Lee Du-seok publishes an autobiography describing murders he committed after the statute of limitations expires. A detective and one of the victim's mothers search for the author while another killer begins a spree of murders.
An ex-special agent CHA Tae-shik's only connection to the rest of the world is a little girl, So-mi, who lives nearby. Her mother, Hyo-jeong smuggles drugs from a drug trafficking organization and entrusts Tae-shik with the product, without letting him know. The traffickers find out about her smuggling and kidnap both Hyo-jeong and So-mi. The gang promises to release them if Tae-shik makes a delivery for them, however it actually is a larger plot to eliminate a rival drug ring leader. When Hyo-jeon's disemboweled body is discovered, Tae-shik realizes that So-mi's life may also be in danger. Tae-shik becomes enraged at the prospect that So-mi may already be dead and prepares for a battle, putting his own life at risk.Written by
This movie threatens to be a run-of-the-mill action movie, but manages to create its own identity. The sameness is how it shows most of its bad guys, and there are plenty, as one dimensionally evil. There are children who are put in harm's way, but not gratuitously--for the most part--providing the hero with a chance to be human.
It's very Korean in its thinking, which is always refreshing to me. Saying that, I was surprised by how much it reminded me of TAXI DRIVER. It's not a re-tread by any means, but it almost felt like the director was paying tribute to the earlier film in a couple of scenes. I have no idea if this is true. Most people I have talked to about this movie have never seen the other.
This is an action film and it does not disappoint on that level. Some of it is pretty brutal, but by the finale you will most likely feel that everyone gets what they deserve and, if anything, a few deserved more. This is because they manage to build characters we care about with out slowing down too much. The pacing is nicely done with properly placed comic moments as well. Some of the humor was a bit dark, which was also nice.
What surprised me was how much I cared for the main characters. The child was sweet but not overly so. I'm used to the child being inserted for sentimental or "Ahhhh" effects--like in the first RUSH HOUR--but that is mostly avoided here and it feels much more genuine over all.
There are cruel moments in the film but the film itself did not feel cruel. That is why I liked it. So often films are either mindless, or mean-spirited, and this one avoided these pit-falls.
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