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Film / Kidnapping Granny K

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Kidnapping Granny K is a 2007 comedy film from South Korea, directed by Kim Sang-jin.

The story starts with three petty crooks in desperate straits. Moon Geun Young is in a state of suicidal depression after losing all his money in an Uzbekistani catfishing faux-marriage operation. His buddy Do-Bum is in dire need of $20,000 in order to get his girlfriend out of prison, because 1) she's pregnant and 2) she's threatening to rat on him for being involved in the petty scam that got her incarcerated. Her brother Jong-man is basically a garden-variety idiot.

These three bumblers hit on the idea of kidnapping "Granny" Kwon, the rich and prosperous owner of a chain of noodle restaurants, and holding her for $50,000 ransom. They manage to kidnap Granny K, though not without getting stung by a swarm of bees and exposing their faces to her niece. Crotchety, irascible Granny K is offended when her kidnappers say they're asking for $50K, claiming that she should be worth much more. Then, when Granny's selfish, self-involved children are literally too busy to respond to the kidnappers' ransom calls, Granny takes charge of her own kidnapping, asking for a much larger sum—and she turns out to be a far more competent criminal. A complication arises, however, in the form of Jae-Do the police chief, a skilled investigator that is sort of a godson to Granny K and cares about her a lot more than her own children do.

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Tropes:

  • Amusing Injuries: Geun Young getting a faceful of bee stings.
  • Animated Credits Opening: Establishes the wacky tone, gives a general idea of crooks chasing after money.
  • Auto Erotica: Granny's younger daughter does not answer the kidnappers' call because she is busy enthusiastically humping a man in the back seat of a car. Actually, she accidentally does answer the phone while trying to turn it off, which leads to Granny and the kidnappers getting to listen to her daughter's sex noises.
  • Bizarre Alien Senses: When Geun Young knocks over a beehive during the scramble to grab Granny, there is a POV shot from all the bees, seeing many images of Geun Young with their many eyes.
  • Brawn Hilda: One of Granny's friends is a staggeringly huge young woman, who appears to be about seven feet tall and is built like a rhinoceros. The gang wind up hiding out at her house. (The scene where the three kidnappers flee in terror from Granny's giant friend is pretty much the moment where Granny takes control.)
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  • Cool Old Lady: Granny K. Bossing kidnappers around, planning your own kidnapping, stealing fifty million, that's all pretty cool.
  • Crocodile Tears: Granny's younger daughter comes to the police station crying and moaning about how the cops have to save her mom—but after getting in a side room with her siblings she lights up a cigarette and starts talking with the rest of them about how to avoid losing their money.
  • Description Cut: Jae Do gives a press conference in which he states that the kidnappers are experts. Cut to one of the kidnappers saying "Kidnapping is not my area of expertise."
  • Groin Attack: Granny's niece kicks a kidnapper in the nuts.
  • Happy Ending: Granny gets away with the fifty million, which she says she'll use to start a retirement community for lonely old folks. Her spoiled kids lose their money and have to work in the noodle shop. The kidnappers get only the $50,000 that they originally asked for, but, after Granny gives them her secret recipes, they start their own noodle shop. And Moon marries and impregnates Granny's Brawn Hilda friend.
  • Harmless Villain: The kidnappers, bumblers who are in way over their heads and who would have been arrested in short order if Granny K hadn't taken charge.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Granny's spoiled, selfish children lose their fifty million dollars and wind up stuck working with Granny in the noodle shop.
  • Let Off by the Detective: Jae Do figures out from the snarky "receipt" for the ransom that Granny K executed the whole plan and made off with fifty million of her children's money. He lets her know, then asks what she's going to do with the cash.
  • Lima Syndrome: The guys start to like Granny K—and in fact in relatively short order they let her take charge.
  • Stupid Crooks: They are hopeless screw-ups, and would have been arrested in short order if Granny hadn't taken the reins. Granny has to tell them to ditch her cell phone, which could be traced.
  • Train Job: The third act is this, as the kidnappers, under the direction of Granny K, have to rob a train to retrieve the $50 million ransom that is aboard.
  • "Wanted!" Poster: The kidnappers are startled to find themselves on posters as they're out and about.
  • You Can Keep Her: The initial reaction of Granny's children when receiving ransom calls. Her eldest son is too busy running for political office, her second son is too busy gambling, and her eldest daughter is too busy with business. (The youngest daughter doesn't even field the call as she is too busy having sex.)

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