Updated: May 29, 2019
"Power comes with a price." - The Mayor, Tagline
But, not a price worth paying.
Now, this had the potential to be exactly what I needed it to be, but didn't quite live up.
Politics being the dirty thing that it is Byeon Jong-gu(Choi Min-sik), a second-term mayor of Seoul, South Korea trying for third, isn’t any exception. Byeon stops at nothing to keep his darkest secrets hidden. It becomes the world where no one is safe.
Yet, everyone is pretty much safe.
Shim Hyeok-soo, Byeon's campaign manager (Kwak Do-won) was very well played. He was just enough of a monster/watchdog and just enough of a chess master. Shim played a good game and quite honestly the best game, even if he doesn't win. I would’ve preferred the whole movie to be from his point of view, rather than anybody else. He truly was the creator and the solver of all the drama that did occur. While he was good, he was too prideful and didn’t quite go as far as he should have or as far as I would've liked him to push events and opportunities.
One of my favorite scenes from the whole movie was the ending, in which Byeon is feeding his one his closest staff members(Park Byung-eun). It is filled with anticipation and tension as he forces feed this man so much he could barely chew or swallow. Like, am I about to watch a man be killed by Ramyeon! It is one of the most intense and well-shot scenes out of the entire movie.
The Mayor, surprisingly also had an excellent mix humor and drama.
One of the only things that I wish was better was that they played a better “game." There wasn’t enough treachery that made me say “oh, this man really shouldn't be in office.” Honestly, he was the standard politician, no more and no less. There was nothing about this story that warranted a telling of the story. They played far too small, and no one seemed to think of a "bigger picture."
The use of Park Kyeong(Shim Eun-kyung), the P.R intern, who appears to be revolutionary was anything but revolutionary. Her primary purpose seemed to act as a conscious for the whole of the movie; however, her presence wasn't strong enough to make an impact at all.
They had all the makings of a good movie but failed to go far enough. Blackmail? Check. Betrayal? Check. Murder? Check. And a well-acted smug politicalian? Check.
It just lacked… something. Mostly any kind of risk or stakes.
FLOOR OR DOOR?
Should it have been left on the cutting room floor or should you be running out the door to see it?
Just in case they're tapping my phone, I'll you now I'm staying home. It wasn’t anything worth seeing or rush to watch.