Taekwondo review by Adrijan Arsovski - Cinema Paradiso
Marco Berger (‘Hawaii’) and Martín Farina (‘Fulboy’) come together to give you the ultimate male relations experience incarnated in, yours truly – Taekwondo. This film perfectly captures the beauty of the male body as if it was some kind of a form of art; this doesn’t mean however that it isn’t a gay film, because Taekwondo pretty much fits that description right off the bat. What Taekwondo isn’t however, is a character study into the minds of those who seek out such relationships, which is not a bad thing on its own, but we’re late overdue for such a film. Thus, for what it is, Taekwondo would most likely find its core audience and will roll with it until a new film with a male-to-male premise gets released.
The film sees several male friends cramped together in a nice family house during their summer breaks, in which the film’s protagonist (if you can call it as such) Fernando (played by Lucas Papa) invites over a friend from his Taekwondo lessons named Germán (portrayed by Gabriel Epstein). This is the main premise of the film, as Fernando wonders if Germán would ever come out to him, but starts to doubt if his friend is gay anyway.
Obviously, the film has its flaws, which are mainly presented through co-director’s Farina love for close-ups of male body parts; plus, there are some continuity errors in the film, like for example when one of the rare female characters disappears without a trace (or an explanation), or the time towards the end of the film when there is a sudden appearance of a pet dog. All things considered and for what it is, Taekwondo is a competently made film that probably won’t win any awards, but will serve its purpose after which it’ll fade into the cosmos in a beautiful explosion of stardust. But I digress.
The main flaw of the film is not its continuity errors, but rather the pacing problems which become apparent sometime towards the last third of the film. This drags the story (if there ever was one) and unnecessary extends Taekwondo’s running time for all its worth. On a more positive note however, the actors are pretty convincing in their perfectly mediocre, sometimes offensive dialogues, but this comes off as not nearly the perennial dialogue that would win you over in an instant. What I’m trying to say is that the screenplay does its thing, but it’s unforgettable for the most part.
Finally, one could say that Taekwondo is a perfectly serviceable film that would satisfy the appetites of the demographic that it’s aiming at. i.e. the male homosexual community. Other than that, there is no real reason to see this movie whatsoever.