Dir: Jacky Kang
Starring: Han Suk-kyu, Kim Yoon-jin, Song Kang-ho, Choi Min-shik

Riding in from Korea on a tidal wave of hype, this took just 22 days in release to become their biggest home-grown movie and went on to become the #1 all-time. Ironically, this was achieved by making a low-budget Jerry Bruckheimer film - lots of running around, explosions and gunfire - though, fortunately, it does retain just enough sense of location to prevent it being 100% a lame Hollywood wannabe. Han and Song are government agents, trying to track down a North Korean agent who has stolen a revolutionary new explosive and is going to use it to start a war. Nothing new there, or in the "leaked information" subplot - it's the stuff round the edges which is fascinating, such as the brutal North Korean training and, conversely, the surprisingly sympathetic treatment given to the North's viewpoint. Less well-handled is the set-up, with Kim as Han's fish-shop owning fiancee, which is belaboured into the ground as if this kind of thing was somehow novel. Once it gets past this, Kang handles the action effectively, with the twists being satisfactorily concealed for the most part. It's also the most important goldfish movie since A Fish Called Wanda. And all 'carp'-ing aside, there's no need to be 'koi' about that...


No more fish jokes, please
See also... [Index] [Next] [Previous] [TC Home Page]