Tuesday, August 4, 2015

끝까지 간다 (A Hard Day) (2014)

Director: Seong-hoon Kim
Writers:  Seong-hoon Kim, Kim Seong-hun
Cast:       Sun-kyun Lee, Man-shik Jeong, Jin-woong Jo
Language: Korean

Detective Go Geon-soo is having a hard day, and the following events happen to him in less than 24 hours: he receives a divorce notice from his wife. His mother passes away. He and his coworkers are being investigated by Internal Affairs police inspectors over alleged embezzlement. Then on his way to his mother's funeral, he drives recklessly and commits a fatal hit and run. He tries to cover up the accident by hiding the man's corpse in his deceased mother's coffin. But someone has been watching this all along and he starts getting blackmail calls from this guy soon enough. 

The concept of a detective having a terribly bad day is explored in the first forty minutes of the film and culminates with the burial at cemetery. This portion of the film is a laugh riot and amazingly great and it reminded me of Michael Douglas starring 'Falling Down', which had gone a totally dark way towards the end.. What follows after the initial comedy portion of the film, when it takes a mystery thriller mode, is comparatively average. Still the great cinematography, which included a kick-ass overhead shot of a chase sequence, and plenty of twists and turns make even that portion of the film an enjoyable watch nevertheless. There were some lazy expositions and connecting-the-dots falshbacks which were not at all needed. Also there are just too many happy coincidences like the detective spotting his caller outside the police headquarters. 

Overall it is a good watch with some solid performances. It was selected to compete in the Director's fortnight section of the Cannes 2014. It was a big box office success, collecting close to $24 million, even though it had a tepid opening in Korea. It can best described as a fun action film in the mould of films like 'Lethal Weapon'. I was expecting 'New World' level of amazeballs and it didn't even come close after the enormously promising first half hour, but that shouldn't be a problem for people who enjoy good action thrillers.

Rating: 3/5