I had not seen Han Hyo Joo since Brillant Legacy / Shining Inheritance and wanted to see her in a feature film. This was not a glamorous role. Hyo Joo played doctor Mi Soo who is single and a bit brash. In the emergency room she misdiagnosis a woman patient who falls critically ill after leaving the hospital. The wife’s husband returns to the hospital to extract his revenge on Mi Soo.
Kang Il is NOT interested in Mi Soo who makes a series of moves to ingratiate herself. He is still getting over the death of his wife and is emotionally shut down. Mi Soo even joins the fire fighters as a paramedic as she has been suspended from the hospital.
Once Mi Soo was arrested. Two detectives, portrayed by Jung Jin Young (played the father in Angel Eyes) and Yang Dong Geun, offer her the sage advice about her pursuit of Kang Il. Their interchange was a terrific scene.
What I liked about Love 911:
* Hyo Joo did not shy away from this not glamorous role. Initially she sported no makeup, okay hair, and unattractive outfits in her portrayal of Mi Soo. This doctor made a huge mistake that eventually lead the a woman’s death. At first she tries to get Kang Il to help her get out of it. In the end she understands the gravity of her mistake and makes amends (as much as possible) with the woman’s husband.
* Ko So was easy on the eyes in his portrayal of Kang Il. This was my first time watching this actor. He sold the gruff, emotionally stunted firefighter. His character’s transition to finding Mi Soo annoying to tolerable to necessary worked. Kang Il learned to drop the millstone of grief and live again.
* The story line reminded me of Angel Eyes, the 2014 Korea drama, where a primary work location was fire station. A doctor working at the fire station in hopes of getting close to a paramedic was also in that story line. Two actors in this movie, Jung Jin Young (played the father in Angel Eyes), and Hyun Jyu Ni (played bestie Min Soo in Angel Eyes), were also in Angel Eyes.
* The camaraderie among the fire station crew was fun to watch. Ma Dong Seok as the fire chief was effective. I had previously seen this actor as the gruff manager of the boy band in Shut Up Flower Boy Band. Kang Il’s best friend, Kim Sung Oh, was a womanizer that learned that the co-worker that had pursued him for years, was in the end, the right woman for him.
What I did not like about Love 911:
* You are either griped by a couple or you watch them. I watched this couple evolve. The actors were fine. The story was fine. But I was not entranced. This reaction is subjective and mine.
* The story was okay. It was not riveting or inventive. The most interesting aspect of the story was the lead characters were not perfect. Mi Soo particularly evolved to a woman that saw Kang Il as necessary to her life. Kang Il evolved from stunted man to one willing to take a chance on love again.
* The ending scene had both of them run (literally) to the hospital to see if each other was okay was cliche. Their ending kiss was sweet.
* A 2 hour movie cannot have the same depth of character that a 16 hour drama can develop. Scenes are selected and character development can only go so far. Love 911 was an okay film. The couple did not grip me but I could see the actors worked well together.