[DVD REVIEWS]Corrupt cop tale slips into familiar territoryAfter a couple years of getting started, the Korean DVD industry is really picking up steam. Many of this year's top movies are already available for your viewing pleasure.
(Public Enemy, 2002)
Directed by Kang Woo-seok. Starring Seol Gyeong-gu and Lee Sung-jae.
Violence, a snappy sound track, a little pseudo-philosophy and yet more violence, and you've got yourself the recipe for a successful Korean cop film. At least, that seems the approach of Kang Woo-seok's "Public Enemy."
The story features a corrupt detective, Kang Cheol-jung (Seol), who seems to spend most of his time extorting drugs and money out of criminals rather than bringing them to justice.
But then one rainy night on a stakeout, he encounters Cho Gyu-hwan (Lee), an "evil, yuppie, stockbroker killer" out for a walk after heartlessly slaughtering his parents.
Kang gets enraged when Cho causes him to slip in the rain and tumble onto excrement -- the best metaphor of the movie, but one that goes unexplored. From there, Kang becomes obsessed with bringing Cho to justice.
In the end, Kang becomes convinced that he must fight for the public good, but his basic, evil methods go unchanged.
As with so many DVDs these days, this is a two-disk package, although most of the extras offered are fairly pedestrian -- movie trailers, dull "documentaries" and the like. The biographies of the director and crew are the most ridiculous section, where the director Kang is called "the Steven Spielberg of Korea" is typical of the hyperbole.
by Mark Russell