‘The Dude in Me’ needs more depth, pizzazz


It might seem inconvenient when you switch bodies with someone completely different than you, but for Dong-Hyun, a chubby high school student, and Pan-Soo, a member of a criminal organization, switching bodies was exactly what they needed.

“The Dude in Me” is a Korean movie that was recently released earlier in 2019. It is categorized as a fantasy and comedy film.

Pan-Soo is a great fighter, and he might even become the next leader of the organization he’s a part of. His ideas don’t go according to plan when he’s walking down a street and Dong-Hyun falls off a building, landing on top of Pan-Soo. When Pan-Soo wakes up, it is in Dong-Hyun’s body.

Pan-Soo is forced to live a high school life while his real body is stuck in the hospital in a coma. Pan-Soo realizes how difficult Dong-Hyun’s life is when he’s bullied in high school, but Pan-Soo is more mature than these silly high school kids and gets revenge. Meanwhile, he loses weight and becomes popular throughout the school.

The plot gets complicated when Pan-Soo meets his daughter he didn’t know he had. He is reunited with his true love, but he can’t exactly be with her in a teenage body. When Dong-Hyun wakes up in Pan-Soo’s body, he does not fit the criminal character.

Overall, the movie is lighthearted with the main characters figuring out their new situations. Laughter is a result of this, as Pan-Soo and Dong-Hyun are not the happiest in their new bodies, but it is enjoyable for the audience to watch them struggle and make do with things.

Watching Pan-Soo go to high school gave an exhilarating feeling. The audience already knows what type of person he is, and he is not going to take any crap these high schoolers give him. Pan-Soo fights them, showing exactly that.

All the fight scenes in “The Dude in Me” are portrayed breathtakingly with the angles. It’s hard to not fall in love with the teenage version of Pan-Soo. After Pan-Soo starts working out, all the high school girls start to fawn over him too.

There is nothing special about this movie that makes it stand out. The humor didn’t particularly make me laugh out loud, and the plot was rather slow. I would like to have seen the movie more dramatized and with more action.

Good dramas really affect a viewer’s emotions, which is expected from a Korean movie. Even if this wasn’t a typical gushy rom-com, I expected more from the movie. Yet, not all movies are the same, and no one can expect them to be.

Though the movie could have been spruced up a bit, it’s not a complete waste of time. It shows a glimpse of the ongoing problem of bullying in schools and criminal organizations taken place in South Korea. Don’t come watching this movie expecting to be deeply moved. It’s a simple, somewhat enjoyable film that just shouldn’t be on top of your “Things to Watch” list.

3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)