Synopsis by Josh Ralske
Resurrection of the Little Match Girl opens like a modest little silent--an updated version of the Hans Christian Andersen story, "The Little Match-Seller." The Little Match Girl (highly visible Korean mobile phone service spokesmodel Im Eun-gyeong) has no luck selling her butane lighters on a snowy night, so she inhales the butane, drifts off fantasizing about comfort and food, and dies smiling. Then the movie proper begins, as Ju (Kim Hyeon-seong), a hapless delivery boy for a Chinese restaurant, hangs out with his more socially adept friend, Lee (Korean rapper Kim Jin-pyo). Ju spends a lot of time at the arcade, but it's mainly to stare longingly at Hee-mee (Eun-gyeong), who dispenses change, and ignores Ju in favor of her rich boyfriend. But then, one night, Hee-mee becomes the Little Match Girl, and when Ju buys a lighter from her, he enters a mysterious video game world, where his mission is to protect the girl so she can die happy. But Ju loves the girl, so he breaks all the rules and allies himself with a female superhero named Lara (as in Croft) (China's transsexual dance star, Jin Sing) to take on street thugs, gangsters, and even the nefarious System itself. Ju becomes a virus, and the System is determined to "delete" him, enlisting the skills of his best friend, Lee. At the time it was produced, Jang Sun-woo's Resurrection of the Little Match Girl was the most expensive Korean film ever made. The film was a huge box office failure, earning back only a fraction of its costs. Resurrection of the Little Match Girl was shown at the 2003 Berlin Film Festival and at Subway Cinema's New York Asian Film Festival.