6.0/10
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11 user 11 critic

The Drug King (2018)

Ma-yak-wang (original title)
Trailer
1:05 | Trailer
Set in Busan, South Korea during the 1970s, Lee Doo-sam builds an empire as a drug smuggler in the Busan underworld, while public prosecutor Kim In-goo attempts to take down Lee Doo-sam.

Director:

Min-ho Woo

Writer:

Min-ho Woo
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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Kang-ho Song ... Lee Doo-sam
Jung-suk Jo ... Kim In-goo
Doona Bae ... Kim Jeong-ah
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ju-Seon Eo Ju-Seon Eo ... Handcart cleaner
Chang-Hyeon Han Chang-Hyeon Han ... Busan Citizen's Hall MC
Ga-Yoon Heo Ga-Yoon Heo ... Jong-Soon
Woo-jin Jo ... Jo Seong-kang
Dae-Myung Kim ... Lee Doo-hwan
So-jin Kim So-jin Kim ... Seong Sook-kyeong (as Kim So-Jin)
Hee-jin Lee Hee-jin Lee
Hee-joon Lee ... Choi Jin-Pil
Sung-min Lee ... Seo Sang-hoon
Kyung-hye Park Kyung-hye Park ... Lee Kyung-Ja
Je-mun Yun ... Yakuza
Edit

Storyline

Set in Busan, South Korea during the 1970s, Lee Doo-sam builds an empire as a drug smuggler in the Busan underworld, while public prosecutor Kim In-goo attempts to take down Lee Doo-sam.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Action | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

South Korea

Language:

Korean | Japanese

Release Date:

19 December 2018 (South Korea) See more »

Also Known As:

The Drug King See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$14,446,477
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

 
Intriguing and decidedly Korean 70's gangster biopic
15 March 2019 | by noorutinSee all my reviews

Your enjoyment of this movie will undoubtedly depend on your existing familiarity with Korean filmmaking. While I'm certainly not an expert on the subject, I do believe many of the more negative reviews come from western watchers who are less accustomed to the style and feel of Korean films.

The film takes its time to build up and wind down, but I never felt like it dragged out too long or got boring. Even the setting - 70's Korea - is exciting to get a look at and not explored, I think, in other films very much. I have absolutely no idea how well this flick represents the real Lee Doo-sam, but all the key performances felt very fitting and well acted and the cinematography is nice and does the job. I might add that I tend to analyze film pacing, and it hits all the usual turning points at the exact typical time marks.

What I think is most distinctively Asian in the filmmaking is the tone. It is a serious movie about several serious subjects with plenty of gritty scenes and emotion, but it's not afraid to let "wacky" characters act wacky. Some critics call this being tone-deaf or not making up its mind, but I don't think that is it at all. I consider it merely a refreshing cultural difference.

If you care about the setting or subject at all, watch it with an open mind and I think you'll like it enough to not feel like your time was wasted.


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