“Squid Game” Emmy winner Lee Jung-jae stars in addition to directs this week’s explosive blockbuster “Hunt,” a film well-nigh double too triple crosses inward a spy game betwixt North in addition to Republic of Korea inwards the 1980s. About halfway through Lee’sec cinema, I realized I had completely lost the thread of who was a good guy as well as who was a bad guy, simply I think that’s intentional. This celluloid is virtually men inward good-tailored suits who must constantly make up one’s mind if the armed fellow side by side to them is on their side or mayhap fighting for the enemy. While some of the action sequences are well-staged, peculiarly the last explosive one, the convoluted screenplay by Jo Seung-Hee collapses under the weight of and so much deception. “Hunt” has some excellent bang-bang escapism, only it’sec ultimately besides shallow to recommend.
Lee plays Park Pyong-ho, a South Korean officer who is seen foiling an assassination endeavour inwards the explosive opening scene, but his young man officer Kim Jung-do (Jung Woo-sung) shoots the suspect, pregnant they tin can’t get to the bottom of the plot. Was this intentional? Is he hiding something the gunman power hold revealed? “Hunt” sets upwards early on that there’s a North Korean mole in the performance too wants us to continue guessing if it’second Pyong-ho or Jung-practise behind the espionage every bit the ii men amongst a shared fierce past times also go increasingly suspicious of i another.
That’sec nearly it, but it leads to dozens of sequences of shifting loyalties, usually intercut amongst tearing activity. Accusations—explosions—accusations—gunfire—accusations … y’all acquire the idea. It all gets a piddling exhausting, and Lee’s non-halt hyperactive cutting as well as moving camera don’t assist. He shoots many of the dialogue-driven scenes with the same frantic feeling equally the action. This is the twisting narrative of something like “Infernal Affairs” (which was remade as “The Departed”) only without the craft too ten times the chaos. It becomes an increasingly hard celluloid to care nigh narratively, and Lee’second admittedly ambitious eye for activeness doesn’t compensate.
There are reasons to promise Lee’sec sophomore effort might live stronger. He’s clearly a strong manager of performers, equally Jung is specially goodness hither—I institute his shifting loyalty in addition to presence more interesting than Lee’sec. And, again, when bullets start to wing, the cinema sometimes attains a gritty activity nihilism like the films from the era inward which it takes place. There’s a harsh realism to some of the activity scenes as bodies fly, in addition to sets acquire ripped apart past bullets. It’second non that modern, overly stylized action aesthetic that was spawned by then many “John Wick” imitators as much every bit something that feels like it’second dangerously unfolding in front of yous.
The problem is that it’sec impossible to fifty-fifty go along runway of who’s getting shot. When all the bodies have got fallen, at that place are a couple of memorable scenes inward “Hunt”—a sequence amongst a potential defector is expertly assembled, together with the final major ane is a beauty—merely you lot’ll have got problem remembering much of the plot. Of course of study, that’sec presuming you lot could follow it inwards the offset home.