Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A Company Man

The other day I finally got around to watching the Korean film A Company Man, or 회사원 (that's Hwae-sa-won). What did I think?

The film is pretty short by Korean standards, running around only 90 minutes. There are numerous plot holes, impossible situations, and lots of melodrama. That being said, the film also has a number of redeeming qualities that in my opinion merit a viewing. The action is gritty, realistic, well edited, and well directed, which I imagine is really the point of the film. There are also a few memorable scenes and some creative satire of Korean corporate culture, which is pretty funny if you have some background knowledge of it. But yes, the action really is the highlight of this film.

Here's Hyeong-do's manager -- he's a huge dick. One of the reasons you'll want to sit through the whole film is to see him bite it . . . and he does . . . gloriously. 
The story is one of those hit-man-with-a-heart ventures and follows the main character, the emotionless Ji Hyeong-do, as he assassinates various targets, bumps off old co-workers, gets promotions, and dates his old crush. I won't ruin the story 'cause there are actually some twists and turns, but if you've ever seen a Korean action film before you can likely call the scenes.

"So . . . about that raise." 
I originally saw the trailer for this film while I was studying in Korea and it looked really cool. I remember trying to find a theatre that played it with English subtitles (which some theatres actually do, according to the Korean tourist board). Sadly I wasn't able to find a place that was playing this particular film, so now, here in Canada, I finally got to see it. After watching it, while I wouldn't say it's a must-see, I'd definitely recommend it to any East Asian cinema action fans out there. I know there's a lot of you, myself included. I enjoyed this one overall, but if you really want to enjoy it, just don't think too much about what's happening; its just a setup for the next solid action scene anyway. I'm aware that this is a fairly short review but there's not all that much to say about this one. Solid action, some memorable scenes, thin plot -- by now you should know if you want to see this or not.

Here's the trailer if you haven't made up your mind yet!


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