Movie Review: Reasons Why Ji Chang-wook Got Us Hooked in Fabricated City (2017)

Annyeong! I’m so excited for this edition of K-Movie Corner because it’s gonna be extra special. Waeyo? Firstly, I’m gonna feature Fabricated City, the debut film of my ultimate oppa, Ji Chang-wook (He actually shares the top spot in my oppa list with Lee Joon-gi. Ugh, I can’t choose!), and secondly, I’m gonna review it together with my chingu whom I’m friends with since first year college! Just like me, she’s also a die-hard Wookie fan! Ahjummamshies, please take good care of my chingu, Guest Ahjumma*!

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Annyeong! How are you all doing? I’m so glad that this day has come, the day that Ahjummamshies has tapped me to do a joint review of the debut film of my ultimate oppa, Ji Chang-wook (He’s my one and only, so he’s mine!) Wuhoo! Let’s get it on! Oh, but first, let me thank my college blockmate (yeah, yeah, we’re not friends from the start), Unica Ahjumma, for inviting me to do this! But she’s right, we’re friends now at work, and we share the same craziness over Ji Chang-wook to the point that we’re willing to end our friendship for him! Sorry, Unica Ahjumma. It’s Wookie over friendship. Heol. ㅋㅋㅋ. So, shall we begin? I’m so excited!

Please don’t be like that, chingu. Our ahjummamshies might believe that we’re not really friends. ㅋㅋㅋ. But, I wanna let you know that it’s the same with me—Wookie over friendship. ㅋㅋㅋ. Anyway, before we end up quarreling for real, let’s get down to business!

[SPOILER ALERT!]

I’ve seen Wookie in several K-Dramas already (Healer, The K2, 7 First Kisses, and Suspicious Partner), and seeing him in a movie for the first time got every single cell of my body excited. For me, Fabricated City as Wookie’s debut film is so daebak! It revolves around the story of Kwon Yoo (Wookie), a one-time taekwondo national champ turned bummer addicted to video games who got framed up for the rape-slay of a teenager. Together with his fellow gamers, he is determined to uncover the truth and clear his name.

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I love the movie’s opening scene so much where Wookie and his gang are in the middle of an action-packed video game battle. So badass. I think that the film’s main strength are its action and fight scenes, of course with Wookie taking the lead. I wonder if Wookie used a stunt double in his fight scenes because those totally look difficult to execute. How about you, chingu? I heard that you even watched Fabricated City in cinema.

Don’t get me wrong, ahjummamshies. Unica Ahjumma and I are close friends. We just love Wookie too much that we’re willing to be frenemies. ㅋㅋㅋ. Anyway, that’s right. I watched the film alone at the cinema, and it’s worth every penny baby! It’s obvious that the film had enormous budget because of its high-tech effects and jaw-dropping stunts. It’s indeed a remarkable debut for Wookie on the big screen, especially since it’s also Director Park Kwang-hyun’s follow-up to his Korean War masterpiece Welcome to Dongmakgol from 12 years ago.

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As much as I love the snappy visual effects of the film, I would have to say that the plot is kind of predictable for an action thriller film. And I think there’s a bit too much going on in some scenes that I can’t help but frown, of course until Wookie shows up and smirks. Omona!

As a foreign viewer, I struggled a bit in riding the storyline (Is it because of the fast-flashing subtitles?), so I had to rewatch it at home. But nevertheless, the film is a pure treat for Ji Chang-wook fans because you can see him at his best here (well, yet). He’s so charismatic especially in the car-chasing scenes, he can even top bill the next Fast and Furious installment next to Vin Diesl. Hollywood debut in two years? Why not! I’m running out of breath and adjectives, so take it away, chinguya!

Arasso, arasso. Let’s now cut to the chase! So, what are the reasons why Ji Chang-wook got us hooked in Fabricated City?

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Chinguya, help me comprehend how the heck Wookie managed to still be so handsome even if he’s so dirty in almost all throughout the movie. There’s no doubt that the camera loves him. His close-ups are the death of me! Everyone, bow down to this King of Visuals (well, at least in my eyes)!

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I totally agree with you, Unica Ahjumma. Wookie looks totally fresh and young in this film despite being rugged and hopeless. In an interview, Wookie even mentioned that he was emotionally and physically tired while filming because of the intense scenes. But no worries, Wookie! All we saw was your perfection in every angle!

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I’m sure you’d also agree if I say that Wookie is born to be an action star. His action stunts in this movie are no joke. For me, he and Lee Joon-gi are the only Korean stars who can execute fight scenes in a very manly manner, and my dream is to see them together in an action project. Though that won’t happen anytime soon as our Wookie is set to enlist in the military on August 14. I’ll miss him for sure!

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Yes, there’s no doubt Wookie is one of the best Korean action stars EVER! You see, Fabricated City was shot way back in 2015 (even before The K2), so that means uri Wookie was really great at doing stunts even before! And his tear-jerking scene at the prison cell? Wookie admitted that he was really scared that time, so he just acted naturally! ㅋㅋㅋ. That was daebak! Well, Wookie might look confident and brave on screen, but he’s actually scared of heights and struggled a lot in his fight scenes (but with no major injury, so don’t worry!) That makes Wookie a really brilliant actor, because he works hard to overcome his fears and turn it into a remarkable performance. Omaya! How could I unlove you now, Wookie?

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Wookie’s strong acting delivery is another thing that makes him a standout. He totally got me in the scenes where he learned about his mother’s death and when he stabbed himself in a daring attempt to escape the prison. The way he cries makes me want to hug him tight and console him. Probably his wide background in theater helped him a lot to convey the emotions needed in every scene so well. Shoutout also to the acting performances of Shim Eun-kyung and Ahn Jae-hong. I believe that their acting is one of the many reasons why Fabricated City received so much love from the moviegoers, topping the local box-office on its debut week with over one million ticket admissions.

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Yes, Fabricated City is another proof that Wookie is more than just a handsome oppa. He is a certified versatile character actor! I mean, he convinced us that he’s a game addict who is broke and struggling, yet innocent and scared, but persistent and fearless, yet also loyal, just and warmhearted. He did it all effectively and effortlessly in this movie. You’re curious now, aren’t you? Go and watch Fabricated City now! I bet you’ll fall even deeper with Wookie, just like me and Unica Ahjumma. Now, we’re suffering from Wookie-in-Military syndrome, and it’s very painful.

Unica Ahjumma’s verdict: Fabricated City isn’t flawless, but it still makes me want to eagerly look forward to more movies from Wookie. 3.5/5

Guest Ahjumma’s verdict: Fabricated City may lack novelty, but its striking visuals and Wookie’s charms are more than enough to give it a try. 3.5/5

*The Ahjummamshies squad agreed to use the alias Guest Ahjumma for all our guest writers and contributors.

~All credit for the stills/videos used in this review goes to CJ Entertainment.

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