The City of Violence

Movies, Action and adventure
3 out of 5 stars
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This Korean revenge thriller’s a familiar story (notably from ‘Get Carter’), but if you’re up for some high-speed head-kicking the action choreography is eye-popping. City cop Jeong Du-hong (also the fight arranger) returns to his provincial home town for a high-school pal’s funeral before investigating the killing with his hot-head local buddy (director Ryoo). They uncover a trail of corruption typifying the burgeoning South Korean economy, all of it leading to an impressive climactic biff-off with hordes of evil henchmen.

No prizes for originality, then, but Ryoo knows his carnage, with one early set-piece staging a compact version of Walter Hill’s ‘The Warriors’ (down to baseball players in two-tone make-up) and the finale showcasing Jeong’s imposing combination of sinew and agility – there’s little wire-work or CGI here. Roly-poly comic Lee Beom-su’s terrific performance as the oleaginous villain is another plus, setting the seal on a no-nonsense action flick delivered with skill and conviction.

By: Trevor Johnston

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Release details

Cast and crew

Director: Ryoo Seung-Wan
Cast: Seung-beom Ryu
Jung Doo-hong
Lee Beom-su
Kim Seo-hyeong
Ahn Kil-Gang