When the South Koreans make a gangsta flick they make a muthaf*c%@n gangsta flick. The films are usually simple in their straight-forward violence. No matter how base or elevated the cinematography they stick with the recipe that works and NEW WORLD starring Lee Jung-jae (“The Housemaid”) , Choi Min-sik (“Oldboy”) and Jung-min Hwang (“Shiri”) this film written and directed by Park Hoon-jeong-I (박훈정) in all its stylish glory is nothing different.
We have an undercover cop Ja-Sung (Jung-jae) that’s buried deep deep deep undercover Donnie Brasco style. He has gained the trust of his dark-world family to become the right-hand man of Chung (Hwang). Their crime family is one of the largest ruling families and no they are not to be trifled with. Well, when the godfather (ahem) dies of course a succession battle begins and poor Ja-Sung is instructed by his police chief Kang Hyung-Chu (Min-sik) to stick it out and ride the for-sure-to-be-bloody wave of kick-assedness that’s about to ensue. Damn the po-po.
This is not a cerebral gangster film. You will not see a plot within a twist of a plot. Not many secret inner workings are revealed…maybe in the sequel? And the performances while reliable are not earth-shattering. I realize that this review may sound negative but it’s not. I enjoyed myself. I would have liked the characters to be fleshed out a bit more but perhaps my desire for more meat defeats the purpose of what Park Hoon-jeong was trying to accomplish with this film. I won’t know until we speak with him. It may not be the cerebral gangster drama of my dreams but it is pretty to look at and fun to watch.
Film Review By: Mut “sometimes I write slow, sometimes I write quick” Asheru
|Director: Park Hoon-Jung 신세계|
|Cast: Lee Jeong-jae, Choi Min-sik, Hwang Jeong-min, Park Seong-woong, Song Ji-hyo, Jeong Yeong-gi|
|Screenwriters: Park Hoon-Jung 신세계|
|Producers: Kim Woo-Taek, Park Min-Jung, Han Jae-Duk, Kim Hyun-Woo|
|Cinematographer: Chung Chung-Hoon|
|Production / Distribution companies: Next Entertainment World|