I started with a top 10 list and decided what the hell lets see how far I can go. Top…
Joong-ho is a dirty detective turned pimp in financial trouble as several of his girls have recently disappeared without clearing their debts. While trying to track them down, he finds a clue that the vanished girls were all called up by a same client whom one of his girls is meeting with right now.
The experience of watching this movie is akin to having your emotions scraped out with an ice cream scoop. The movie ended and I just sat there feeling empty and helpless, realizing that so many things are unfair and unjust and bad things happen to good people and bureaucracy is always about the power and never about the people.
Current Korean cinema knows how to do revenge thrillers, and they're quite adept at showing the incompetence of the justice system, but what really elevated this movie was the humor. It makes watching the film bearable, indeed it makes it so painfully human. For a film called The Chaser, the chase scenes in here are not at all your typical slick…
How misleading. The Chaser is no revenge thriller. It's police procedural. I've went in with wrong expectations, so things kind of dragged for me. They were sitting around smoking and chilling when I was anticipating for some hammer action, guess it's my fault for stereotyping. Still, surprises are always welcomed. I'm glad to say that The Chaser is one of the better surprises. Think Memories of Murder meet Se7en, Silence of the Lambs meet, uh, Oldboy.
Desperation, violence, torture, they're there. A sick, insane antagonist? Yup. Thinking about Ha Jung Woo's twisted smirk still makes my hair stand on end. Only thing missing is Choi Min Sik, any film's two times better with Choi Min fucking Sik.
I sounded like…
Taking a quick peek at the stars afforded this Korean revenge thriller by my friends here, I have a feeling my take isn’t going to be too popular.
I don’t have an issue with ultraviolence. I love Kim Ki-duc’s work, especially Moebius, and Kubrick’s ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ and Tarantino’s ‘Stuck in the Middle with You’ are amongst my favourite cinematic moments. I certainly don’t have issue with the typical Korean revenge film; in fact I can’t think of a single one I haven’t loved. It can’t be that it was about saving a little girl, like The Man From Nowhere, because I loved that one too.
No, I think it’s because this film has less in common with all…
South Korea, 2008.
Another day, another interesting addition to the 30 Countries Challenge. Another day, another interesting addition to the South Korean Revenge Thriller sub genre.
I swear. Koreans just know how to do something magical with movies like these. Puerto Ricans are good at baseball, Ireland makes good beer and South Korea knows how to make batshit insane crime dramas.
The Chaser has got every winning ingredient to make that special sizzling dish of Korean Revenge. It's got grisly violence when necessary, crazy characters, tense chasing and fighting scenes, cool urban style and unbelievable coincidences. It may not be as stylish as Oldboy or as off the wall…
Whew, that was a rough watch. I can't say I "enjoyed" it as that's not the right word to describe the experience, but it is damn good. The Chaser keeps you glued to the screen praying that everything will turn out for the best while simultaneously questioning your faith in both humanity and the legal system.
This film has everything you expect from a Korean thriller, including the mandatory gratuitous hammer violence, but tugs at the heartstrings a little harder than most. Yun-seok Kim shines in the lead role as does Jung-woo Ha as one of the most detestable and downright unrelatable villains that I've seen in a while.
All in all, The Chaser is good stuff and well worth your time.
The first thing that struck me about THE CHASER was how much I loved Song Kang-Ho as an actor. Sometimes the acting style in Asian cinema can be unnecessarily exaggerated or unbelievable, but this guy is so natural and likable (even as a "guardian"), and had me immediately invested in his struggle. The second thing that struck me was that I had the wrong guy. This guy was not from THIRST or MR VENGEANCE... this guy's name is Kim Yoon-seok and I've never seen him before. But I think the important thing is that he is awesome, and the next movie I seek out from South Korea will be THE YELLOW SEA. Oops.
OK, next thing: I love the choice…
Disturbing thriller. A different kind of serial killer movie.
Iets te onrealistisch voor mij (of in ieder geval ik ging er niet helemaal in mee). Dat, of Seoul heeft echt een belabberde politiekorps. Maar heb me wel vermaakt.
I always see The Chaser listed among the greats of South Korean cinema, alongside incredible films like Oldboy and Memories Of Murder. Personally speaking... I don't think it's quite there. Perhaps a tier just below those films, but just not fully on the same level.
The film starts off with a great premise. An ex-cop turned pimp starts looking for one of his girls after a few of them have gone missing. The first half hour or so of the film follows him as he starts to get closer to finding the guy responsible. But for me, it's biggest issue comes with what happens next. He captures the guy. This leads to the guy being brought in for police questioning…
Gripping, Gorish, Funny, Excellent. One of the best.
Don't miss this.
This film makes me so happy and giddy and that's awful considering the subject matter but this is really great Korean thriller that is as much about police incompetence, injustice and someone throwing poo at a mayor, as it is about an ex-cop turned pimp hunting down a killer to save one of his prostitutes. The direction is wonderful, editing is tight, acting is superb and it's as funny as it is soul-destroying. And that poster! While easy to compare to the works of Park Chan-wook, Kim Jee-woon and Bong Joon-ho, Na Hong-jin's film forgoes the stylisation of those films and their characters in favour stark brutal realism. Imperfect, unjust, exceptional.
Damn. The Koreans are REALLY good at making thrillers and detective stories. This is one of them.
More Korean film reviews (if you could call them that) coming up in the next few weeks.
I turned on the netflix app, clicked the movie Chaser and the rest is history. An unstoppable thriller .
Its a nice thriller but the fact that the semi-mystery is revealed way in the start of the movie, kind of spoils it somehow. The chase and the culture of South Korea are interesting to watch and a good thing for people like me that love it, they dont save much on the pigs blood and it seems to be everywhere all the time.
The Chaser was less about a good guy and a bad guy as it was about being a critique of the way the Korean police force (and arguably police forces in general) run. It tells the story of an ex-cop who gets caught up in a murder case and essentially tries to take the law into his own hands. Without spoiling what happens, I will just say it was quite the ride. However, the characters were never super fleshed out and could have had more depth (besides maybe the MAIN character). The cinematography was pretty dece and the story kept me engaged, making me think things like "if only ___" and "why can't they just ___?" knowing the reasons while…
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