but well-constructed and
enthralling action thriller The Yellow
Sea is remarkable both for its riveting
chase sequences and for being the
first Korean film to receive investment
from a major Hollywood studio...
KOREAN FILMS ARE NOTORIOUSLY GRISLY; but although that is true of The
Yellow Sea, this highly-watchable action thriller has enough punch to be
the first Korean film to attract funding from the renowned Fox International
A simple story about a debt-ridden gambler living in Yanji City in a region
that has adjoining borders with North Korea, China and Russia, who is desperate
to pay off the large amount of money he has lost at the Mah-jong tables and
who has lost touch with his wife, turns into a creditable, exhilarating and
notable action thriller.
Taxi-driver Gu-nam Kim (Jung-woo Ha) cannot pay off his gambling debts fast
enough and they are mounting up. He is desperate to find a way to make a fast
buck and his wife, Hwa-ja, who has gone to Seoul in South Korea, has not sent
him any money from her earnings to pay for her Visa. People around him, including
his mother who looks after his daughter, suggest that she is cheating on him
and that he should forget her.
He is introduced to Jung-hak Myun (Yun-Seok Kim), a dog-seller in the marketplace
who makes his money as a hit-man. Myun offers Gu-nam enough money to clear his
debts if he accepts a contract killing. Gu-nam is horrified and at first refuses,
but in sheer desperation he changes his mind, placing himself in the hands of
a cold-blooded murderer.
Crossing the perilous Yellow Sea from Dalian in a boat in cramped conditions
and under cover of darkness, Gu-nam finds himself in South Korea in the dead
of night. He makes his way to Seoul, where he watches the home of the man he
is to kill, Professor Seung-hyun Kim, who seems to have watertight security.
Gu-nam is frustrated to find that getting to his target is not going to be as
easy as he hopes. He stakes out the professor's home while beginning his search
for his wife, finding people who know her but discovering she has left the apartment
where she lived.
When Gu-nam hears of the discovery of a body of a young woman, he believes it
to be Hwa-ja, but before he can confirm this devastating piece of news he witnesses
the death of his target by three men and finds himself being hunted by the Police
and a criminal gang his priority now is simply to stay alive. Pitched
into a conspiracy of lies and betrayal, he has to use all his skills and his
wits to keep one step ahead of his pursuers.
Crossing paths with bus company owner and organised crime boss Tae-won Kim (Seong-ha
Cho) and his right-hand man Sung-nam Choi (Chui-min Lee), Gu-nam discovers that
his life could be about to get much worse.
The pace hots up as he finds the contact numbers for Myun are no longer valid.
Alone and afraid, running away from the Police and from the gangsters; where
should he turn? Will he escape or will he be yet another statistic? With gripping
chase sequences, The Yellow Sea is beautifully filmed and suitably raw
although it would have benefited from less gore.
The Yellow Sea won the Best Actor: Asian Film Award in 2011 and was nominated
for Best Director, Best Composer, Best Production Designer (Asian Film) Award
and Achievement in Directing: Asia Pacific Screen Award.
The Yellow Sea also features: Martial Arts Choreographer is Sang-seab
Yoo; Cinematographer is Sung-Je Lee; Written and Directed by Hong-jin Na.
The Award-winning Director of The Chaser
brings the enthralling action-packed thriller The Yellow Sea to DVD and
Blu-ray, released by Bounty Films and distributed by Eureka Entertainment on
26 March 2012. Catalogue No: Blu-ray BF88013; DVD BF88012 | Certificate: 18
| Running Time: 140 Minutes | Country: South Korea | Language: Korean | RRP:
Blu-ray £20.41; DVD £18.37. The Yellow Sea is available from HMV stores
and online at Amazon, HMV, Play, and Hut.
Special Features Newly-Translated English Subtitles | Making Of
Documentary Comprising of 8 Behind The Scenes Featurettes | Trailers: UK, Korean
and Teaser Trailer.
"The Yellow Sea… a creditable, exhilarating and notable action thriller"
Maggie Woods, MotorBar
"One of the freshest action films in recent memory" The Guardian
"Director Hong-jin Na frames everything stylishly and the frenetic pace never
lets up" Metro
**** "Its power and bite-strength are impressive" The Guardian