Gu-nam (Ha Jung-woo) is a desperate debt-ridden gambler and taxi driver living in Yanji City — a region that has adjoining borders to North Korea, China and Russia. His wife fled to South Korea six months ago and he hasn't heard from her since. In order to repay his debts and attempt to find his wife this mild, unassuming man accepts a contract killing from local gangster Myun-ga (Kim Yun-seok). Crossing the dangerous Yellow Sea to Seoul he seeks out both his target and wife, but soon finds himself in the middle of a deadly conspiracy of lies, deceit and betrayal.
Na's second hit thriller
- The Yellow Sea review by Alphaville
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Hong-Jin Na’s follow-up to The Chaser is another exciting action thriller with even more chases in it. It’s beautifully structured, escalating in thrills from a simple premise to a Peckinpah-like riotous climax. If you’re expecting Hong Kong-style martial arts you’re in for a pleasant surprise from this ace South Korean director. He films his action as realistic and graphic. He uses too much handheld camera at times but he really knows how to build action and tension.
The chief baddie is a relentless chaser, like the T-1000 in Terminator 2. When our hero jumps into the sea to escape, the baddie jumps in after him for a swimming chase. And that’s just the start of a long multi-transport chase. But be warned that it’s not for the squeamish. In various scenes of mayhem, everyone’s pretty handy with an axe.
The DVD extras include useful tips on how to flip a trailer-truck. Why Hollywood doesn’t come calling for Na is a mystery.