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Movie Review: "The Childe" Is An Action Noir With Hints Of Dark Comedy

Korean star Kim Seon Ho makes a strong entertainment comeback with his mysterious and eccentric character in "The Childe," a movie that sheds light on the situation of Kopinos

A mystery from beginning to end is how I would sum up my overall thoughts for the recently released and much-awaited movie The Childe, starring Kim Seon HoKang Tae JooGo Ara, and Kim Kang Woo and directed by Park Hoon-Jung.


I remember getting pleasantly surprised back in March this year with the sudden news of this film being featured in Hong Kong's 2023 FILMART with the poster depicting a silhouette of a whistling man clad in suit, who happens to be Kim Seon Ho. Since then, aside from it having been called an "action-noir" film, not much has been shared about the plot nor the characters of the movie. And upon seeing the teaser and trailer in May, I got even more curious as I witnessed chase scenes and gunshots. I had so many questions which included "Why is The Nobleman (played by actor Kim Seon Ho) chasing Marco (played by actor Kang Tae Joo)?" and "How are they related to each other?"


Kang Tae Joo and Kim Seon Ho in a chase of madness in "The Childe"
Kang Tae Joo and Kim Seon Ho in a chase of madness in "The Childe" | Photo from itsnew_movie


Indeed, my eagerness to watch the movie grew even bigger weeks leading to the release date, and thankfully, I have been "appeased" early on when I won exclusive tickets for the advanced movie screening of The Childe on June 8th. The storytelling itself is profound in the sense that it takes you along with Marco Han, a Kopino (half-Korean half-Filipino) who grew up in the Philippines who then travels to South Korea in the pursuit of finding his father. He suddenly comes across people who he never really knew at all, but are apparently chasing him.


Kim Seon Ho in "The Childe"
Kim Seon Ho in "The Childe"
Kang Tae Joo in "The Childe"
Kang Tae Joo in "The Childe"
Go Ara in "The Childe"
Go Ara in "The Childe"
Kim Kang Woo in "The Childe"
Kim Kang Woo in "The Childe"


The movie will keep you guessing up until around the middle part as to what the characters' motives are for running after Marco. The chase after chase has also kept me on the edge of my seat, thinking about what twist could happen next as the story progressed.


While the movie was filled with suspense and action-packed scenes, there were also comical parts, yielding the impression that the movie's theme is actually "dark comedy." As for the acting performance of the cast, I'm saying this not because I'm a fan of Kim Seon Ho, but honestly, this is the best acting performance I've seen from him.


Kim Seon Ho at "The Childe" Special GV Talk in Seoul last Jun 29 2023.
Kim Seon Ho at "The Childe" Special GV Talk in Seoul last Jun 29 2023. | Photo by Marc (@callmemakeu)


I remember hearing from Kim Seon Ho himself during his press conference for his Manila Fanmeeting (2023 Kim Seon Ho Asia Tour in Manila) in January 2023 that he does not want to be stereotyped under the "good boy image," and that he wants to explore portraying characters on the opposite side of the spectrum.


Indeed, I was surprised with his performance as a seemingly "psycho" and "eccentric" mysterious persona who's unstoppable and very skilled in combat. I was really floored with his action scenes, and truly, Kim Seon Ho has demonstrated his versatility as an actor with his film debut.


Kim Seon Ho makes a strong entertainment comeback with his mysterious and eccentric character in "The Childe."
Kim Seon Ho makes a strong entertainment comeback with his mysterious and eccentric character in "The Childe." | Photo from @thecreazionstudios


Lastly, I'd like to express that as a Filipino based in South Korea, I feel proud that the Philippines has been touched as a place of interest in the movie. I am aware that the movie was filmed during the time when strong COVID-19 restrictions made it difficult for the movie production to shoot in the Philippines, and so they had to shoot in Thailand. But for me, personally, the Philippines was given justice for the scene locations that were depicted as such.


Further, I think the movie sheds light and potentially may give awareness to the situation of Kopinos that are hosted by shelters for mixed ethnicity children that require support and guidance.


Kang Tae Joo stars in "The Childe" as a Korean-Filipino (Kopino) boxer.
Kang Tae Joo stars in "The Childe" as a Korean-Filipino (Kopino) boxer.


As of this writing, I have already watched the movie for seven times, and I am looking forward to a sequel where hopefully the back story of The Nobleman will be elaborated.


The Childe is now showing in over 15o Philippine theaters nationwide!


About the author

Marc, a Filipino, is a digital content creator based in Seoul, South Korea, who is a Hallyu fan. 


Text by Marc (@callmemakeu

Lead photos from The Creazion Studios (@thecreazionstudios)


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