Gangster High

Gangster High (2006)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 307 users
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Sang-ho is an ordinary high school student. His dream is to enter the military academy under the influence of his father who is an army colonel. As entering high school, he became friends with Jae-gu, Chang-bae, Kyung-chul, Hong-kyu and Sang-sik. They grouped a soccer team called `Tiger`, building up friendship by playing soccer. Sang-ho and his friends ran into group of fight with seniors, these incidents made everybody in school to misunderstand read morethem as they were serious group of gangster. When Sang-ho gets becomes close with a girl whose boyfriend is a boss of another school`s gangster group, things are going worse.
Although Gangster High deals with high school gangs, its depiction of violence is no less fierce than any Jopokyeonghwa, Korean gangster films. However, the film never romanticizes violence. Sang-ho is not romantic at all, and he turns into a cruel fighter when violent actions are unavoidable. As in his previous film A Whispering Corridor, a horror film of fearful, nightmarish girlhood, director Park depicts reckless teenagers living in the world without compassion through cruel, cold eyes.

  • Native title:

    폭력써클
  • Also Known as:

    Pongryeoksseokeul

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2 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Jul 25, 2015
  • Overall 8.0
  • Story 8.5
  • Acting/Cast 8.5
  • Music 8.0
  • Rewatch Value 6.0
I'll quote James Mudge from Beyond Hollywood. All things deep and meaningful aside, the film is packed with brutality, most of which takes the form of fist fights and baseball bat beatings. The final scenes are exceptionally bloody, and the film degenerates into savagery in what amounts to one of the most successful and disturbing cinematic condemnations of violence in recent years. The promise of mayhem is constantly lurking throughout the running read more time, and since Park never shies away from showing its consequences, the film has an increasingly tense air as things threaten to fly out of control.&

I don't know if I would go that far, but with as many bloody gory movies as I watch it's fair to say I'm pretty immune. That said, it's still a really well done movie, with an exceptional cast, excellent acting, a strong chemistry between the actors, and a lot of familiar faces looking much younger. The fight scenes are very realistic, meticulously choreographed, and certainly brutal and bloody. The flow of the story is slow for more than half the movie, as so many Korean films are in the beginning, and then builds quickly in the final quarter to a devastating and bleak ending. No surprises as the first scene tells us exactly what that ending is going to be. I am never sure why directors use that methodology, especially in a film like this. The entire tenor of the film leads the audience to expect the inevitable worst at the end. So, for me, a huge chunk of what would build even more suspense and worry about how each of these young men are going to end up is completely over when that ending is told to me in the first 5 minutes of the film! It's not a method I appreciate, especially in a movie that spends it's entire length telegraphing it's message of wrong choices and machismo gone wild. I would have been even more devastated and upset at the end not knowing that information from the beginning. Consequently, I spent the entire movie just waiting on the inevitable and thanking God my son never had friends nor enemies like these nor will end up with a wasted and lost life like them.

As usual, after movies like this I have many questions about why these young men were this way, what forces shaped them that lead them to the kind of escalating violence of their lives, who actually survived, what became of them. I wish that the film had spent a bit more of its beginning giving some of that background which would have personally tied us to them more intimately. Even so, by the time the climax comes, there is still a subtle attachment to them, and in particular to Sang Ho and Jae Gu, that has been built, almost unawares, so I can't say the film loses a lot in not developing that information. It's just something that I personally like. I always wish, in movies like this, when the characters are so young, that there were a sequel, or an extra half hour, to see what happened to them 10, 20, 30 years down the road. If there is anything that will keep me thinking about this film, or a singular thing about this film that I will most remember, it's that.
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Comments (7)

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  • Reply
    Dia Dec 29, 2016

    that bitch messed up everything!

  • Reply
    Aycan Oct 22, 2016

    Oh damn, It's so Hot this Movie. I love Action,Crime and School. In the End I cry... I like Jung Kyung Ho... and the Policeofficer from the Drama "Signal" plays Hong Gyu. Was he fat?
    Really good Movie.

  • Reply
    Palani Jun 11, 2016

    This movie is a PUNCH!
    'Friendship' - how it can change peoples life. told in a very traditional way of Korean blood shed scenes. Not recommended for weak hearted.
    Yes for those who like BLOODY ACTIONs.

  • Reply
    NewKDramaAddict Feb 13, 2015

    Damn, even I had to close my eyes watching that ending!! No fans of Jung Kyung Ho or Lee Tae Sung, you might want to skip this! Definitely not for everyone!

  • Reply
    kit1186 Dec 12, 2014

    Man this film was brutal towards the end.
    It reminded me of a Quentin Tarantino film
    If you plan to watch this I hope you have a strong stomach

  • Reply
    Marsha_ Mar 13, 2012

    Love this film..
    who care about the violence and lost because in the midst of it all there was love and a strong friendship.
    i'm happy i stubbled up on it :D

  • Reply
    foaxa Jan 1, 2012 - edited

    This movie has meanings..its not just about fightings and gangsta wannbe stuff, smoke or drink. Love the ending.

    • Reply
      AutomnConcerto Nov 1, 2013
      Reveal Spoiler »
    • Reply
      Robyn Nov 8, 2014 - edited
      Reveal Spoiler »
    • Reply
      AutomnConcerto Nov 8, 2014

      No prob. ^^ I totally understand your point of vue. It's just that I don't like the end. And I was just so sad for Sang-Ho... His situation moved me. Anymay, it is a beautiful movie worth to watch. :)

Details

  • Country:

    South Korea
  • Type:

    Movie
  • Release Date:

    Oct 19, 2006
  • Duration:

    1 hr. 40 min.

Statistics

  • Score:

    7.3 (scored by 307 users)
  • Ranked:

    #1691
  • Popularity:

    #5528

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