Attack on the Pin-up Boys (2007)


CAST:
• Kibum, the narrator and “detective boy”
• Siwon, the student body president
• Heechul, the Ultra Junior president
• Kangin, the Judo Society captain
• Sungmin, Flower Boy Victim #1, the popular pretty boy
• Han Geng, Flower Boy Victim #2, the basketball player
• Yesung, Flower Boy Victim #3, the rock star
• Donghae, the Ultra Junior member and Kibum’s best friend
• Eunhyuk, the Judo Society member
• Shindong, the Ultra Junior member
• Ryeowook, the student body vice president / School Panda mascot (uncredited)
• Leeteuk, School Panda mascot (ending credits)

SUMMARY:
After the unusual February 14 attack (tossing of a bag of feces) on a school flower boy (meaning heartthrob or pretty boy), Sungmin, the same form of attack begins happening at different high schools on the 14th day of every month. Rumors say that the next victims will be at Neulparan High School. The studious student Kibum decides to investigate the matter, covering the attacks on his blog, which causes them to become a hot topic within the student body. After several attacks, Kibum predicts that the next victim will be either Siwon, president of the student body; Heechul, president of the dance club; or Kangin, the captain of the Judo Team.

INSIGHTS:
Idol movies live with Attack on the Pin-Up Boys, an agreeable trifle of a film aimed squarely at the teeming masses who find the thirteen members of Super Junior to be the height of their craziness. Their main thing is dancing and singing like packaged idols should, and the boys have good looks and an admirable willingness to make fun of themselves.

The film starts of with the first Pin-Up Boy Attack, when Sung Min gets a face-full of crap from an unknown assailant. The crap-throwing mystery culprit struck on February 14, and each month on the 14th, he/she strikes again. The next victims are the basketball playing Han Geng, followed by rock band frontman Ye Sung. Brainy, glasses-wearing Kim Ki-Bum of neighboring Neulparan High School theorizes on his website that the next victim will be a person from his high-school, which leads to three possibilities: dancing fool Kim Hee-Chul, local Judo champ Kang In, or class president Choi Si-Won.

Ki-Bum’s online theories make his website exceptionally popular, as everyone and their brother are apparently anxious to know who the next victim of an attack is. The kicker is the guys who were previous victims all became much more popular, so before too long the three candidates all desire to become the victim (what a crazy thinking). There’s a built-in amusement, and placing the whole thing in such a ridiculous arena as high school politics makes it even more witty. Add that to the film’s more silly details, like the fact that Choi Si-Won can apparently use Dark Jedi-like Force Lightning, and Kang In sometimes practices his Judo moves on a bamboo-eating panda.

The second-act pace as the suspense over the next Pin-Up Boy Attack goes from acute to flaccid to irrelevant. Also, the film has time for pointless acts where characters talk about their purpose in high school, and how the Pin-Up Boy Attacks bring extra meaning to the dog days of their high school existence. That stuff would be great for parody. The existence of a climactic musical dance number should make the purpose of this film clear: it’s not for your average moviegoer, much less one who thinks Old boy is the zenith of the Korean film industry.

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