My Wife is Gangster (2001)

My Wife is Gangster DVD Cover


3 stars out of 5 stars

Directed by:

Cho Jin-Kyu

Writing Credits:

Kang Hyo-Jin
Kim Moon-Sung


Shin Eun-KyungEun-Jin / Mantis / Big Brother
Park Sang-MyunKang Soo-Il
Ahn Jae-MoRomeo


From Poker Industries



Video Signal:


Eun-Jin/Mantis is "Big Brother" to 50 guys. She rules them with an iron fist, forget the velvet glove. Her only soft spot is for her long lost sister, Yu-Jin. She finally locates Yu-Jin to find she is terminally ill. Yu-Jin's dying wish is to see her sister happily married. A premier matchmaker is hired and Eun-Jin's lieutenant, Romeo, brings in his girl Sherry to give Mantis a more feminine image. Sherry is a bar hostess with a penchant for wigs and fake eyelashes while Eun-Jin dresses pretty much the same way her men do.

The first date, with a Harvard educated young man and his folks, is not a success. Mantis shows up in Sherry's duds in which she alternately glowers and batts her new rainbow lashes. The date and his folks leave abruptly after Eun-Jin proposes and she goes off to the hospital to see her sister. No good news there. A couple of guys in an SUV drive by and shout imprecations at Mantis for smoking outside of the hospital. Big mistake, as she was already in a mood to hit someone or something. She rams the SUV with her car and goes for the men when they emerge to complain. Mantis goes for them and they scamper off so she starts beating on the SUV with handy bricks. Well, that is more than the guys can take so they come back. Nebbishy passer by, Kang Soo-Il, rushes to protect the maiden in distress just in time to be beaned.

Soo-Il comes to in the ER where he declines Romeo's offer of compensation. Romeo and his pal decide that Kang is a bit slow but that might be just what the boss needs. This first date goes a bit better as Soo-Il has had fifty-eight dates that led nowhere and is eager to find somebody. The marriage is arranged.

The wedding comes off, only slightly disrupted by the melee with the men of rival gangster, White Sharks. Eun-Jin's is beautiful in a gorgeous dress selected by her men but it is strapless and exposes her fabulous and tasteful all black dragon tattoo thus revealing her to be a gangster. They work around that.

From Kang's point of view the marriage is not a big success. Eun-Jin will not allow him to consummate the marriage and she comes in at all hours, sometimes smelling of drink. Meanwhile, Eun-Jin goes on as she always has, defending her turf from forays by White Shark and presumably doing other gangstery stuff that isn't shown.

But Yu-Jin wants more. She thinks Eun-Jin should have a baby.

While the rackets are not shown, these gangsters are sympathetic guys but never "good" guys and Mantis didn't get to be the boss by being gentle. That being said, there are some laugh out loud bits and some great fights, one in high grass reminiscent of samurai duels, with Mantis cutting up the opposition with her slicer of choice, shears that come apart to give two knives. However, I don't care how deserving the victims, immolation isn't comedy.

Mantis and her men were funny and brutal and sad but Kang was just sad. He would make elaborate attempts to seduce his wife and be rebuffed. This was supposed to be humorous. To sum up, there were parts I really liked and the fights rocked but enough didn't work for me that I am only giving it the three stars.

One note on the DVD, there are several typos in the subtitles but they do not prohibit comprehension.


Thumbnail of Mantis (Shin Eun-Kyung) and  matchmaker

Mantis proposes (~26K)

Thumbnail of Mantis (Shin Eun-Kyung) and Soo-Il (Park Sang-Myun) get married

The wedding (~27K)

Thumbnail of Mantis (Shin Eun-Kyung) and White Shark's guy dueling

The grass fight (~45K)

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