Saturday, December 6, 2008

Eye for an Eye (Kwak Kyung-Taek, Ahn Kwon Tae, 2008)

Han Suk-Kyu and Cha Seung-Won as cop and robber in Eye for an Eye (2008).

I watched another Korean film today, Eye for an Eye, directed by Kwak Kyung-Taek and Ahn Kwon-Tae. Why they replaced Ahn with Kwak after finishing half the film I don't know, maybe it was just co-directed, but parts of the film are confusing and hard to follow. Maybe Ahn was having trouble getting it straight. It's basically a heist film with Cha playing the mastermind behind it and Han playing the cop trying to catch him and at the same time it has a story about Han's detective trying to catch a powerful business man who is also a crime boss, in style with Public Enemy (2002). Knowing more about the plot beforehand would spoil the film, so I'll leave it at that.

I wouldn't call the film a masterpiece, but it is a great piece of entertainment, mostly thanks to Han Suk-Kyu and Cha Seung-Won in the lead roles. Han seems to be moving away from the regular lead roles, like in Christmas in August (Hur Jin-Ho, 1998), Shiri (Kang Je-Gyu, 1999) and Tell Me Something (Chang Yoon-Hyun, 1999), that I'm used to seeing him in and portrays a slightly more bizarre character here.

With Eye for an Eye my interest in Korean cinema keeps on growing after having been put to rest a couple of years ago. It may not be the greatest film ever made in Korea but it's up there with the better of their crime films.


Apparently, Eye for an Eye was a co-writing and co-directorial effort between Kwak Kyung-Taek and Ahn Kwon-Tae. Ahn, the director of My Brother (2004), was not replaced by the more experienced Kwak whose earlier films include Friend (2001), Champion (2002), Mutt Boy (2003) and Typhoon (2005).


Anonymous said...

this one is a bit interesting. i'm of 2 minds basically: as a fan of these actors it's disappointing a better film wasn't made (they both had much better genre thrillers in the past: Big Swindle, Blood Rain, Scarlet Letter). but considering the bad financing/production troubles (a new director changed story to finish on budget/time), and the overall junk food sausage factory that's the prod company Taewon, i guess we got decent results.


Anonymous said...

scratch that: Cha seung-won wasn't in Big Swindle, but The Big Scene w/ shin ha-kyun.

Executive Koala said...

I really liked it, it reminded me of films like Wild Card and Public Enemy and the few Korean action/thrillers I thought was good. I ususally like Cha Seung-Won the best in comedies but he was good here too.