3 user 8 critic

Righteous Ties (2006)

Geo-rook-han-ge-bo (original title)
An eccentric but faithful mafia, Chi-sung is sent to prison for his part in a gang fight. But when his parents are attacked by a rival mob and his own people take no action, he realizes ... See full summary »




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Credited cast:
Chi-seong Dong
Joo-joong Kim
Soon-tan Jeong (as Ryu Seung-Ryong)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Won-tae Choi ...
Joo-joong (Young)
Young-nam Jang ...
Gyu-su Jeong ...
Dr. Choi
Jin-mo Joo ...
Nak-young Jang
Il-wung Kim ...
Kyu-chul Kim ...
Han-wi Lee ...
Bong-sik Seong
Jeong Lee
Moon-su Lee ...
Ji-hwan Min ...
Young-hwei Kim
Jung-gi Park ...
Chi-seong's Father


An eccentric but faithful mafia, Chi-sung is sent to prison for his part in a gang fight. But when his parents are attacked by a rival mob and his own people take no action, he realizes that a decade of loyalty towards the gang has become futile. Determined to confront his own boss, he finds a way to escape from prison with his fellow inmates. Meanwhile, his friend Joo-joong is given the task to stop Chi-sung, forcing him to choose between the bond of friendship and loyalty towards the gang. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




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Release Date:

19 October 2006 (South Korea)  »

Also Known As:

La lignée sacrée  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

The messy whole isn' the sum of its nice parts
16 January 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I picked up Righteous Ties because I liked the writer-director Jang Jin's previous works as a genre-tweaking talent with a great sense of humor. However, in this gangster comedy/drama/farce/etc., I think the good director drops the ball.

All the things the director is good at: great sense of humor, ability to warp around genre conventions, transitioning between comedy and drama, they're all present. At times, you're watching a pretty ridiculous straight faced comedy, which turns into a sweet action sequence, and then a slapstick piece and then a dramatic exploration of friendship. And none of it feels too far out of place. The problem lies in the story and in the weak drama segments.

It's a story about a pair of gangsters, one who ends up having to go to jail and is betrayed by his mafia boss and his childhood buddy, who remains loyal to the gang, despite discovering this. Most of the film occurs without significant interaction between the two sides, as the jailbird adapts to life in prison (meeting up with another betrayed gangster/childhood friend in the process) and planning a jailbreak. The other gangster works with the gang to set up a new drug operation.

Here's the problem: the drama hinges on the relationship between these two characters, but we never see that relationship develop or even explore their relationship except for a couple very brief melodramatic flashbacks to their childhood times. This is somehow supposed to engender sympathy and show the strength of relationship, but none of this is followed through over the course of the film, so the conflict between the two feels manufactured and hollow. Not to say that there isn't anything entertaining about this, but the entertaining comedy and action feels strung together by an underbaked story and consequently, it doesn't feel like a coherent story. This is complicated by adding in a lot of sub-characters and plots that aren't necessary nor contribute to the main story, even thematically.

But the action with the near invincible gangsters is fun and kinetic. The comedy drew laughs. Production values are solid and the actors are convincing in their roles. The director has a good eye, it's just that his storytelling didn't hold up to his directing this time. As such, I will have to call this one a good try, but a pass. 5/10.

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