Wow, good job indeed. Just from the trailer you would assume this to be your typical Korean cop-movie about a cop trying to bring down criminals. Yes, that is what happens but there is so much more. What else is there here, you might ask?
Comedy. But then again, what else can one expect when Oh Dal-su is in the cast?
The storyline is about a cop investigating a so called accident his buddy got into because of a sociopath. This actual storyline doesn’t really exist until around the 30-45 min mark. Rather, we have the first 30 mins setting up the main cop, Seo Do-cheo terms of character motivations and connections. The set up of lesser characters are done through smart dialogue and visuals to really cement home the type of character these people will play throughout the film. The first 30-45 min mark we actually do see characters from the over lying arc spread throughout which I find a very interesting style of storytelling.
The pacing here is done phenomenally well and the introduction of the characters who actually matter in the movie is so natural and authentic. This 30-45 mark actually has a very different tone with the rest of the movie. I swear there is this one sequence of a crook running and a cop in van that had me laughing quite joyously, it was that fun. For a while I thought that the trailer was poorly edited and did a cloak and dagger on this comedy but once the ‘true’ arc starts, the trailer tells it true. This movie is dark and dirty but at the same time there are comedy moments which really helps in terms of cutting tension.
This movie has what you expect from a Korean cop film. The action is tense and brutal but it has a lighter comedy side which make it sometimes slightly awkward when transitioning between the two very different tones. But I would much have it this way than have an overtly over the top super serious cop film about bringing a sociopath to justice though that largely depends on personal taste.
This film is solid and entertaining. I would say the handling of side characters was quite a surprise as the secondary characters are on the sidelines when the investigation gets heated and things start getting serious but when they do come back it is a welcome relief and narratively contextualize so you would not be in disbelief when they do show up.
The pacing really help this film quite a bit. Cop hunting crooks down in the name of justice but hampered by legalisms and dirty cops/politicians is a story we all have seen in some form or another. Yet here, it doesn’t feel old but rather it feels fresh as it knows which side-story arcs are important and which ones are not. This movie could have been bogged down by needless story arcs to reinforce the danger and intensity of the film but rather it gets straight to the point.
I really enjoyed the ensemble cast, the action, the storyline, the pacing, the action/brutality and all the laughs. So yes, I recommend this film.