DMTN, formerly the group Dalmatian, has released a new MV titled “Safety Zone,” with members Inati, Jeesu, Daniel, Donglim, and Simon participating in the promotions (Dari is currently serving in the military). When the group switched companies recently they also decided to switch names; which although uncommon in the K-pop world seems to be a good choice for the group to get a new beginning. DMTN has come a long way since their “Round 1” debut and, although “That Man Opposed” had a pleasantly unique MV and was a catchy song, the style the group developed in “ER” and now continued in “Safety Zone” fits them more comfortably. DMTN has an older average age than many K-pop groups around these days and they are a group of naturally masculine looking guys, so the choice to do serious, slightly aggressive MVs is certainly more convincing than them continuing to try to pull off the cute image. Sadly, even their stoic, manly image couldn’t save this MV.
Let’s just go ahead and get this out-of-the-way; the MV isn’t outstanding, heck it isn’t even particularly good. Quite frankly, this MV’s storyline left so much to be desired that you’d better like looking at attractive, masculine men or there won’t be much point in watching the MV at all. The intro was promising enough, lots of dramatic, artsy camera shots that leave you wanting to know more, but by the end of the MV you are just as in the dark as you were at the beginning.
The issue is that the set-up clearly leads viewers to believe that there was an important story behind the characters actions in the MV, but that “important story” never comes to fruition. The viewer is left hanging, wondering why was that girl tied up? Who were those thugs in black? Why in the world did two members of the group go running off to an abandoned warehouse? And why only those two, what about the other members? Unfortunately, the lyrics don’t give much help interpreting the MV either, so we are left guessing about the motivations behind all the actions in the MV.
To make matters worse, the acting in the dramatic scenes is just as regrettable as the flimsy storyline. The whole thing smacks of a B rated action film, complete with exaggerated facial expressions, dramatic poses, and cheesy camaraderie over fighting. Possibly the worst moment is when Donglim first gets to the warehouse and he pauses theatrically in the doorway, for dramatic effect I suppose, he makes the most ridiculously cliché “action movie” face that it is hard not to burst out laughing, which ruins the ambiance of the rest of the MV.
The fight scene isn’t any more convincing. When Daniel makes it to the building all the bad guys are standing around warming their hands over a fire. Are we supposed to believe that once they got done beating up the pretty boy they decided to take a quick break since their hands got so cold from all the punching? It doesn’t seem like much time has elapsed between one member getting there and the second member getting there since they leave the club minutes after each other. Also, Donglim doesn’t look all that badly beat up, so it seems unlikely that he would be so hurt that he would be unable to get away when the bad guys took their break and yet he gets up to fight again once Daniel gets there. Which was poor attention of the bad guys part too, since they let him just get up and start fighting again when there were clearly enough of them to have at least one guy keeping watch.
Somewhere during all of this poorly planned out fighting, the girl disappears, yes, completely disappears. She is never seen again in the MV, there is no resolution to her part of the story, we never find out who she is or what her relationship to Donglim or Daniel is. Obviously, we can assume it is romantic, and we’d probably be right, but there is no way to be sure without any conclusive scene with her interacting with any of the members. Just one little shot at the end of her and Donglim hugging or something would have pulled the non-existent story together a lot more, but no, instead the relationship we get insight into is Donglim and Daniel’s and how much they seem to enjoy fighting together, judging by the perky smiles on their faces and their chummy shoulder bump at the end of the MV.
As for the other scenes, the shots of the group walking together in their semi-formal wear were well shot and the styling was flattering on the members and fit the cold, industrial scenery. Shooting in the freezing weather, although unpleasant for the idols I’m sure, creates an appealing visual effect when the members sing because of the visibility of their breathe. The scenes in the night club were confusing, like so much else in the video, and having the members all leaning against walls staring pensively into the crowed of dancing bodies didn’t serve any purpose. As for Donglim and Daniel, it seems they are friends, so they probably went to the club together, but then they sit multiple stools away from each other. Somehow the scene in the club is supposed to lead into the running and fighting, but the connection is hard to make and isn’t worth the screen time it got.
The outfits were probably the most well put together element in the MV. All of the clothing was interesting, but not over the top (no pastel skinny jeans here), and it all fit into the theme of the MV well. The clothing accentuated the maturity and solemn bearing of the members of DMTN without straying into the overly dramatic outfits some more “serious” boy groups wear (I’m looking at you, MBLAQ). Having two members wear different pieces of what looks like the same polka-dot suite was a good way to draw the eye to them, since a lot of the other clothing items were solid black or white. Daniel’s lace-up jeans added a little extra flair to his otherwise practical outfit, and Donglim’s glitter shirt was eye-catching to say the least, but looked a little out of place in a warehouse brawl.
The song is a strong pop ballad which DMTN sings well and performs well live on music shows, but the MV was a big disappointment, especially after the visually riveting “ER.” Next time, they should take some acting lessons before filming, or just stick to dancing instead. What did you think, Seoulmates? How does “Safety Zone” match up to your opinion of their previous releases?
Overall MV rating: 2/5
(2Works Entertainment, LOENENT YouTube)