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Phantom Detective (2016)

Tamjung Hong Gil-dong: Sarajin Ma-eul (original title)
PG-13 | | Action, Drama, Mystery | 20 May 2016 (USA)
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HONG Gildong is an infallible private detective with an exceptional memory and quirky personality. While chasing the only target he failed to find, he gets entangled in a much bigger conspiracy than he bargained for.

Director:

Sung-hee Jo
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1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Ara Go ... President Hwang
Bo-ra Hwang Bo-ra Hwang
Sung-hwa Jung Sung-hwa Jung ... Innkeeper
Seong-gyoon Kim ... Kang Seong-il
Je-hoon Lee ... Hong Gil-dong
Joon-Hyuk Lee Joon-Hyuk Lee ... Real estate agency boss (as Joon Hyuk Lee)
Sang-hee Lee Sang-hee Lee ... Mother of Hong Gil-dong
Geun-hyeong Park Geun-hyeong Park ... Kim Byeong-deok
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Storyline

Private detective HONG Gil-dong is seeking revenge for his mother who was murdered in front of him when he was a child. An investigation determines that the assailant is a man named Kim, but when he arrives at the Kim's house, he finds only the man's grandchildren who tell him that their grandfather was kidnapped. Hong tracks down the vicious kidnapper with help from the grandchildren, but senses that he is not acting alone. The mastermind is the notorious leader of a massive cult - a man with a terrifying, bloody secret in his hands. Now, Hong decides to face him once and for all. Written by CJ Entertainment

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

neo noir | See All (1) »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Site [South Korea]

Country:

South Korea

Language:

Korean

Release Date:

20 May 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Phantom Detective See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$26,312, 20 May 2016, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$67,015, 12 June 2016
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Bidangil Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The walkie talkie used in the first scene is the same walkie talkie used in the drama "Signal" which shares the same written. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Intoxicating mix of styles and genres
19 May 2016 | by aartm-46223See all my reviews

A lone detective who works for a secret agency, solving cases in quick, ruthless fashion. But this detective is also on a quest to exact revenge on the man who violently ruined his family's life 20 years ago. The journey will inevitably take some unexpected turns. This is a film that may divide audiences, due to its off-kilter approach to a number of different genres, time periods and visual styles, using the framework of a hard- boiled detective story to metaphorically glance at various hardships Korea has endured over the past 100 years. It takes a little while for the film's rhythm to take hold, but once it does and you completely click into its particular point-of-view, it becomes more entertaining as it goes on. Writer/director Jo Sung-hee, who impressed with the minimalist, post-apocalyptic END OF ANIMAL and the romance/drama/fantasy A WEREWOLF BOY, again moves down a different path, with a film that is heavily influenced by comic books and pulp crime novels. His smart blend of camera technique, lighting schemes, CGI animation, and set design makes this a feast for the eyes, and if it is screening at a cinema nearby, then I highly recommend that you go and experience it on the big screen.

Lee Je-hoon, who caught people's attention with his performances in the first-rate but appropriately titled BLEAK NIGHT and the acclaimed Korean War drama THE FRONT LINE, is very good as detective Gil-dong, and the relationship that develops between he and the two girls is genuinely affecting. However, he doesn't quite command the screen in the way needed to make a film like this truly soar (say like Park Hae-il), but on the strength of his work here, you know that day is not far away. Kim Seong-gyoon proves intimidating as the brutal Kang Sung-il, but the film is stolen by young actors Kim Ha-na (as Mal-soon) and No Jeong-ee (as Dong-yi), who are utterly charming as Gil-dong's hindrance-come-helpers. The director gets remarkably natural and confident performances from the two youngsters, thankfully free of cloyingly sweet mannerisms and cheap sentimentality.

The less you know about the plot details the better, as Jo Sung-hee's final vision may be somewhat contrary to what you might be expecting. But it's a surprise that definitely leaves a smile on your face when the end credits begin to roll, and has you already looking forward to what this talented film-maker will do next.


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