wish I could see when I go out to eat but never do.

They are both being tracked, and Soo-ji attacked by the Harimaus, but she fights them off. Her agency managed to grab Jae-joon’s video store buddy Se-Kyun and the poor guy he was selling viagra to.

Chief Kim is yelled at by his boss, told to blame it all on Jae-joon since the Russian embassy is mad their citizens are being followed, but Chief Kim won’t do it, and Jae-joon cracks more code to find out where the Russian meeting place is. Jae-joon sneaks into where the Russians are meeting. Jae-joon finds out Count Victor is not Count Victor, but is a girl named Sonya Victoria wearing a Mission Impossible-style rubber mask!

Jae-joon almost shot getting a photo of her. He’s saved by the cop – Officer Jang – who is always on duty when him and Soo-ji are brought in for fighting. As Jae-joon knows where Sonya Victoria is meeting Dr. Roh, Jae-joon plans to catch her while Chief Kim stalls for time.

Soo-ji manages to figure out the meeting spot as well based on some code and longitude and latitude stuff that I have no idea how it worked but they needed her to get there as well so just go with it because she’s smart and stuff, okay? Thanks.

Everyone begins to converge on the meeting point, where a Korean renaisance faire is taking place. Yes, I guess there are Korean RenFaires. Amazing. What is Korean for “Huzzah”? This RenFaire is surprisingly missing large women with cleavage-revealing costumes and scrawny older guys with long beards and glassing claiming to be Balquad the Bard.

Soo-ji is captured and tied up while Victoria and Dr. Roh complete their deal. Unlike every other spy film ever, no one double crosses and Dr. Roh leaves. Jae-joon locates the criminals thanks to hacking the security cameras. He tells Officer Jang to guard the door as he goes in, thus Jang ends up catching Dr. Roh as he tries to exit.

Sonya reveals she was a girl who was jogging during the bridal dress incident three years ago, thus Soo-ji is her longtime enemy. She tries to kill her, but Soo-ji has gotten free thanks to a watch laser and now it is fight time. Sonia Victoria has a random Russian guy around as her goon, but Soo-ji tries to escape just as Jae-joon bursts in with a gun pointed at Soo-ji’s face. The Russians just stare in disbelief, then just shoot at her, but Jae-joon jumps in the way, taking two bullets. Now the two chicks fight (the Russian dude seems to have vanished now) and as it is a RenFaire, there are medieval weapons present. Now the Russian Sonya has a bullwhip (why not?) and Soo-ji jumps weapons from bow and arrow to sword to boomerang. She cycles through like it’s a video game.

Jae-joon isn’t dead because he’s wearing that bulletproof mesh he had on earlier, waking up just in time to fight the Russian guy who has reappeared. Jae-joon manages to save Soo-ji again, but then she saves him by boomeranging the Russian guy. There are more boomerang kung fu moves in this film than in any Australian kung fu film. I don’t know if there are Australian kung fu films, but there should be. Maybe Yahoo Serious can get on that.

The fight spills outside and now the baddies get on a horse and a bike. Soo-ji quickly gets on a horse as well and chases. Jae-joon’s horse….is not much of a horse, of course.

Eventually the chicks are swordfighting while Jae-joon goes all Indiana Jones on the Russian dude’s motorcycle. Jae-joon arrives on the scene, and using two flagpoles off of the motorcycle he and Soo-ji go all fencing on Sonya Victoria. She can’t take the “Offensif! Offensif!” and is defeated. The best deffensif is a good offensif.

Sonya tries to toss the bioagent to expose it, but Jae-joon catches that and Soo-ji takes out Sonya. Since the two know each other are agents, they are back in love agian. Other agents arrive, and the day is saved.

During the credits there are skits that include several takes on the “grab the gun first” trick where you find out Soo-ji is very good at the game. And then a skit where the couple is in a car chasing and shooting after baddies, but mom calls. I guess that is a sequence we’ll see in the sequel.

Rated 8/10 (Super flying ninja spy bride wuxia, bioagents, instruction time, super bathroom drugs, crack shot, J-horror, Russian translator, Russian thug)

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