If in adaptation of stories from Wattpad to film media is becoming a trend, then in Korea adaptation of webtoon series to film or TV serial media has also become a trend that lasts for quite a long time. Even the adaptation of the webtoon to a film, namely the dwilogy Along with Two Gods, has successfully recorded as one of the most successful films in gaining income or audiences. And this time their luck was tried by Start Up, which was already popular through its webtoon series. This comedy genre series was adapted into a film starring Park Jung-min (The King, Unforgettable) , Ma Dong-seok (Train to Busan, Ashfall) , and Jung Hae-in (Salute D’Amour, The Age of Blood).
Star-Up tells the story of Taek-Il (Park Jung-Min) a rebellious 18-year-old boy who is still looking for his identity. Lives with his mother who asks him to continue the school which Taek-Il always refuses and goes against what his mother wants. The days of the two of them arguing had become a habit in their home. The only one who can understand Taek-Il is his best friend Sang-Pil (Jung Hae-In). One day, Taek-Il suddenly leaves home and goes to Gunsan, North Jeolla Province. An impulsive decision.
In that randomly selected city Taek-Il gets a delivery job at a Chinese restaurant. There, he begins to connect with new people who fill his days, starting from his boss where Taek-Il works, Owner Kong (Kim Jong-Soo), Bae Gu-Man (Kim Kyung-Duk) Taek-Il’s partner delivering orders. customers, then cook Geo-Seok (Ma Dong-Seok) the man who hides and powers his past with his quirky style. Then Taek-Il also accidentally gets in touch with a girl his age who also ran away Kyung-Joo (Choi Sung-Eun). Meanwhile, Sang-Pil starts working at a private loan office and Taek-Il’s mother (Yum Jung-Ah) starts her new venture without the child which gets her into more serious trouble.
Start-Up is presented simply with several subplots that appear in the midst of Taek-Il’s main plot in finding his identity. A subplot that tells the background of other characters who have their own problems. Unfortunately the many subplots make the main plot feel out of focus which is like confusion. too much to convey in less than 2 hours duration.
Fortunately, with a fairly short duration, Start-Up is still very entertaining with its comedy and drama, which is getting thicker in the last 30 minutes which for me is the best part of the film. While for Ma Dong-seok’s most attention-grabbing appearance that we often see playing a tough character, in this film Ma Dong-seok shows another side of acting that we have never seen before even though we still can’t get rid of the hard role completely.
Start-Up is a light comedy that isn’t too extraordinary, but is still able to entertain the audience. Reaching millions of viewers in their home country is one proof why Start-Up is still very entertaining, especially when else can we see Ma Dong-seok play a character who loves k-pop and performs girld band dance moves?