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You can skip movies 10 times but never go back.
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…
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.
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…
When it comes to thrillers, no film industry around the world has done even half as impressive a job as Cinema of South Korea has since the dawn of this new millennium. Inspired from a real-life Korean serial killer case file, The Chaser tells the story of an ex-detective turned pimp whose girls have been disappearing lately without clearing their debts, leading to financial losses in his business. While tracking back, he finds out that all girls had vanished after meeting the same client whom one of his girls is meeting right now & decides to find him before it's too late, not knowing that the client he is dealing with is a sadistic psychopath.
For a film that presents such…
Anyone with a fondness for harder-edged, tough, dark thrillers should certainly track this one down
Итак, мой второй фильм На Хонг-Джина, на этот раз криминальный триллер без всякой мистики. Как я уже упоминал в моей заметке на "Стенания", главное что удается этому режиссеру - придание человечности, "натуральности" своим персонажам. И это проявляется не только в том как правдоподобно играют и взаимодействуют друг с другом актеры. Они выбиваются из сил после длительной погони, они дерутся каждый раз как в последний, используя любые подручные средства, любую возможность взять верх над противником. Из-за этого корейские триллеры настолько хороши по части нагнетания. В них нет супергероев, только обычные люди, и неважно хороший ты или плохой - тебя одинаково легко ранить. А значит и за героев фильма ты будешь переживать на протяжении всего хронометража, не зная что их может поджидать…
Preparing for THE WAILING.
Jack and I both voted to turn this off, which is a pretty major viewing experience considering our watching habits can stoop pretty low.
Structurally, it reminded me a lot of a Shakespearean comedy. It's got plenty of unfortunate coincidences that drive the dramatic action between the cast. It was perfectly enjoyable but it's not something that will stay with you afterward. The cinematography, sound, and acting is competent but safe. I'd hate to say boring because it's not, but it's pretty plain.
Kim Yoon Seok ++++
Yoo Jung mírate ahora con Bogumie!!!!
Damn! This was unpredictable and tense! And of course, - I love the movie's "gritty Seoul at night"-aesthetic.
long time no see
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
It isn't really a revenge thriller.*
*It is a revenge thriller, but god dammit I wish it wasn't. It's so much better when it's a procedural comedy. It understands that the justice system doesn't work in favour of actual justice, and so until the end the story it tells isn't one of maniacal and violent revenge (I'm looking at you, I Saw The Devil) but one of an individual desperately trying to succeed where he knows the bureaucracy will fail. I rolled my eyes at Joong-ho's introduction as a misogynistic pimp, so I was relieved when this was quickly left behind. Granted, this part of his character is never actually addressed and thus remains another problematic blip on the radar,…
20 of my favorite movies from the 2000s (00-09)
Ranked in some kind of order
Because 20 is a little…
Read Notes to see episode number.
Note: some films were reviewed twice, once at a film festival and then were…