The Foul King | Chicago Reader

The Foul King

This 2000 black comedy is powered by Song Kang-ho's antic performance as a timid bank clerk toiling in perpetual fear of his sadistic boss, whose arsenal of humiliation includes the administration of headlocks. Chancing upon a ramshackle gym for wrestlers, the nebbish persuades the skeptical owner to train him to be a “foul king,” a master of dirty wrestling moves. Director Kim Ji-woon deftly blends over-the-top physical comedy with sharp social commentary, aiming his sharpest barbs at the pettiness of the corporate pecking order. Though some of the humor is particular to Korean society, most of it is universal. In Korean with subtitles. 116 min.

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