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Frank M. Ahearn,
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Released from prison, Taesik goes to live with an adopted mother. He takes a job and tries to live a quiet life with his new family. His efforts are threatened when a politician seeks to knock the family restaurant down to build a mall.
Ruthless cop Chul-joong and a merciless killer in raincoat run into each other in a small alleyway and form a fatal bond. A free-for-all fight occurs by coincidence on a rainy street. A week later, the dead bodies of an old couple are discovered with multiple stab wounds. Chul-joong suddenly recalls the night he met the man in the raincoat. Chul-joong meets the old couple's son CHO Gyoo-hwan. He has an intuition that CHO is the murder but has no clue. In the meantime, another murder takes place in the same fashion. The showdown between a dirty cop and a killer unfolds, as things get more personal. Written by
Simple story here, a cop chases down a psychotic serial killer. He is the only one who believes that this respected, wealthy, family man is the serial killer, and so must bring about some under-handed methods whilst keeping the politicians off his back. What the film lacks in story it makes up for in complex relations and psychological warfare. A stroke of genius coming about once Gyu-Hwan (the killer) kills a man not related to the murder of his parents, just to tease Chul-Jung (the cop). The film begins by letting us get to know the two characters, Chul-Jung's partner shoots himself leaving Chul-Jung to be the focus of an internal investigation, while he also tries to get rid of some heroin. Gyu-Hwan is introduced ferociously masturbating in the shower, before exiting the bathroom and greeting his son. The film, like a few Korean police thrillers ('Memories of Murder', 'Nowhere to Hide') has a fantastic sense of humour to counteract the shocking scenes of violence. One scene has Chul-Jung on a stakeout, running round the streets in the rain trying to find a place to take a dump. The film can be looked at as a commentary on social status, as the cop has a bad reputation, and is tainted as he tries to do the right thing. The psychopathic serial killer, is highly respected, possibly because of his wealth. The murder scenes are at times chilling, while the fight scenes are brutal and never unbelievable (apart from a hilarious encounter in a shop between Chul-Jung and a large number of gangsters). An interesting array of supporting characters, fill in any holes that this film leaves through lack of originality, the chief of homicide, and a knife expert being among my favourites. The film seems needlessly long in places, and since we as the audience know who the killer is the investigation can get frustrating, although this may be used to reflect the anger of Chul-Jung and nobody believing him. Speaking of Chul-Jung it is very, very hard to get to like him as he is a bit of a low-life and this is a shame as it becomes hard to be brought into his world. By the end however he sort of redeems himself. The performances are wonderful from the two leads, and rather than trying to upstage each other, like good actors they play off each other and seem to be enjoying it when their character has the upper hand. It's a film that is comfortable being what it is, never wanting to push the boundaries, but offering a brilliant, tense and funny cat and mouse thriller.
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