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…
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…
Even with Sympathy for Lady Vengeance, this is the M that Korea never made. The plot becomes very mish-mashy by constantly throwing new things into the mix, and I question the stylized imagery and aesthetics (the black and white cinematography is not particularly gloomy or groovy), but it does have some of the best chase scenes I've seen in a while.*
*Edit: Well, after Cat People, anyway.
A really brutal police procedural. Follows a pimp trying to work out where and why his 'girls' have started disappearing.
This is an extremely tense thriller where every act that takes place is grounded in reality, while chasing someone people just don't turn into athletes, they get tired and small things like these are shown in the movie.
This is one disturbing movie that everyone needs to watch.
For fuck's sake.
You see, the problem with some movements in art is that the movement itself is derived from something you believe is either fundamentally flawed or riddled with problems. I think that's perhaps why I'm struggling to really get into this South Korean 'revenge thriller' genre in the same way that most others are.
Now, normally, not really getting into a movement of films isn't a problem. You just move on to something else. But I find this particularly frustrating because I do really like Korean cinema, as a whole, but it's perhaps more because there are so many elements to these films that I really liked. Also, it's not like the…
Disturbing but very interesting film
First published by Film4
Synopsis: Na Hong-Jin's feature debut is a noirish dash through the very s(e)oul of Korea in search of a serial killer.
Review: "Sir, I made a mistake, I should make up for it."
So says Jung-Ho (Kim Yoon-Suk) to the nervous young man whose car he has just accidentally hit. And although he does not yet realise the full import of his words, Jung-Ho will indeed spend this one long, dark, rainy night trying to atone for all the sins of his past.
Jung-Ho is a fallen man. A one-time police detective turfed out for taking bribes, he is now a strong-arm pimp struggling to pay off a mountain of debt while the women on his…
I'm in love with Korean cinema, especially "the new wave" of films starting at the turn of the millennium. These…
I must confess, I wouldn’t be as much of a movie fan as I am now if it weren’t for…