Notable Cast: Lee Byung-hun, Jo Seung-woo, Baek Yoon-sik, Lee Kyeong-yeong, Kim Hong-pa, Bae Seong-woo, Lee El, Jeong Man-sik, Kim Byeong-ok, Kim Dae-myeong
I will say after seeing this film, my 1st thought was that it was one of the best Korean films I've seen in quite some time, and I stand by that. Inside Men: The Original a.k.a The Director's Cut, is a 3 hour long gangster film with a political bite to it and it's brilliant.
There is so much that happens over the course of this 180 minute film, that there is no way to remember every single detail, and I am glad, because already (minutes after just finishing it), I am quite excited to give it another visit. I feel it is a film that one can appreciate more after repeat viewings.
I won't go much into the plot, but it's full of twists and turns and backstabs and betrayals... which is what you would expect of a film like this, and it delivers everything in spades. The acting is phenomenal, with all 3 leads hitting the heaviest that any of them have in quite sometime. I will get into everything later, but the technical prowess of the film is equally as impressive, and is filled to the brim with gorgeous shots.
As I say that, the villain pretty much stays a cold, slimy bastard the entire time, but he is played very well by Baek Yoon-sik, who I think knocks it out of the park. He is so easy to hate, but he never once feels over-the-top and is evil is subtle but potent. Was ready for him to be offed right from the beginning. Bravo Mr. Baek, bravo!
Another thing worth mentioning is that earlier on, the film has quite a bit off dark humor in it, and I quite enjoyed it. It also doesn't mind winking at the audience, but never to the point where it takes you out of the experience. A great example for me, which doesn't spoil anything at all really, would be when Lee's character walks up to a fridge, grabs a beer from it, immediately we cut to an extreme almost commercial like close-up of him drinking from the can, and he turns to the camera, and then my annoyance is quickly discarded as he obnoxiously belches before slamming the can down and carrying on with his dialogue. It's like "Here's your product placement!!! *middle finger*". There are plenty of little moments like that scattered about, that I truly appreciated.
|The Ugly? |
No, yeah, he's definitely confirmed!
Lastly, I want to mention that there is a lot going on in this movie that speaks and rings true to the politics and corruption within Korean society. I cannot speak firsthand on the subject, naturally, but there were so many lines said throughout that had me thinking about the harsh realities that some of the people face over there. I've spoken with some of my friends, and they said they couldn't believe how truthful the film was, going as far as to use actual companies as the backdrop for the film. I think things like that are impressive and should be noted.
|I think whoever Lee's hairdresser was on this film|
should have won some kind of award. You could totally
play a drinking game on every time his hair is drastically different.
Written by Josh Parmer