Genre films have been something of a specialty in Chungmoro for quite some time now. After exhaustively exploring gangster comedies, romantic melodramas and high school dramas, some of the more prominent and daring Korean filmmakers, such as Park Chan-wook and Kim Ji-woon, took their chances on new genres not typically associated with Asian cinema. The results were Park's vampire effort Thirst (Bakjwi, 2009) and Kim's western The Good, The Bad and the Weird (Joheunnom nabbeunnom isanghannom, 2008). Both were successful and well-received films that embraced and defied their respective genre's conventions. Haeundae follows along this Korean proclivity to embrace and reappropriate film genres and while it is by no means as interesting or as good as the previous efforts mentioned, it still manages to fully embrace a foreign genre and feels one hundred percent Korean. The fact that it is now the fourth highest grossing Korean film of all time only reinforces this.
The last shot of the film, where the camera pans from Man-sik and Yeon-hee poring through her restaurant's wreckage to Haeundae's obliterated cityscape is difficult to analyze. On the one hand, the content of the scene, the music and the rapidly approaching sunset seem to indicate an optimistic ending, "life goes on" and such. However, I can't help but think that the camera is looking through the skyline to the roads behind it, which would suggest that Man-sik and others like him will still need to wander along a directionless road in search of a home and their identity.