It is pointed out that Lee Byung-hun is performing poorly after the successful work “Our Blue”.
Actor Lee Byung-hun, who used to be called “box office guarantee actor”, recently showed poor performances. He starred in a 30 billion won masterpiece as a lead actor but the work gained only about 2 million. Considering the fact that the break-even point is more than 5 million won, this result is even more disappointing. Even in the case of tvN’s drama “Our Blues”, which boasted both high ratings and hot topics, Lee Byung-hun didn’t have much screen time.
In the first half of this year, Lee Byung-hun proved his value by successfully showing a new character transformation through tvN’s Sat-Sun drama “Our Blues”. He appeared as the truck merchant Dong-seok and performed a romance with Shin Min-ah (as Seon-ah) in the first half of the drama as well as a heartbreaking story with Kim Hye-ja (as Dong-seok’s mother Kang Ok-dong) in the second half.
“Dong-seok and Seon-ah” performed by Lee Byung-hun and Shin Min-ah was the most anticipated episode in “Our Blues”. The two characters, who used to date each other when they were young, still found themselves being attracted by the other even after becoming adults. Seon-ah, who divorced her husband and fought to win custody of her son, is a character who fell into depression and whined helplessly. It was Dong-seok who hugged Seon-ah and comforted her. Dongseok helped Seon-ah move and fix the furniture so that she can relax and live comfortably in her home and even left a surprise gift for her. In this scene, Lee Byung-hun’s melodrama eyes and emotional lines were fully delivered.
In the second half of the drama, the reconciliation and separation of Dong-seok and Ok-dong was the main story. Dong-seok began to spend more time with his mother, whom he had been hating all his life, only after knowing the news that she could live only a little more time. Later, Ok-dong passed away without having a chance to tell her son that she loved him and that she was sorry for what she did to him. She made doenjang stew that her son liked before passing away, helping Dong-seok understand that this was the meaning of his mother’s love. Dong-seok hugged Ok-dong only after she died and cried heavily. His tearful acting performance left a deep impression on the small screen viewers.
Did Lee Byung-hun’s eye acting in sad scenes work? “Our Blues”, which started with 6.3% in the first episode, ended with a rather high rating of 14.6% in the final broadcast.
However, Lee Byung-hun failed in continuing his popularity and good performance in “Our Blues” in his next movie. The actor received a rather poor result on the big screen. The movie “Emergency Declaration” couldn’t make a big hit even though it starred famous actors, such as Lee Byung-hun and Song Kang-ho. It took this film 18 days to reach 2 million won admissions.
There are several factors that prevented “Emergency Declaration” from becoming a box office. First of all, the story contained too many new elements. The scene where hundreds of passengers, who were infected with the virus, left tearful video letters to their families received unfavorable reviews. Due to the contrived setting, the enthusiastic performance of famous actors could not stand out.
In the past, Lee Byung-hun’s role as a father who can do anything for his daughter and a man who takes responsibility for everyone’s safety even though he has a panic disorder was used as the cheat key for a box office. In short, Lee Byung-hun’s performance was excellent, but it could not meet the viewers’ expectations due to the excessive new setting in the movie.
Compared to the movie “Hunt”, which was released around the same time, the result of “Emergency Declaration” is even more regrettable. Known as Lee Jung-jae’s debut work as a director, “Hunt” surpassed 4 million admissions. It took “Hunt” only 7 days to exceed the 2-million milestone.
Lee Byung-hun has always impressed the public as a trustworthy actor who can deal with any kind of genres, from romance, historical series, action to comedy. However, his performance seems to be slowing down for a while due to the failure of “Emergency Declaration”. The audience’s disappointment in the value of Lee Byung-hun’s name is growing. In the end, the key to making a twist depends on his acting ability, which was also shown in “Emergency Declaration”. It’s time the actor should plan carefully and choose a good work next time in order to erase the scratch on his “God of acting” title.