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An undercover cop infiltrates South Korea’s largest crime organization and spends eight years rising in the ranks. When the head of the organization is killed, he becomes torn between his loyalties.
(Source: tvN Asia)
Cast & Credits
This review may contain spoilersWhat made me watch The New World?
1. Choi Min Sik (one of the best ajjeoshi actor in movie industry)
2. Read somewhere that this was inspired by the movie Infernal Affairs (Hongkong film) and The Godfather(Hollywood Film)
3. It gross big in korean cinema
When you saw the both movie i mentioned, you will get the idea on what to expect on the movie even though i think The New World isn't on par with those movies, it still has its own style that will make you wow on some parts and deliver some amazingness in your face =)
The movie isn't really confusing and it was easy to follow but needs some patience to understand whats going on and there's a twist here and there and it was solid with a tight plot.
Strong perfomance, no weak acting, nice build up with payoff and some brutalness but nothing to be afraid of.
Brilliant gangster movie .. Horray!! ^^
thanks for reading my quick short review \o/
note: (subject to edit for elaboration)
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The movie was seen by over 4.5 million viewers which resulted in a profit of nearly 35 billion won (~$33 million). In addition to an excellent scenario, the advantage of the movie is brilliant music composed by Jo Yeong-Wook, and is complemented by an excellent cast. In the main roles we see Lee Jung-Jae, Choi Min-Sik and Hwang Jung-Min, next to them are perfectly selected supporting actors (for example Park Sung-Woong, Song Ji-Hyo, Choi Il-Hwa and Kim Byung-Ok).
Lee Ja-Sung (Lee Jung-Jae) is a police officer who for 8 years works undercover as a gangster in Goldmoon group, the largest mafia syndicate in Korea. Over the years, he was promoted to the position of the right hand of Chung Jung (Hwang Jung-Min), who, in turn, is the number 3 in Goldmoon. After the sudden death of chairman Seok Dong-Chool (Lee Kyoung-Young), power struggle starts in the group. The main candidates are Jung Chung and number 4, Lee Joong-Goo (Park Sung-Woong), while Jang Sook-Ki (Choi Il-Hwa) who is number two, despite his high position, is excluded from combat, because he lacks the strength (his position is only symbolic). The police is trying to use all this confusion to subjugate the entire Goldmoon group. Lee Ja-Sungs handler, Captain Kang Hyung-Chul (Choi Min-Sik), decides to keep him longer as undercover cop, in order to be able to significantly influence the outcome of the power struggle. But Lee, after 8 years of service, with a baby on the way is not willing to cooperate, and tries by all means to withdraw from the entire project.
At first glance, this is a new incarnation of the working undercover cop with wobbling loyalty and sense of justice theme, known from Infernal Affairs (2002), but in fact the movie of Park Hoon-Jung has more in common with the saga The Godfather (1972). All of the focus is put rather on the structure of the organizations (the police and the mafia) and the struggle for power, rather than personal dilemmas of heroes. The director said that the movie is about "Gangsters playing politics" and this is probably the best way to describe this movie. The vast majority of gangster movie from Korea, has a lot of melodrama in it, because the viewer is encouraged to identify with the hero who becomes a victim of circumstances beyond his control. Park admittedly not escaped completely from this manner, because viewer is still encouraged to feel sympathy for Lee Ja-Sung, who loses control of his life and is at the mercy of the police and the mafia. But still the director focuses on this aspect, to a lesser extent than most of his colleagues, and instead, bearing the signs of genius, shows the structure and the mechanisms that controls the various factions.
In the first half of the movie, Park serves us a strong start and then begin to introduce the main characters, then he uses the long scenes filled with dialogue, to prepares the viewer for full-voltage second half. After a fairly predictable start and preparing the ground, Park starts to show his genius. All of the pieces, shown to us at the beginning, begin to combine into a single, perfectly thrilling, whole. We may not care much about the fate of characters, but it does not prevent us from waiting in suspense to see how the story will develop.
It is a movie with virtually no defects, which, despite the lack of originality, does not bore the viewer. This is no mean feat and I expect more creations at a similar level in the future from the Park Hoon-Jung. I have to admit that I hope for a sequel, which will allow the director to show a little more originality and passion. This is not an unfounded hope, because the original script contained a lot more than could fit in the movie, so we can in the next few years, expect the New World 2. Who knows, maybe this is a beginning of gangster saga which one day will be comparable with the The Godfather saga?
I can confidently recommend New World to any fan of good gangster cinema in noir style, but also to anyone who can appreciate a solid job inspired by other the great works. Although it have duration of more than two hours, the movie is not boring and always keeps you in suspense. It is in my eyes the beginning of a new era in Korean cinema.
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