Rookie Detective Ha Yoon Ju becomes the newest member of a unit within the Korean Police Forces Special Crime Department that specializes in surveillance activities on high profile criminals. She teams up with Chief Detective Hwang Sang Jun, the veteran leader of the unit, and tries to track down James who is the cold-hearted leader of an armed criminal organization.
Cast & Credits
They story is not anything new, but I loved the way the executed this movie, and it really stands out. You get sucked in the first seconds you watch this movie. There is NEVER a dull moment! So in the 2 hours you'll be guessing, sitting on the tip of your chair and you might encourage some characters.
The acting was amazing, the fact that they could suck me in from the first till the last seconds is very good! I thought everyone precisely fitted their character.
The music helps a lot to build up some tension, and I recommend this movie to anyone who likes action, a good story, suspense and tension!
For this solid work is responsible pair of directors, debuting Kim Byung-Seo and more experienced Choi Ui-Seok (he also wrote script for the movie and previously directed two movies, Make it Big (2002) and The World of Silence (2006)). Starring beautiful Han Hyo-Joo (Always (2011), Masquerade (2012), Love 911 (2012)), accompanied by an experienced Sol Kyung-Gu (Public Enemy (2002), Silmido (2003), Tidal Wave (2009), Troubleshooter (2010), The Tower (2012)), while their opponent is portrayed by Jang Woo-Sung (Musa the Warrior (2001), Mutt Boy (2003), A Moment to Remember (2004), The Good, The Bad, The Weird (2008)) in on of his few roles as an antagonist. The entire cast has done an excellent job and characters portrayed by them seemed very real, so we can fully enjoy how well they are written out. With all this movie was seen by 5.5 million viewers, which translated into almost 40 billion profit won (~$37 million).
The story is not new or revealing, but it is a good and fresh combination of familiar patterns, put togheter into a brilliant whole. A young, slightly neurotic cop Ha Yoon-Joo (Han Hyo-Joo) has a rare 3D photographic memory. To use her talent in the best way, she is trying to get into an elite unit in charge of surveillance and supervision, led by Hwang (Sol Kyung-Gu), and supervises by the chief Lee (Kyung Jin). Hwang after a short test, brings her in to his team and gives her the nickname "Flowery Sow". Each member of the team has a nickname (Snake, Squirrel, Monkey, etc.) and each of them is represented on map of current operation, by custom chess piece in shape of their nickname. Ha Yoon-Joo thanks to her intelligence, ambition and enthusiasm, quickly gains the trust of the whole team. Unfortunately, they will face with the villain other than any they so far had to deal with. James (Jang Woo-Sung), is planning attacks with precision and accuracy of a Swiss watch, and everything is done under nos of Hwangs team. Thanks to the excellent planning and supervision of the entire operation from the roofs of skyscrapers all his operations are performed without any problems and without leaving virtually no trace.
Right from the start you can see that we are dealing with an outstanding thriller that have its calmer moments, but they are only helping to build the tension before another portion of the action. A nice surprise is the excellent use of Seoul and its lack of features typical for a big city (no characteristic skyline). Choi and Kim in an interesting way exploited these flaws to create a maze. The action seamlessly moves from the stairways to the streets, subway tunnels and winding streets of markets. But the real genius of the movie reveals itself not in what it does (and everything it does excellently), but in what it does not do. There are no, typical "hard" guys from opposite camps, no heavy (homoerotic) exchanging of glances, nor melodramatic inserts trying to move and shrug viewer.
Yoon-Joo, at some point, is going through a kind of break and floods in tears, but it is rather because of her impotence to use her talent to catch James, than being a "weak" woman. Han Hyo-Joo very convincingly presents a sympathetic cop, along with her ??annoying tics and flaws, who in fact is defined by her skill and not a pretty face or character. In turn, Sol Kyung-Gu somewhat toned down his character, so that Han Hyo-Joo and supporting cast could shine more. Detective Hwang is not simply eccentric, he is a complex person who manipulates the relationships and emotions of others. However, the biggest surprise is the excellently created James. Jang Woo-Sung in recent years stuck in the role of suffering romatic. In Cold Eyes he is finally able to show that he is better than that. Portrayed by him James, is calm and methodical, and his only pleasure is seeing how his elaborately constructed plan is executed. Hwang at some point defines him as "omniscient author" which perfectly describes his character. However, despite all this reserve and distance, James is still a hard and ruthless criminal who will not leave any loos ends, and his favored weapon is a fountain pen.
It is a little sad that such an excellent thriller, is only a remake, not the original work. It is another sign of the imminent stagnation of Korean thrillers, and if directors won't risk and try to experiment with new approaches, we are doomed to see identical thrillers using the same, old ideas.
Despite all the flaws, this is a great thriller that should appeal to any fan of the genre. Finally there is main female character, which is independent and strong, which should appeal to ladies. I hope that my prophecy will not come true in the future we will get more thrillers at level of Cold Eyes (but I would like them to be the original Korean creations).