Midnight Runners (2017)
Directed By Jason Kim
“All they do is run around at night.” That was my initial thought about this movie. However, the action-comedy film that was advertised in the trailer transforms into something much darker.
Two Korean National Police University students, Ki-joon (Park Seo-joon) and Hee-yeol (Kang Ha-neul) embark on their own amateur kidnapping investigation.
Ki-joon and Hee-yeol are training to become cops but their motives for joining the police force are questionable. One of their reasons for joining is so that girls will like them. In fact, it was this very reason that got them into a troublesome situation. They witness a crime: the kidnapping of a young woman.
Now, they did the right thing and reported what happened to the cops but they soon learned how corrupted the police system is. In fact, the cops brushed the situation aside when they had much more pressing matters to attend to.
This scene invites readers to contemplate about a question on morals: “If our police force does not protect every civilian then who will?” Although Ki-joon and Hee-yeol are just police trainees, they take matters into their own hands and decide to save the girl even if they get in trouble. Justice doesn’t necessarily stand with the law and the police system. Instead, justice is based on a person’s morals within a given situation. For Ki-joon and Hee-yeol, they believe in helping every person in need. There’s no such thing as favoritism or priorities—every human life matters to them.
Aside from the police corruption and the rigid justice system, two other major concepts that this film discusses are human trafficking and women’s reproductive rights. Midnight Runners shows a brutal depiction of what it means to be a prisoner in your own body. Ki-joon and Hee-yeol discover that young women are being kidnapped, and their eggs are being sold and harvested at a local hospital. As a female spectator, I was traumatized by these scenes because of the abuse and mutilation against women’s bodies. It was quite discomforting and mortifying to see a woman’s body being abused by men. Yet with this in mind, this film invites audience members to reevaluate how they should treat women, encouraging the protection of women and their bodies.
Although Midnight Runners was difficult to watch at times, I enjoyed it overall. There are some fun comedic scenes and action sequences and they did a great job in tackling a serious matter.
You can watch Midnight Runners on Dramafever.
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