The Aggressives is a Korean movie about a group of youths who lives to skate, and skate to live. When his parents flee the country, So-yo, a shy high school student, is left on his own. His love for skating eventually causes him to meet up with a group of skater boys. Mixing flashy, skateboarding action sequences with quiet observations, director Jeong follows So-yo and the young, dangerous crew as they compete for a spot in the World Games.
Unfortunately, we don’t know nearly enough about all the characters to care about all of them. The most we ever learn about the other members of the skating group is that one of them tried, and humorously failed, to impress his father by showing him a skating trick. Ultimately, there are no villians in this film. The Aggressives falls soundly into the mold of films like Step Up, or Honey or any other lame U.S. movie where the films that not only carry with them the dramatic conventions of youth culture, proving that it’s hard out there for a pimply teenager, but also situate their dramas in the milieu and fashion of a popular (usually athletic) trend. The Aggressives is less about interpersonal rivalries than it is about striking out on your own.
The movie, like the line taken from it, renders this very moment of skating into a powerful image and etches it like a clear mark in the viewer’s heart. Like the free-spirited skaters, The Aggressives has an effortless trait about it — its ability to go with the flow, never allowing formula dictate its progression.
The actors do a great job as well, especially since the viewer is able to read into the scene just by looking at the actors facial expressions. Cheon Jeong-Myeong’s gaze, which is 60 percent fear, 30 percent curiosity, and 10 percent rebelliousness, inspires a protective instinct even as it gives off a tantalizing whiff of masculinity. There really is no reason why you can’t be sucked into this movie. The film was screened at the 2005 Pusan International Film Festival and to my knowledge, was very well received. This is a great tale about a boy who becomes immersed in the local in-line skating subculture, and falls in love with the girlfriend of his skating tutor. A great film that you should seek out because I don’t see this film hitting U.S. shores anytime soon.