7.3/10
15,730
31 user 126 critic

Hwanghae (2010)

The attempt to carry out a hit on a professor goes terribly awry, triggering a series of violent events which force a taxi driver to run for his life.

Director:

Hong-jin Na

Writers:

Won-Chan Hong, Hong-jin Na (screenplay by) | 1 more credit »

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6 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Jung-woo Ha ... Gu-nam
Yoon-Seok Kim ... Myun-ga
Sung-ha Jo Sung-ha Jo ... Tae-won (as Seong-Ha Cho)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Seok-jeong Hwang ... Dollar Dealer
Man-sik Jeong Man-sik Jeong ... Detective 1
Cheol-min Lee Cheol-min Lee
Yoo-mi Lee Yoo-mi Lee ... Tae-Won's Daughter
Gi-won Yang Gi-won Yang ... Detective 2
Dong-Heon Yeom Dong-Heon Yeom
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Storyline

In this fast paced action thriller, a taxi driver living in the Yanbian Province of China goes to South Korea when a local gangster offers him to carry out a hit on a professor in return for repaying his debt. In the meanwhile, he also searches for his wife who had come here but had not responded since 6 months. His suspicion of her betrayal makes his tension rise, before something unexpected happens that night on which he is prepared to kill the professor. Soon, he finds himself running for his life from police and the mob, resulting in a lot of violent fights and intense car chases. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The only thing he must not have crossed

Genres:

Action | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for brutal bloody violence, some strong sexuality, nudity, and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

South Korea | USA | Hong Kong

Language:

Korean | Mandarin

Release Date:

2 December 2011 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Yellow Sea See more »

Filming Locations:

South Korea

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Box Office

Budget:

$8,170,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$15,800,000, 31 December 2010
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (international)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film opened on December 22, 2010 in South Korea and was top of the box office, selling 1.05 million tickets in its first five days of release, according to the Korean Film Council. See more »

Quotes

Gu-nam: Who's the boss here?
See more »

Crazy Credits

The film's story unfolds in chapters. See more »

Alternate Versions

The US R-Rated version was heavily edited but it's based on the shorter Korean Director's Cut, but apart from some minor story cuts several short cuts typical for the MPAA had to be made due to depiction of action, violence and sex. The Director's Cut runs 4 minutes and 3 seconds longer than the US R-Rated version. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Well-made but too gritty to really enjoy
23 October 2011 | by lewism200See all my reviews

The latest Korean thriller to make the international leap is quite an event. Weighing in at a respectable 140 minutes (still 17 minutes shorter than the Korean version) it is filled to the brim with as much grit as anyone could wish for. I knew from the opening voice-over that I wasn't in for a barrel of laughs. The cold monotone relating the tale of a childhood pet dog that died of rabies set the tone for the uncompromisingly grim two-and-a-bit hours to follow. The story follows Gu-Nam, a taxi-driver struggling to make ends meet in a province between Korea and China. His wife has moved away to earn money but hasn't made contact.. In an impossible hole of debt, he is offered a way out. He has to go to Korea and kill someone there. The gangster (the ruthless and unflappable Myun) offering this once-in-a- lifetime chance will, of course, kill his family if he fails. Not, you might think, a terribly original plot idea but there are a number of qualities which make it rather special. First, the setting; South Korea's major cities provide a wonderfully bleak backdrop to the action and much of this is rather beautifully showcased by director Hong-Jin Na. But more than this, the film gives an insight into aspects of Korean culture never normally seen by the Western world, particularly the discrimination against the region Gu-Nam is from (the name of which I will not attempt to type). However, the film's defining feature must be its sheer, visceral grit. Everything, including our desperate protagonist feels painful and dirty. The bloody fight scenes are utterly devoid of glamour and deliberately so. Sadly however, this also robbed them, for me at least, of much of the charm I normally find in well-choreographed fight scenes. This is a trend continued throughout the film. The story, though fairly linear, is complicated by a plethora of characters and the audience is given little to nothing in the way of tantalising hints to lead us through. Essentially, Na has gone out of his way to produce as brutal and harsh a film as he could and, in the process, sacrificed a great deal of potential enjoyment.


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