Based on a true story and a legendary Korean novel, this movie follows Detective Oh (superstar Lee Jung Jae) and his investigation into the mysterious murder of a North Korean. His ... See full summary »
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Based on a true story and a legendary Korean novel, this movie follows Detective Oh (superstar Lee Jung Jae) and his investigation into the mysterious murder of a North Korean. His investigation leads him to a diary, which was written by a nun who - along with her boyfriend - helped lead the escape of North Korean POWs held captive during the Korean War. Detective Oh eventually becomes emotionally involved with the case and pursues the writer of the diary and her long-lost boyfriend, hoping to crack the case and learn more about the story of the POWs. Written by
The Korean War and the resulting conflict between the North and the South served as background for many great South Korean films (JSA, Brotherhood, Silmido), but unfortunately "The last Witness" does not belong to this category.
It has an interesting, dramatic story that combines the horror of North Korean POWs trying to escape in the early 1950s and a present-day police investigation of two murders, but the film and its characters left me cold. While the investigation with its many clues and revelations is entertaining to watch, the flashback sequences are too bland and rushed and lack any depth to let the viewer develop any bond with the two main characters.
It also does not help that the make-up department was obviously not up to the task or maybe too lazy, because almost all the actors looked completely unconvincing playing old people in their 70s or 80s, which was a major distraction.
This film does have some nice visuals and even mildly suspenseful scenes, but overall it was rather disappointing. The contrived and pathetic ending in particular was so kitschy, even the cheesiest Hollywood film wouldn't go that far.
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