Can't Live Without Robbery (2003)

Directed by
Highly recommended!
Reviewed by Simon on 2004-09-23

I haven't seen anybody talk about this Korean film, and I didn't hear any advance buzz before the DVD snuck into online stores last year... has it completely slipped under people's radars, or is it just because it's known by so many different names nobody knows what to call it? (My preferred name is CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT ROBBERY, which is what YesAsia has it listed as, but the title on the disc is STEAL IT IF YOU CAN and Nicheflix is under the impression it's called THE THIEF MAKER. Anyway, it's a recent Korean comedy starring the husband from My Wife Is A Gangster, and it's probably the best Korean comedy I've seen since that particular gem.

A video game designer has everything he could want - wealth, fame, respect and good looks... but he still isn't satisfied, and to add spice to life he makes a hobby of burglary (no, not buggery). He breaks into the house of middle aged loser Park Sang-Myun, and steals... the tv remote and some pig's ear sushi. Well, what else would a man who has everything take? The burglary further precipitates Park's mid-life crisis, and further weakens his image with his contemptuous family. The situation doesn't improve when the same burglar returns a few days later and takes more. Park decides to regain his confidence and the respect of his family by capturing the thief.

The premise is pretty simple but quite ingeniously constructed, making for another great Korean comedy that balances brains, depth, style and comic-book absurdity. It's the kind of film that ought to appeal to everyone, but then I thought that about MWIAG and that has plenty of critics, so maybe not. Personally, I thought it was wonderful - stimulating on many different levels and very inventive. I rank it right up there with My Sassy Girl.

Highly recommended!


  • Can't Live Without Robbery (1b)