Jo Tae-Oh is a young man who was grown spoiled in a wealthy family. He keeps on committing pretty much every crime that one can think of. He tries to buy his way out of everything which almost always works but Detective Seo Do-Cheol won't let that happen this time.Written by
Actor Dong-seok Ma's cameo towards the end of the film wasn't planned ahead of its shooting. The actor came to the set just to watch them shoot the scene and volunteered to make a short appearance. See more »
Surprisingly intense and gritty noir for action comedy
The first act of Veteran consists of utter shenanigans and plenty of nut shots, which might undermine its closer to reality dark story later on. When it introduces the rich mad antagonist it ramps up into one of the best cop dramas from Korea in recent times. The setup is smart, often looking eerily authentic yet still presents a couple of heavy themes with strikingly eccentric characters.
It opens up with simple case of car smuggling which feels as though it's usual Korean drama, while funny it doesn't possess the right gravitas. About half an hour comes the antagonist Tae Oh (Ah In Yoo) who practically turns the tone upside down. From then it's a mental and physical struggle that's utterly bloody and dark. This is quite the brutal chess game of cop versus criminal.
It's definitely a pleasant surprise, delivering harrowing scene of debauchery and corruption. The way the actors carry themselves bring just enough realism to the character, either it's from the daily life or interaction between colleagues or disproportionate respect to boss. The social and public culture is exaggerated, yet it's odd enough to be real. The director knows how to present the characters, both the flawed antagonist and seemingly suave antagonist, and make audience root or despise them.
Action is pretty good, it keeps the tone of actual brawl with real life martial art and has succeeded on portraying impact on its punches and kicks. The visual takes very direct ambiance and aside for a few distinct moments, it keeps the genuine atmosphere intact. If there's a hindrance in the movie, it's that the quirky comedy might not translate well. These types of gags are common for Korean shows, but they do tend to be excessive.
Using far end spectrum from both crime drama and action comedy, Veteran is a fervid and visceral cop thriller with dissonantly relatable social backdrop.
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