The Coast Guard

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Kim on politics turns out to be no less embarrassing than Kim on sex; this clodhopping melodrama about residues from the Korean War seems likely to end his brilliant career as a source of easy controversy on the festival circuit. Private Kang Han-Cheol (Jang, defeated by the role's absurdities) serves with a platoon of the coast guard, keeping ceaseless watch for North Korean spies. Flaky from the get-go, he loses it completely after shooting a local who was making out with his girlfriend on the beach at night. He's sent on leave and eventually discharged but haunts the platoon like a zombie, provoking more violence, mayhem and collective madness. (The girl, of course, also goes crazy and becomes the platoon whore.) As a reflection of Korea's political/militarist impasse, this is at best naive and immature; as drama, it just doesn't play. Incidentally, Taiwan indie Huang Ming-Chuan long ago brought off the exact film Kim was aiming for: Bodo (1993).

Release details

Duration: 95 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Kim Ki-Duk
Screenwriter: Kim Ki-Duk
Cast: Jang Dong-Kun
Park Ji-Ah
Kim Jeong-Hak
Yu Hae-Jin
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