"Die Bad" is an inventive feature made up of four distinct episodes, each with their own style. With their criss-crossing characters and themes, they add up to a fairly comprehensive ... See full summary »
Exposed during an illegal arms trade gone wrong in Berlin, a North Korean "ghost" agent finds himself in the crosshairs of an international manhunt. Was he betrayed by his wife or his country? He must prepare to make the ultimate sacrifice.
Byung-du is a 29-year-old career criminal, working for the middle-rank enforcer Sang-chul. Burdened with a terminally ill mother and taking care of younger siblings, Byung-du is feeling ... See full summary »
Despite their different family backgrounds, four friends grew up together in the wearisome years of the 70s. But as time goes by, each of them takes a different life path. After enrolling ... See full summary »
The underworld of pushers, addicts, cops, and mobsters in Buson. Sang-do is a pusher, selling meth, abstaining from using it, living the high life, and, passing on information to the police... See full summary »
17-year-old Wan-Deuk comes from a poor family and his grades in school are equally poor. He is a rebellious and troubled student, but he never loses in fights. Wan-Deuk then meets teacher ... See full summary »
The story takes place in occupied Korea at the start of the 20th century, where a young student in medicine discovers the murdered body of the son of a government official. Being scared of ... See full summary »
GHOST (Ryoo Seung-Wan) Seung-ho is a high school student who is deeply engaged in an online community and has a crush on a girl member named Sunshower, whom he has never met. One day, ... See full summary »
Debt collector Tae Gun-ho, who lost his son five years ago, finds out he has liver cancer. The only way for him to survive is to get a liver transplant in the next 10 days from a woman ... See full summary »
"Die Bad" is an inventive feature made up of four distinct episodes, each with their own style. With their criss-crossing characters and themes, they add up to a fairly comprehensive account of the causes and effects of male aggression, both tribal and individual. Written by
This film consists of four linked segments, two of which were originally award-winning shorts. The first, "Rumble", depicts the build up and effects of a snooker hall scrap between art and tech college students, played by Seung-Wan Ryoo and Seung-Bin Park. We cut between the protagonists and an interview with the owner of the hall, who complains about the wild youths and a need for a government clampdown like in the 70's. The second, "Nightmare" follows one of the tech students (Seung-bin Park) on his release from jail after accidentally killing one of the art students in the first segment, and his entry into organised crime, as the protege of local heavy, President Kim. The third segment "Modern Man" consists of an epic car-park brawl between President Kim and Seung-Wan, (now a policeman) cut against frank interviews in which they talk about their jobs and their positions in society. In "Die Bad", Seung-Bin has become a powerful gangster and Seung-Wan's brother tries to join his group. Each segment has its own style and mood. There are moments of all-out action, drama, comedy and horror hence it is best not to reveal much of the plot, as it has many surprises. There are only 2 female speaking roles in the entire film, hence no sex bits, but this no bad thing as it addresses specifically male deficiencies, in a similar way to "La Haine". This also means there are a few gay subtexts to be found. For example, in "Nightmare", when Seung-Wan wakes up in a motel with President Kim, who calls him a "good-looking boy". Also, the Art student who ends up dead in "Rumble" is supposed to be really tough, but looks like he belongs in a boy band.
The fight scenes are filmed, choreographed and edited brilliantly. They never look staged and it is clear throughout that the director is not trying to make violence look cool. In "Modern Man", for example, the unending brawl is not just about two blokes hitting each other, it's about them being trapped- hence its cyclical time structure. In "Rumble", we see the youths' impressions of violence through clips of videogames and Bruce Lee films. Several times, people in authority shout "Who do you think you are?" at the young protagonists. At one point in "Modern Man", President Kim states nonchalantly, "I am a gangster, a thug". These sequences highlight the theme of the film, how disaffected men use violence to prove they exist. Die Bad, the feature, was reportedly shot for $3000, over a period of three years. Posters of "Romeo + Juliet" and "Tin Cup" are scene on walls during the film. Members of the cast worked during breaks from other bigger budget projects, using leftover film stock and fake blood. The ambition of Die Bad is massive and it is enormously successful. All the performances are brilliant; the film has great energy, originality and packs an emotional punch. There are no guns in the film, which may seem unrealistic, but if they were shooting at each other it would defeat the object, trying as it is to show something more primal. Near the end, a very sentimental piece of music was played, which (although I couldn't understand the Korean lyrics) seemed unnecessary and cloying, but this does not stop Die Bad from being an excellent film. Great things are expected of Seung-Wan Ryoo.
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