Tuesday, October 6, 2015

New Korean Films: Coming Late at the Party (2015 Week 34)

Untouchable Lawmen

By Fabien Schneider

In order to capture the boss of a powerful criminal organization who has connections with the authorities, the special investigation section has called two agents with exceptional records. While Jung-in made his arms as a criminal profiler at the FBI, Yu-min graduated from one of the best academies but is now seen as a player with women. Of course, both of them will have to go past their differences to fulfil their mission.

This new thriller comes at the worst possible : Ryoo Seung-wan’s Veteran is all the rage now and thus still topping the box-office, satisfying all the audience’s thirst for police stories. The screenwriting seems to be yet another take at the buddy film à la Lethal Weapon, so don’t expect much surprise. The cast is quite unusual for this genre: indeed, Im Chang-jung, who became famous as a comedy actor (Sex is Zero in 2002, Miracle on 1st Street in 2007) and ballad singer, wouldn’t be the first actor to pop in my mind had I been casting for someone to play a criminal profiler. I guess that everyone deserves to have their chance. It makes a bit more sense to see Daniel Choi as the freshman and playful cop, since he’s a top model. There must arguably be something in this pair that producers see fit for a thriller, since they had already played together in The Traffickers in 2012. The director, Sin Dong-yeob, debuted in 2004 with a rom-com, 100 Days with Mr. Arrogant, before taking a long hiatus. It’s only in 2012 that he came back with another rom-com, Wedding Scandal, and in 2013 he made his first try at the thriller genre with Days of Wrath. Despite its opening on around 450 screens, it will have a hard time convincing the audience, even without the unflattering comparison with Veteran. Reviews from both critics and audience are already showing disappointment.

New Korean Films is a weekly feature which provide an in-depth look at new local releases in Korea. For film news, external reviews, and box office analysis, take a look at the Korean Box Office UpdateKorean Cinema News and the Weekly Korean Reviews, which appear weekly on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings (Korean Standard Time). Reviews and features on Korean film also appear regularly on the site. 

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