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Review: Midnight Runners

Up for some butt-kicking, action-packed, good cop movie with a lot of bromance? Then you’ve clicked on the right article!

Midnight Runners is gonna be the perfect movie that you can invest some time on. Watch it alone or with friends! Either way I am pretty sure that you’ll enjoy this one hell of a ride of amazing, honest, aspiring cops in the making. Not to forget, there’s you’re ideal boyfriend Park Seo Joon and Kang Ha Neul as protagists of one perfect movie.


Ki-Joon (Park Seo-Joon) and Hee-Yeol (Kang Ha-Neul) are new students at the Korean National Police University. They are not the best students, but they are sincere when it matters. They decide to go out one evening. Towards the end of their night, they witness a young woman being kidnapped. Ki-Joon and Hee-Yeol try to get the police involved, but they meet apathy and bureaucracy. The two police cadets decide to save the young woman’s life before it’s too late.


Midnight Runners-Park Seo-Joon.jpg Midnight Runners-Kang Ha-Neul.jpg Midnight Runners-Park Ha-Sun.jpg Midnight Runners-Sung Dong-Il.jpg
Park Seo-Joon Kang Ha-Neul Park Ha-Sun Sung Dong-Il
Ki-Joon Hee-Yeol Joo-Hee Professor Yang


Not very familiar with the life of aspiring cops during their education years (or whether they are similar to the program that we have in my country) I was quite astonished and amazed by how Koreans take their program very seriously. I mean, as it was depicted in the movie, students had to part ways with their loved ones and live in dorms inside the campus grounds for four grueling years (if I am not mistaken). The only time they could get out, I guess, was during holidays or if their superiors allowed them to. 

Throughout the course of their education they are required to sport a buzz cut, wear their uniforms, endure morning runs, eat an equally portioned food (they can’t go more than what they will be served with), jog a trail in the mountains, do heavy and strenuous exercises as punishments, learn different kinds of martial arts, defense, and of course, let’s not forget the theory part of their study where in they have to sit inside the classroom and listen to the professor talk about the boring stuff.

Ki Joon (Park Seo Joon) and Hee Yeol (Kang Ha Neul) go through all these stuff and although they didn’t begin at the right footing, the eventful test they were faced with in the hands of ‘medusa’ on the first leg of the story helped them become the best of friends; because while the rest didn’t help Hee Yeol when he sprained his ankle just to make it on time back to camp, Ki Joon found him and at least had the decency–albeit reluctantly–to help Hee Yeol through the trail back to camp even if they were the last to arrive. More so, beside the newfound friendship, this little incident made it possible for them to pass medusa’s test.

Fast forward, in the present, close to the end of their education, both Ki Joon and Hee Yeol found themselves in need of a distraction away from the strict police academy life. Because of this same reason, they asked their superior a free pass to the city and came across an unexpected kidnapping of a girl that they were following one night and was supposed to ask the number of. And having the strong sense of justice in them, both embark on a dangerous adventure of tracking down the girl based on what they learned in the academy.

What I like about the movie is how much Ki Joon and Hee Yeol’s characters complemented each other. Ki Joon was physically strong. Hee Yeol was a smart kid. Where Ki Joon vastly lacked in knowledge, that’s where Hee Yeol enters to fill in the gaps in Ki Joon’s mind. On the other hand, though Hee Yeol wasn’t really physically good at fights and might sometimes appear wimpy, he always has Ki Joon to answer for him when he’s stuck in the middle of trouble.

The fact that they were strong–physically and mentally–and are able to apply what they learned though they weren’t really sure of their steps appealed to me very much. Their ideal approach on things and sense of justice only just goes to show the image of someone fresh in the field. Someone who hasn’t experienced what the real world is like and how the anarchy really works instead of doing what is right.

The time that they were plunged into the pit of reality, it was amazing how they were not easily let down by the way their superiors responded to their emergency. Eventually they will find the kidnapped girl and they will have to tell their superior what was going on in order for the authority to help them, but the superior will refuse to help, giving all kinds of excuse–giving all rights to authority to handle the situation after the rest were already answered to–which are all incredibly lame and disappointing. To think that there were people like that, it made me wonder whether it was how things work in other parts of the world.

But then, gladly, empowered by their sense of justice, Ki Joon and Hee Yeol will prove the police that not everything  should be done in the order that it came first. Sometimes, it is worth taking the risk now for other people’s lives than when it is already too late and everything has already passed.

And though it was such a risky choice for both of them–because bypassing their superiors’ wishes can lead to their expulsion, Ithink that the lesson of the story is that you can never go wrong with the right choices you make. So even if the rest of the world is not doing what is right, we should just always remind ourselves that we don’t really have to be part of the rest of the world. Sometimes it is always better to lead the rest and create the change.

Over all, I must admit I consider this one of the best action-comedy I have ever watched. It’s my first time watching Park Seo Joon in a movie but I must admit that he is very good in acting and his action scenes were amazingly taken.

On the other hand, after watching Kang Ha Neul in his past dramas (like The Heirs, etc) his role in this movie really gave a pleasant surprise as it is completely different from his drama roles. I must say that he made me a fan of his and I think I will be looking forward for his other movie roles in the future. Since to me, Kang Ha Neul is the kind of actor you can consider a movie genius. He has proven his credibility in acting and has made a name for himself for his versatility in taking in roles.

This post first appeared on The Korean Lass, please read the originial post: here

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Review: Midnight Runners


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