Mogami Takeshi works at the Tokyo prosecutor's office focusing on violent criminal cases. Okino Keiichiro admires him and is happy to be assigned to work with Mogami. When a money lender is... See full summary »
The Hong Kong police are hunting a counterfeiting gang led by a mastermind code-named "Painter". In order to crack the true identity of him, the police recruits gang member Lee Man to unmask "Painter's" secret identity.
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
Actor Ji-Hoon Ju (aka Ji-hun Ju), who plays Mu-taek Jong, the Section Chief of North Korea's State Security Department, explained of how in a genre sense, this film is different from other previous spy movies: "If most spy movies place an emphasis on action, 'The Spy Gone North' is more concentrated on psychological depth. It tries to capture the battle of nerves that happens when, in order to achieve their goals, characters present a false image of themselves, and continually try to unmask each other." See more »
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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