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The Spy Gone North (2018)

Gongjak (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 17 August 2018 (USA)
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In the mid-1990s, a loyal South Korean secret agent is caught in a political vortex plotted by the ruling classes of North and South Korea.

Director:

Jong-bin Yoon (as Jong-Bin Yun)

Writers:

Sung-hui Kwon (as Seong-hwi Kwon), Jong-bin Yoon

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Cast

Credited cast:
Jung-min Hwang ... Suk-young Park
Sung-min Lee ... Myong-un Ri
Jin-Woong Cho ... Hak-seong Choi (as Jin-woong Jo)
Ji-Hoon Ju ... Mu-taek Jong (as Ji-hun Ju)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Seung-ik Baek Seung-ik Baek ... Security Agent 5
Ji-Heon Cha Ji-Heon Cha ... Section Chief Jeong's Wife
Yong Chae Yong Chae ... Hwang Byeong-cheol
Bo-Kwang Choi Bo-Kwang Choi ... Seok-yeong's Wife
Byung Mo Choi Byung Mo Choi ... National Assembly Member Yoo
Ju-bong Gi Ju-bong Gi ... Kim Jong-Il
Seung-bae Jeong Seung-bae Jeong ... Secretariat Executive
Joo-hee Jo Joo-hee Jo ... Jo Myeong-ae
Gi-sub Jung Gi-sub Jung ... Agency for National Security Planning Agent 1
So-ri Jung So-ri Jung ... Lee Hong-seol
Eung-soo Kim ... Department Head Kim
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Storyline

In 1993, former military officer Suk-young Park is recruited as a spy by South Korea's National Intelligence Service, and given the code name "Black Venus". He is then sent to infiltrate a group of high-ranking North Korean officials based in Beijing, with the ultimate goal of acquiring information on the North's nuclear program. After becoming close to Myong-un Ri, a key power broker, Black Venus succeeds beyond his wildest dreams of gaining the trust of North Korea's leadership. But political machinations on both sides of the border threaten to derail his accomplishments. Written by CJ Entertainment

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A fine line between conviction and trust See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

South Korea

Language:

Korean | Mandarin | Japanese

Release Date:

17 August 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Spy Gone North See more »

Filming Locations:

Taiwan See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

KRW 19,000,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

KRW 12,711,847,686 (South Korea), 12 August 2018, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$497,755, 16 September 2018
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Actor Sung-min Lee, who plays Myong-un Ri, the Director of North Korea's External Economic Council, said of how he came to joining the production: "The key reason for me was director Yoon Jong-bin. I worked with him on his previous film, and it was quite a meaningful experience, so that was the deciding factor. Last year he visited the theater production I was acting in and told me about his screenplay, which seemed quite fascinating and new. In particular the dialogue felt fresh. The conversations between characters had real impact, like physical action. So I felt that in this film, the dialogue could function almost like action sequences." See more »

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User Reviews

 
Great movie with excellent cinematography
26 September 2018 | by GinsengjinSee all my reviews

Gongjak or The Spy Gone North is a spy thriller that looks at the complex political world of North and South Korea and relations during the late 1990's. It is a mix of history and fiction in telling the story of a South Korean spy agent who goes to North Korea under the guise of a businessman through China in order to infiltrate North Korea in search of information about the nuclear program.

The movie's biggest strength is in the cinematography portraying the different locales of China, South Korea, and North Korea in its story telling and in the acting pulling in a cast of well established Korean actors. The camera work and soundtrack is also excellent which work together perfectly in creating high tension key points in the story and providing the movie with excellent pacing.

The story is for the most part is more straight forward than what I expected from a spy thriller. It gets more political after the second half of the movie which is expected due to the nature of story between North and South Korea and it adds a level of complexity. What the movie doesn't do well is explain the motivation that drives the actions of supporting characters. The main character's actions were easy to understand but it was a little bit frustrating not understanding the driving cause of some of the other key characters.

The movie ends with a clear message that will polarize viewers based on their political standing but it does so in an interesting way through the relationship between characters which does tie up the movie fairly well. My biggest critique of this film is that it's too predictable for a spy thriller but it does do a great job narrating the journey.


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