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Yoo Ah-in returns with ‘Seoul Vibe,’ a movie full of hip-hop music, retro fashion

Aug. 23, 2022 - 15:29 By Song Seung-hyun
Actor Yoo Ah-in talks during a press conference for the Netflix film “Seoul Vibe” at Grand InterContinental Seoul Parnas in Seoul on Tuesday. (Netflix)

Movie star Yoo Ah-in is returning with Netflix’s “Seoul Vibe,” a film full of old hip-hop music and retro-inspired fashion.

Directed by Moon Hyun-sung, “Seoul Vibe” revolves around talented driver Dong-wook (Yoo) who forms a team with his hipster friends to investigate the slush fund of a former president during the 1988 Seoul Olympics. The film includes car chase scenes in Seoul as well as old-school hip-hop and Korean pop music.

“It is a fun and brainless action film. It does not convey a deep message to the audiences but does show some of the important historical elements of the time,” Yoo said during a press conference at Grand InterContinental Seoul Parnas in Seoul on Tuesday.

The director also explained why he choose to set the film in 1988.

“For Korea, 1988 is an era when bright and dark sides both existed. I wanted to create a story set in that interesting time,” he said.

From left: Director Moon Hyun-sung, actors Ong Seong-woo, Park Ju-hyun, Yoo Ah-in, Moon So-ri, Lee Kyu-hyung and Go Kyung-pyo pose before a press conference for the Netflix film “Seoul Vibe” at Grand InterContinental Seoul Parnas in Seoul on Tuesday. (Netflix)

Moon also added that he thought the style that used to be in fashion at the time fits well with the hip-hop fashion and music he wanted to include in the film.

Speaking about his character, Yoo, who is also well-known as a fashionista, joked that Dong-wook “is obsessed with his appearance” and “completely different from me in real life,” drawing laughter from the host and the audience.

Yoo also added that Dong-wook has “a kind of fantasy about Western culture and looks up to it. At the same time, he also has a dream and a strong passion for it.”

Go Kyung-pyo, who played team member DJ Woo-sam who creates a hip-hop mixtape for Dong-wook to listen to when driving, said it was interesting playing a character living in 1988 again.

He is better known for his role in the hit TV drama “Reply 1988” which was also set in the same period.

“The drama showed more of a lyrical side of 1988. This movie took a challenge and shows a more dynamic side by mixing current trends with the trend at the time,” Go said.

Actors Lee Kyu-hyung, Park Ju-hyun and K-pop artist Ong Seong-woo also appear in the film as members of the team.

When singer-turned-actor Ong started talking about how glad he is to be part of the team, eventually becoming close friends with his co-stars in real life, Yoo interrupted, joking that they became “way too close with each other.”

Veteran actor Moon So-ri played the villain, Chairwoman Kang, a figure who hires Dong-wook’s team for an illegal job and also exercises undue influence over the former president.

To transform into her character, Moon had to perm her hair several times, mimicking the hairstyle Kim Choo-ja, a Korean singer in the 1980s, sported at the time to complete the look.

“My character has been obsessed with power and money her whole life so I did not picture her as a beautiful woman, I tried to show her ugly side,” Moon said.

She also carefully chose her outfit for the character in the movie.

“Instead of trying to show what it really was like back in 1988, the director kept emphasizing to actors that the movie should have a ‘newtro’ concept,” Moon said.

A combination of “new” and “retro,” the newtro concept mixes trends of the past with fresh interpretations.

“So instead of trying to get old clothes from back then, I got retro-style clothes that are in fashion now and made some minor changes to them. We changed some buttons and added ribbons and shoulder pads to it. I also matched them with lace gloves.”

“Seoul Vibe” will be released on Netflix on Friday.

“Seoul Vibe” directed by Moon Hyun-sung (Netflix)