Movie Review: ‘The King’s Case Note’ Is A Fun Action Packed Adventure

Review by Mark Merrell

Set in Korea during the Joseon Dynasty, the movie opens with Yoon Yi-seo (AHN Jae-hong, The Sunshine Boys, On The Beach at Night Alone) practicing his greeting to the King, as he starts his career today as a chronicler. The scene sets the tone of Seo’s character. He’s smart, clever, but a bit of a nerdy bumbler socially. He soon meets his boss, King Yejong (LEE Sun-kyun, A Hard Day, Helpless, Nobody’s Daughter Haewon), a smart, charismatic leader with a keen sense of humor, and knowledge of science.

The King makes Seo step closer to him. He asks if Seo if he noticed the dragon portrayed on the ceiling. He wants specific details about it. Confused a bit, and intimated, Seo keeps answering the King with his own questions. The King, in turn, has to repeat himself, much to his consternation. In turn, the King raps Seo on his head. The King says he’s heard Seo has a special ability. After squinting, and putting his fingers to his temples, we discover Seo has a photographic memory, and we, ‘see’ the previous scene reverse itself through his minds eye. The King is impressed, so he is reassigned as a Royal Historian. This means Seo must follow behind the King by five steps, documenting all that is said and done. Thusly, the King renames Seo, “Five Steps.”

Latter that night a scene unfolds where Seo’s loyalty to the King is tested in a funny sequence. The next day, someone has hung an effigy of the King in the village. A large crowd gathers, as the Kings guard cuts down the scarecrow and the adjacent message. Just then, a man stumbles into the street, bloodied from a confrontation, when suddenly his head catches fire spontaneously. He doesn’t struggle to get away for help, dropping to the ground dead.

An autopsy is ordered. The King enters the room with Seo close behind. The King uncovers the victim, and states he will preform the autopsy instead. He proceeds to examine the corpse, and determines the cause of death. He then relates the scenario to Seo, as the scene reverts back to the incident. Deducing the evidence with science and reasoning, we see the perspective of the murder, the type of weapon, how it was released, and its aftermath. The King’s character is classic Sherlock Holmes. He even revels his ability to preform magic tricks to perfection, as well as his swordsmanship, which, of course is second to none.

Seo has a few tricks up His sleeve as well, revealed throughout the movie. The primary issue for the pair is a possible overthrow of the King, thanks to the thirst for money in the form of iron ore, which is concentrated in the North. The mines in the area are run by, Nam Gun-hee (Hee-Won Kim). Nam and some co-conspirators have a plan of to grab as much money as they can, at any and all costs.

Another nemesis for the two is a, “Ghost Fish,” that has people rattled. The King and Seo take the demon on first hand, much to the reluctance of Seo, who is a bit like us, looking at this situation and saying, no way, drawing a lot of laughs. The King is arrogant enough to believe he can match anything, and solve any seemingly insurmountable and unsolvable situation, that is, of course, with the help of Seo.

Directed by Hyun-Sung Moon, The King’s Case Note absolutely follows the Holmes-Watson roles, but in a completely different setting. The replay of the crimes are taken directly from the playbook of the most recent Sherlock Holmes movies, as are the special effects used to explain items and circumstances to us. The actors pull off the film with precision, drawing us in, laughing, and worrying about them, all the while fascinated by the next aspects associated with them as the are revealed. The movie is not cheap in any form or fashion. In fact, it appears as just the opposite.

I found this film to be very interesting, and entertaining. It’s a lot of fun to watch these characters. Even during the credit roll at the end, a surprise awaits the audience, as Moon has fun with the movie, just as I did. I highly recommend seeing, The King’s Case Note. I can’t wait for the sequel.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.