“Hunt” (MA) *** and a half
IT took me some time to determine whether or not this South Korean film was satirising parody or parodying satire. Or a lampoon of its material (Hollywood films from no explicit period and each period for greater than a century) in reward of itself by presenting itself at its most fatuous.
Some commentators counsel that “Hunt” offers with precise historic occasions in Korea within the ’80s. That’s as could also be. What involves the display screen is a no-holds-barred send-up of extra actioner films than you possibly can shake a stick at – earlier than TV took possession of the style, Hollywood churned out scads of B-grade films.
Within the ’80s, when the army dictatorship reached its peak, KCIA Overseas Unit chief Park Pyong-ho (Lee Jung-jae who additionally wrote and directed) and Home Unit chief Kim Jung-do (Jung Woo-sung) have been tasked with uncovering a North Korean spy, often known as Donglim.
When top-secret intel that might jeopardise nationwide safety begins leaking, the 2 models are every assigned to analyze one another.
On this tense scenario the place if they can not discover the mole, they might be accused themselves, Pyong-ho and Jung-do slowly begin to uncover the reality and grow to be conscious of a plot to assassinate the South Korean president.
Now, that sounds fairly severe stuff for a film. And it’s. Final month, Lee Jung-jae re-edited “Hunt” after Cannes for screening at Toronto Worldwide Movie Pageant for its North American premiere. Which one is screening right here now, I can not inform. And it doesn’t tremendously matter. What does matter is how Lee structured it.
It runs for 131 minutes, full of firearms of many styles and sizes spraying its environments and characters with brio and never a lot else (aside from muzzle flashes).
Some characters have strains to talk, others are there merely to fall down enjoying useless. The actors are tough to establish or separate aside from by intercourse. The dialogue is weird – a personality says that one thing have to be so – so it’s so. Automobiles get wrecked as a rule – effectively, Hollywood has all the time been good at that. In direction of the top, the movie threatens to cease many occasions earlier than truly rolling closing credit written principally in Korean characters so past the comprehension of non-Korean viewers.
Did Lee Jung-jae intend his movie to be so imitative of Hollywood potboilers from a bygone period of films? Does he have a delicate sense of the ridiculous based on consciousness of his movie’s stylistic antecedents? I don’t know. But it surely’s tolerably watchable and also you may even benefit from the expertise.
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Ian Meikle, editor