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[Review] Hype Nation

Let it be said. “Hype Nation” is one of the weirdest movies I have ever watched.

I spent the full 80 minutes or so wondering what I was watching. I can’t tell you if I think it’s a bad or a good movie as in I don’t know if I liked it or not. Anyway, “Hype Nation” (HNA) is a movie about a dance movie titled “Hype Nation”. The police is investigating a case of fraud by Jason Lee, a Korean-American movie producer. He was trying to film the movie “Hype Nation” (HNB) starring J-Boog, Fizz from B2K and Jay Park, T-Ae from Rania. He ran late on schedule, wasted money and is hiding from the police. As we follow the police interrogating witnesses like the actors and Jason Lee’s friends, we also have sequences of Jason Lee monologuing as well as real sequences from “HNB”.

“HNA” is about the struggle a movie production can run into which is what happened to this movie in real life. Can someone tell me if this was the original scenario or if they changed it to match the reality? I mean, was the initial idea was “HNB” and they turned it into “HNA” because they didn’t have enough money to film completely “HNB”? I’m asking because the monologue scenes of “HNA” feel like fillers done later on. In the meantime, the flashback line about “HNB” production is actually well-constructed. That was my favorite aspect about “HNA”. Jason Lee’s life sequences parody famous movie scenes. Like the scene with Jason Lee and his associates is based on the “Reservoir Dogs” credits scene. There are references to “Romeo + Juliet”, “Ghost”, “Old Boy”, “Seven” (I’m not sure about that one, but I think it is). If the movie had been a complete comedy with all these Korean and American pop culture references, it would have been enough and it would have been very funny. The “HNB” scenes were fanservice and not that necessary at the end of the day. However, as a fan of dance movies, I would have loved watching “HNB” as an actual real movie. The acting was okay. I could have done without the token Black guy, I am so so soooooo tired of these unflatterring cliché bad stereotypes. The Engrish was cringe-worthy sometimes, even to my non-native speaker’s ears. Anyway, 80% of “HNA” is English, so you can watch it without missing out on much.

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