Starring: Joo Jin-Mo as Kim Hyuk, Song Seung-Heon as Lee Young-Choon, Kim Kang-Woo as Kim Chul, and Jo Han-Seon as Jung Tae-Min
Rating: R for violence
Running Time: 124 min
Twinkies: 3 1/2
Synopsis: Kim Hyuk lives the life of a high ranking mobster in the port city of Busan. His closet friend is fellow mobster Lee Young-Choon. Kim Hyuk continues to be haunted by the memory of leaving behind his younger brother Kim Chul and mother when they fled North Korea. As a result, their mother was beaten to death and Kim Chul remained imprisoned by the North Korean authorities.
Kim Hyuk gets involved with a meeting with Thai gangsters with fellow mobster, Jung Tae-Min. The meeting turns out to be a set-up, planned by Jung Tae-Min. Kim Hyuk escapes but later is imprisoned by the Thai police. Good friend Lee Young-Choon goes and exact revenge against the Thai gang at their holdout in Pusan, killing everyone.
After a 3 years sentence, Kim Hyuk returns to Busan and finds his close friend Lee Young-Choon washing cars now and the man who betrayed then, Jung Tae-Min, has climbed up the mob ranks. Kim Hyuk’s younger brother Kim Chul now works for the Busan Police Department and is working to bring the gang down.
Musings: Handsome is as Handsome does.. Okay, back to the movie. Besides all of the extremely handsome leading men, this was a pretty decent movie. As a remake of the 1986 John Woo’s A Better Tomorrow, starring Chow Yun Fat, I admit to spending a lot of time comparing the two. At times, there were slow moments as Kim Hyuk tried to return to a normal life but of course, that was short lived once his little brother was threatened.
It was pretty sad to watch as Kim Hyuk tried desperately to return to a relationship with his brother who stubbornly refused because of the death of their mother. It was also sad to see a once prosperous and well dress Lee Young-Choon being reduced to a handicapped man, working for Wons on the street washing cars, no longer the same man he used to be.
This movie was my introduction to both Jo Jin-Mo and Kim Kang-Woo. I’ve since seen them in other roles but the role of Kim Hyuk and Kim Chul, respectively, was definitely made for them and they acted well. Song Seung-Heon shocked me! I never would have expected that he could carry a gangster role, he has one of the faces that; okay, he is an extremely handsome man and I was really surprised by his portrayal of Lee Young-Choon. I’ve never liked him better than in this movie! He needs to do more of these type of roles, please?!!
Trailer is available on Youtube Website only. The movie is available on several sites. Ask me if your interested. Also available on Netflix if you are a subscriber.
Next month, in honor of my favorite actress, Ha Ji Won, I am reviewing nothing but her movies! Look forward to it!
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