The Foul King (2000)
I tried to find the joke someone made about Corndog eventually doing a Marathon of all Sports, because I realize there is none I'm more interested in than wrestling. I'd sooner watch films about golf, darts or fishing. You'd think being so similar to boxing, I wouldn't find wrestling so uninteresting, and I like both The Wrestler and Win Win a lot, but those films are about the people, not the sport. The sport is dead at its core, so all one can do is throw in gimmicks and outrageous costumes to liven things up.
The Foul King stars Song Kang-ho (of course it does), and some of the antics away from the mat, especially at work, are almost funny. I see the potential of this mild-mannered bank clerk leading a second life as a cheating wrestler who lets out all his frustrations in the ring, though this doesn't make him a good wrestler, just a more confident failure.
Despite being highly-rated on every site, I avoided this one with good reason. Even after years of exposure to S. Korean cinema, there's still a cultural learning curve I'm sometimes unable to work with. It happens most often with comedy and now I see that sports films are an extra level of difficulty. So there's a fair amount of my negative reaction to this film that's on me. Still, I'm not going to soften the blow just because I like the director, and I can't imagine what would have to happen for me to ever watch this again.RATING: * *