As Korea's biggest crime organization 'Goldmoon' expands its powers, Kang, the head of police investigation planning department, orders the undercover cop Ja-Seoung to participate in project "New World", that will take down 'Goldmoon'. Ja-seong must choose either to follow Kang's orders as a cop or to keep his loyalty with Jeong Cheong, the under-boss of the 'Goldmoon' crime organization.Written by
Amazing acting and character development pardon for a predictable story
When the leader of a crime syndicate called "Goldmoon" gets assassinated, there are three potential followers who battle for absolute power. Caught in between the growing tension is undercover agent Lee Ja-Sung, played by the extraordinary newcomer actor Lee Jong- Jae, who wants to retire after eight years of service with his girlfriend being pregnant. He has become the right hand and even good friend of one of the three potential followers who is the provocateur Jung Chung, played by a superb Hwang Jeong-Min, and is suddenly in the middle of the action. Chief Kang, played by one of Korea's greatest actors ever, Choi Min-Sik, wants his undercover cop to do one last dangerous mission called "Operation New World" and intervene in the selection process for the next crime syndicate leader. Soon, people all around Lee Ja-Sung are dying and the rumour is spread that at least one undercover agent has infiltrated the syndicate. Lee Ja-Sung has to quickly take several important decisions before he gets uncovered.
"New World" is a very well played gangster movie with addicting characters and much better than last year's "Nameless Gangster" that had no gripping story line and too many slapstick elements in it. This movie is dark and tension filled but especially the acting is outstanding. Several characters develop throughout this movie. The old and tired number two in the syndicate suddenly develops some new ambitions and is ready to do anything for it. The other two potential followers are a naive and obscene character and and a cold and dangerous one but both of them also change throughout this film with the first one becoming more brutal but mature at the same time and the second one becoming too arrogant and uncontrolled.
At the beginning of the movie, the viewers have a clear idea of who are the bad and who are the good guys but this also changes throughout the movie. While the police risks the lives of their agents without pity, you begin to see that some gangsters are more human than others as well. All these developments lead to a spectacular but also predictable ending. Those who don't know the genre might fall for some minor twists here and there but those who are experts of the gangster movie genre won't be taken by surprise.
This is maybe the weak point of the movie. It adds nothing new to the gangster flick genre apart of the emotional acting. The story is very predictable and you feel as if you've had watched all of this before a couple of times. That's why this movie also has a couple of lengths. After an intriguing opening and a few exciting scenes in the second part of the movie, director Park Hoon-Jung maybe takes too much time to introduce all characters and employs too many dialogues. Maybe this was necessary to understand who is who but the whole thing could have been more dynamical in my opinion. That's where this movie is too traditional against its own good and not a far call from many American gangster flicks. With all these great actors involved, one could have created a true masterpiece but this film is ultimately only a very good and realistic gangster flick which is still great to watch but there is some wasted potential as well.
Fans of crime and gangster movies should definitely try out this film. Those who have liked the actors involved in here before should also dig this flick even though the amazing Choi Min-Sik is a little bit under- used in my opinion. In the end, it's hard to tell if this movie is worth a seven or a eight star rating. I would probably choose the middle of it as many users on this site. As the acting in here is quite exceptional, I though decided to go for the more positive evaluation in the end.
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