Korean Movie Review – The Suspect (용의자)

When “The Suspect” (2013) opens, we learn of a recent power handover in North Korea where any agents not fully trusted by the new regime are cast aside. Dong-cheol (Gong Yoo) is one such unlucky candidate — attacked and left to die while his family is killed. But the regime underestimates Dong-cheol’s abilities, and he manages to survive and make his way to the South. Once there, he finds a day job working as a chauffeur for Chairman Park, a high-ranking official with links to North Korea. At night, however, Dong-cheol spends his time hunting down the man responsible for murdering his family.

After the chairman is killed by Northern spies over nothing more than a pair of glasses, Dong-cheol is forced to flee when the National Intelligence Service frames him for the crime. He is all alone, except for documentarian Choi Gyeong-hee (Yoo Da-in), who is the only person who believes he is innocent. The NIS brings in the tenacious Min Sae-hoon (Park Hee-soon), an agent with whom Dong-cheol shares a complicated past, to lead the case.

Whereas “The Berlin File” (2012) mixed frenetic action with interesting character development, particularly in the complicated love story between its two main characters, “The Suspect” sticks with straight action and maintains a fast pace for the entire film — a welcome change. While the editing and effects in the movie’s climactic scenes aren’t groundbreaking, they’re good enough to keep you more than entertained.

The movie reminds me of one thing I’ve noticed about the South’s portrayal of North Koreans: They all appear to be superhuman badassses. Forget being scrawny and malnourished; these guys all know several martial arts and can handle a multitude of weapons. If these depictions are in any way based on reality, I feel for the country should the North actually decide to attack!

With an interesting twist on the revenge movie and a strong performance from lead actor Gong Yoo, “The Suspect” is a welcome addition from director Won Shin-yeon.

Categories: Reviews


Subscribe to our RSS feed and social profiles to receive updates.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: