July 07, 2013

New World (2013)

New World (2013)
Directed by: Park Hoon-jung
Country: South Korea

Review: Park Hoon-jung’s directorial sophomore causes mild entertainment throughout its occasional violent scenes, snitches, betrayals, bribes, and obscure collaborations between police and members of the most fearful organized crime organization in Korea called Goldmoon. Taking advantage of Goldmoon's big boss's death, police chief Kang (Choi Min-sik) looks forward to dismantle this syndicate from inside and launches a strategic operation named ‘New World’. For that task, he will count with Ja-sung (Lee Jeong-jae), an undercover police who has been infiltrated in Goldmoon eight years ago. The problem that arises, beyond two dangerous candidates who are fighting to occupy the position of chairman in the company, is that Ja-sung seems to wobble after so many years living like an influential gangster. The story, compellingly constructed and shot with rigor by Hoon-jung (screenwriter of “I Saw The Devil”), wasn’t so fresh as required for this genre. He adopted a more conservative attitude rather than innovative, and the energy that was canalized for several scenes was not always successful. The physical fighting scenes are a good example, seeming more unnatural dances of stretched arms and legs, than real fights. Despite these setbacks, “New World” was able to keep me aware of its games and twists. With solid performances and an appealing cinematography, it is a perfectly watchable crime thriller that still presents a few valuable ingredients.

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