Sunwoo is no ordinary hotel manager. He is also the ruthlessly efficient right hand man of underworld boss, Kang. But tough guy Kang has a weakness; his young girlfriend. Suspecting she's unfaithful, Kang orders Sunwoo to take care of the problem. When Sunwoo discovers her with another man, he uncharacteristically grants them mercy. Kang is furious and orders his gang members to hunt down Sunwoo. With nerves of steel, Sunwoo battles the gang alone. With each kill, he takes one step closer to his final confrontation with Kang.
This is an excellent tale of an up and coming gangster who due to a minor act of mercy has a dramatic fall from grace. It's also a neat twist on the revenge movie genre in which the lead character is not the one seeking revenge, but the victim of a revenge vendetta. If you liked Chan-wook Park's 'Oldboy' then this is well worth a rental.
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Well-shot Action Thriller
- A Bittersweet Life review by Alphaville
This Kim Ji-Woon film from 2005 was one of his early actioners and all the elements are in place. Beautiful cinematography and an engaging score that is part epic and part ironic keeps the viewer glued to the screen even between the set-pieces. Lead Lee Byung-Hun makes a charismatic Alain Delon lookalike who carries the movie. Just to wallow in the image as he drives around Seoul to a mesmerising score makes you realise the magic that only cinema can produce.
The film is let down by an uneven pace and a climax that stretches incredulity, but the set pieces are explosive. This is not Kim’s best, but it’s still better than most so-called action thrillers.