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Here we have a movie similar to Tony Scott's "Man on Fire" with its concept and story, with a bit of Jason Bourne thrown into it as well, with as an extra tipping on top of it the fact that it's Korean. Seriously, by saying this I'm sure of it that that there are dozens of people already wanting to rush out and find this movie. And yes you should, since it's a good movie in its sort, though it's definitely not without its flaws and weaknesses.

The way I look at these South Korean genre movies; They are like the best combination thinkable of Japanese, Chinese and Hong Kong flicks. They have the style and class of Japanse production and the more over-the-top and crazy elements as some violence filled Chinese and Hong Kong action flicks. But having said that; this movie is not as crazy and over-the-top as you might expect. It's actually one that tries to be more realistic with its story and approach, which makes it a bit all the more a shame that the movie looses some of its credibility and power when it's being over-sentimental with its drama.

No, the movie is definitely not without its flaws and weaknesses and I would had actually preferred it as well if the movie was even more raw and straight-forward with its story and violence. You could tell that this movie was also more or less inspired by John Woo's style (I'm talking about his early Hong Kong movies) as well but not enough really. I'm convinced of it that if this movie indeed got done by John Woo himself, it would had been a better- as well as a far more awesome one.

But obviously it doesn't hurt the movie that badly, since it's still a more than great watch. Especially when you look at this movie in its context and within its genre, it's definitely one of the better ones of recent years. It has a great, simplistic, revenge type of plot line, in which you care about the main character and his motivations, despite him not being necessarily a good guy himself. It also means that the movie can afford to have plenty of action and violence in it and let it's main character do some pretty brutal stuff to the real villains of the movie.

It overall is a well made film, especially when considering that this was only Jeong-beom Lee's second movie as a director, despite it not being a perfect movie though. Far from it really but you sort of tend to forgive the movie for all of its weaknesses, since it's a movie that still does so much right and above all things; succeeds to entertain, with its action. And there is plenty of well shot action to enjoy in this, that keeps the movie fast going at all times as well. It besides features some good solid characters in it, that make the movie work out even better.

Definitely recommendable, especially when you're into these modern Korean, action type, of flicks.

8/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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