Tuesday, March 23, 2010


As giant, killer wild boar movies go, I can safely say the Korean Chaw (2009) is the best since the Australian Razorback (1984). While more derivative (think Jaws except with a giant, killer wild boar), Chaw is certainly more funny and upbeat than its sleazy and lugubrious Aussie cousin (although the latter's monster is pre-CGI and, thus, better). I suggest a double feature, with Razorback first; Chaw will serve as the palate-cleanser (to get the taste of dusty, rotting offal out of your mouth -- yuck!).

So you've got a frustrated Seoul cop who's transferred to a provincial post out in the boondocks. He thinks it's going to be all fishing and afternoon naps. Boy is he mistaken. Seems there's this huge ... well, you know. Cue the Jaws prototypes (town leaders who downplay the danger for the sake of tourism, professional hunter who's tough but ultimately not up to the job, the aforementioned cop, a scientist) and away we go. Aside from these stock characters, the townies are a hoot, and the whole business is infused with a uniquely Korean comic sensibility. (Don't ask me what "uniquely Korean" means -- just a vibe I've picked up from watching a lot of Korean movies.) Broad, and at times brutal, the gags are nevertheless consistently hilarious and I laughed out loud more than once.

The grand finale appears to be an homage to the final scene in Razorback, albeit with a different climax. All in all an entertaining hoot. You won't be snorting at this boar-fest!

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