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Korean comedy 'The Accidental Detective 2: In Action' is a smooth, if unmemorable, ride

Korean comedy 'The Accidental Detective 2: In Action' is a smooth, if unmemorable, ride
Kwon Sang-woo, from left, Lee Kwang-soo, and Sung Dong-il in the movie "The Accidental Detective 2: In Action." (CJ Entertainment)

You don’t need to know anything about the Korean mystery-comedy “The Accidental Detective” in order to follow its sequel, “The Accidental Detective 2: In Action.” If you’ve ever seen an ‘80s buddy-cop movie, you’ll get the gist. At times, it feels like the highest ambition of director Eon-hie Lee (taking over for the first film’s Kim Jeong-hoon) is to be pleasingly familiar.

Kwon Sang-woo and Sung Dong-il reprise their roles as Dae-man and Tae-su, skilled criminal investigators with clashing personalities. As “The Accidental Detective 2” begins, the geeky, younger Dae-man has closed the comic book store he ran in the first movie, and the older, crankier Tae-su has left the police force — both defying their wives.

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The duo’s detective agency struggles to find clients worthy of their talents, until they’re hired to look into a suspicious death, which leads them to a broader conspiracy involving orphans and hospitals.

The mystery isn’t especially grabby, even with the requisite red herrings. For the most part, the actual action in “In Action” takes a backseat to run-of-the-mill jokes about henpecked husbands, who can’t wait to get out of the house, then can’t get along when they’re at work.

The humor is often broad to the point of being shrill — especially once an eccentric genius nicknamed “Hopper” (Lee Kwang-soo) joins the team. For the most part though, “The Accidental Detective 2” whooshes by, easily and forgettably.

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‘The Accidental Detective 2: In Action’

In Korean with English subtitles

Not rated

Running time: 1 hour, 56 minutes.

Playing: CGV Cinema, Los Angeles; CGV Buena Park

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