Korean Movie “The Flu” Review – Cough, Cough!


Imagine this; You have a tickle in your throat. The first thing you think to yourself “Oh no! I’m getting sick”. It’s an annoyance, but you never expect it to come to this. Death. Epidemic. Pandemonium. It’s a snow ball effect. Next thing you know there’s city-wide panic. People are being shot left, right and center. Children are dying. Mothers are dying. What started as the symptoms of a common cold, now has people, with their rash covered bodies, keeling over in pain, spewing out blood. But there’s hope… or so you’ve been told. But what is this smell of rotting flesh lingering in the air? Everywhere you turn someone is coughing, dying. The airborne virus is suffocating. While you’re experiencing this new found hell, the politicians are sitting, as healthy as can be, watching as the citizens are suffering. Only a few voices among-st many are trying to bring back the voice of reason. The others are looking in on this morbid situation trying to see how they can control it. To them it’s a game of Chess. They only care about protecting the pieces they believe have more value. They have no problem sacrificing the pawns.


Synopsis: A lethal flu virus mutates inside a shipping container and causes city-wide panic as many people to die. In an attempt to isolate the problem, people of the city are put into quarantine. From there, the situation gets drastically worse with little hope of developing a vaccine.

Flu Korean movie

The main characters’ story: Kim In-Hae (played by Soo-Ae) is a doctor and single mom. Her daughter is Kim Mi-Reu (played by Park Min-Ha). Kang Ji-Koo (played by Jang Hyuk) is part of the Emergency Response Team. He first meets Kim In-Hae before the virus outbreak and saves her life.

**THIS POINT ON CONTAINS SPOILERS. Read with caution (you’ve been warned).**


The girl comes in to contact with the carrier of the virus and ends up getting infected. To protect her daughter, In-Hae helps her daughter slip through the virus security check. Once Ji-Koo realizes that Mi-Reu has been infected, he chooses to help them while In-Hae tries to find a cure for her dying daughter.


What I liked

I really like the story of Ji-Koo helping the mother and daughter. The daughter was really a very talented actress and she was so adorable. I forgot she was acting. She was one-hundred percent believable.


It was really quite sad to watch her progressively get sicker and sicker. I loved though, that in this dire situation In-Hae and Ji-Koo’s sole focus was to protect the dear Mi-Reu. Ji-Koo didn’t know them for long, but I think the crisis really brought them all together. You could tell he had a really good heart. He never hesitated to help someone. Also, he had really bonded with Mi-Reu before the crisis came to a head.

I like movies where you get to see how people react in a crisis.

Slight critisms

It did tend to feel a bit exaggerated. Now, I don’t mean the acting. The acting wasn’t exaggerated. It was how the crisis was being dealt with that got crazier and crazier. The pace of the movie was so fast. I wish the camera would have lingered a little longer on the actors faces. Jang Hyuk, for example, always has amazing facial expressions. I long to watch his expressive acting, but the camera was on and off him too quickly at times. I wanted to enjoy all his facial expressions longer! I kept thinking, “Stop pulling the camera away!” Maybe this is just me being greedy though.


If they had slowed it down just a bit, I think it would have made it all more enjoyable all around. But I do get why it was so fast paced. It was that kind of movie and it was supposed to convey shear panic.


I really liked the two leads, and their little almost romance. I get that the situation brought the two leads closer, but I would like to have seen In-Hae develop a little bit more of a connection with Kang Ji-Koo before all hell started to break loose.


He liked her from the start, but she had no interest it seemed.


I mean, she does fall for him (I think), and appreciate him, but it would been nice if we could have been more convinced of her attraction towards him.


Either way, this cute little moment was satisfying for me as he ever so slyly puts his arm around her.

Other Scenes I liked

So when they are all being checked for symptoms, the men and women are separated and they strip down to their underwear and are checked for rashes.


One of the screens that was dividing the men and women gets knocked over and we get a good look at Ji-Koo’s body. In-Hae and Mi-Reu also get to see. Ji-Koo feels embarrassed and tries to cover up his body (don’t feel shy- you look amazing!). In-Hae looked stunned.


Ji-Koo in return gets to see the beautiful In-Hae in her low cut tank top, and tries to stop his friend and people around from peeking at her.


His friend really wanted to know why he couldn’t look – haha. Ji-Koo is so sweet.


I also loved the scenes of Ji-Koo looking for and protecting Mi-Reu. I thought it was pretty impressive that he could find her buried underneath bodies. There were thousands of bodies laying in a large heap, but he somehow managed to hear her cellphone and find her. It was a bit far fetched, but hey, I’ll accept it!

the flu

Final Thoughts

Although it seemed a bit over exaggerated, I thought it was an enjoyable movie. I really like epidemic style movies. If you have a difficult time stomaching violence and illness, you may want to skip this. If you don’t mind some gross scenes, then check it out.

Also, Lady G had a guest post on Stuck on Hyuk and wrote a great Review on The Flu that you should check out. Stuck on Hyuk also has lots, and lots of other information regarding the movie. I would also highly recommend you read Gumi’s story about her encounter with Jang Hyuk when she went to go see the Flu (again). It’s a really great true story and is worth reading! It makes me smile.

Did you see this movie? What did you think?

My rating: 3/5 



9 thoughts on “Korean Movie “The Flu” Review – Cough, Cough!

  1. Hi just watched this movie. i’m on a rollercoaster…hehehehe.. to catchup on JH’s previous works after getting smitten by him on FTLY which was abt a month ago…yea, stupified me too, didnt think i wld go so ga ga over a Korean actor. But JH is really talented.
    Ok, on this movie – i think it was too fast paced, too many on, out, back, rewind kind of scenes. Story development not strong but hey its a movie. Not a movie i will watch again.
    I prefer Lee Bom compared to Miree.
    JH didnt get to use so much of his eyes to convey feelings as in his other movies, but i cld understand the character he is playing in. One of JH’s talents is his ability to bring to live the character he plays even as a taxi driver in The Rabbit and Lizard.
    As for Soo Ae, seen her in some dramas (i tend to switch on and off on dramas unless piqued by interest to continue) and i dont think she is that great an actress. Her eyes and physical movements are limited. ya, she is pretty but not great. Im still watching Robbers where JH is casted w Lee Dahee and as i understand it, they have worked 3 times together (have watched Chuno and Iris 2).
    I think so far the actresses that have worked w JH that has great chemistry w him is Gong Hyo Jin and Jang Nara. Well, i hope JH work again with these 2 actresses in the near future and also others as well.


    1. I agree. The pace of the movie was too fast. It had great potential, hut it was lacking in some ways. I would love to see Jang Hyuk work with Gong Hyo Jin again on either a movie or drama. His chemistry with Jang Nara in FTLY has been incredible.


  2. After read your review, I think I’ll watch this k-movie this weekend *sparkling eyes* park min ha is always my favorite child actress and I’m looking forward to seeing her acting


  3. Great review. I thought the same. The movie was fun, but so fast paced. This actually helped me get distracted from some plot issues but I did get dizzy lol! I liked the first part and the main characters but towards the second middle it started to become exaggerated. I loved the little girl and loved the chemistry between Jang Hyuk and Soo Ae on their scenes. They have really good chemistry off screen as well. They couldn’t stop saying nice things about each other. I’d love to see them in a drama together.


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