A real box-office success is this action thriller by South Korean director Hong Won-chan, who also wrote the scripts for “The Yellow Sea” and “The Chaser,” Classic of South Korean Modern Cinema – Ranked! MoreHwang Jung-min is In-nam, a former policeman turned paid murderer who just whacked a yakuza in Tokyo, and now Ray (Lee Jung-jae), the fanatically violent blood brother of the dead man, is out for vengeance. In-nam discovers, to make matters worse, that his former girlfriend was murdered in Bangkok after an effort to contact their nine-year-old daughter’s kidnappers failed – and that the child is still alive, in the hands of the kidnappers.
So In-nam travels to Thailand to save the little girl, with the terrified and bloodthirsty Ray hot on his heels, and Yui (Park Jung-min) is the only person in Bangkok who can help him; Yui is a transgender woman who, while not a mobster, manages to ram a van with her pickup truck and save the life of In-nam. They don’t, though. In addition to some very crisp hand-to-hand battle scenes, there are some impressively exciting shootouts in the streets and a Bourne-level rooftop chase. A very convincing and impassive action hero, Hwang, whose face is almost always coated in beads of sweat, and Lee is scary and over-the-top.
In the coming years, may he be a Bond villain? Released on digital platforms on January 4, the 007 franchise could certainly do a lot worse.