Lee Kang-hee is an editorialist of a influential newspaper in South Korea. With the power of the press, he makes the congressman Jang Pil-woo to one of the candidates of the next presidential election. That is the result of a secret deal between Lee and Ahn Sang-goo, a political henchman of Jang Pil-woo. But Ahn makes an almost fatal error, when he gets caught pocketing the record on the Jang's slush fund. The prosecutor Woo Jang-hoon is about to investigate and becomes absolutely determined, because the case would help him making big steps in his career. Ahn gets in real trouble, when he gets dropped by Jang and should have been killed, but is able to flee. Now a bitter war starts between one who is lusting for power, the one who wants vengeance and the one who is eager for success.Written by
Movie was rereleased in South Korea on December 31, 2015 as "Inside Men: The Original." The rereleased version contains additional footage accounting for 50 more minutes (3 hour total runtime). See more »
There is a directors cut version of 180 minutes (Inside Men: The Original), release on 31 December 2015 See more »
Excellent Crime Drama
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A former political henchman seeks out revenge for being dropped by a ruthless politician. Meanwhile, a determined investigator tries to nail the politician himself, and a shady newspaper editor manipulates matters behind the scenes. This has a complex story that shifts back and forth in time, with a lot of maneuvering by a fairly large cast of characters, but the script is so cleanly written and presented that it is easy to follow after a brief period of adjustment by the viewer. It will take a bit of time, early on, to figure out which characters are aligned with whom, and how everyone is related. But that slight sense of confusion eventually dissipates and transforms into a totally immersive, entertaining experience because characters are properly developed, with decisions and motives that are fleshed out nicely.
Most of the players here are quite shady, so it's almost like rooting for the lesser of all evils, but it works really well because a few of these characters become more appealing as the film progresses. And that's one of the big positives that can be found in "Inside Men" – there's some multi-dimensionality to enjoy, which makes it easy to root for the protagonists that emerge from the pool of corrupt characters. On the other hand, you will find some of the others to be very dislikeable. The newspaper editor – in particular – is a real snake, and I was rooting against him the entire time.
This is one of those films that gets more gripping and intense as it moves along. It just gets better and better, with the entire final hour being flat-out awesome. There is a lot of dramatic tension that is earned and I was glued to my television screen to see what would happen next. I have seen a few online movie reviewers criticize the film for being conventional, which is true to a degree. It is a crime drama, after all, and it has some similarities to films that came before it. With that said, however, the nuance and complexity that is presented keeps the viewer off balance. I wasn't entirely sure how things were going to play out during the second half of this movie, which helped to keep things fresh.
There are a few recognizable faces here, but the big-man actor is Byung-hun Lee – who I'm sure you've seen elsewhere. He's been in popular Korean films such as "A Bittersweet Life", "The Good, the Bad, the Weird", "I Saw the Devil", and "Masquerade." His performance in "Inside Men" is one of his better outings, in my opinion. He's successful at portraying his character as intimidating, flawed, and endearing all at the same time. This guy is really good actor, but I wish he would stop wasting his time in American movies. I'm sure it's beneficial for him to try to break into Hollywood, but every single time I've seen him in a Hollywood film, he's been wasted. For example, I was looking forward to seeing him play the Terminator in that stupid Genisys movie, but he only had like 5 minutes of screen time. It's ridiculous.
In any case, I definitely recommend "Inside Men", which is one of the better crime dramas of the past decade. I did watch the 3-hour extended cut, which is 50 minutes longer than the theatrical cut. I'm not exactly sure what scenes are included in one but not the other, but I can say that the 3-hour cut is really good. There is a Region 3 DVD available with English subtitles, and that release includes both the theatrical and extended cut.
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