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Eye for an Eye

South Korean helmer K.T. Kwak, whose career has run the full gamut from triumph ("Friend") to disaster ("Typhoon"), clocks in with a very solid, at times moreso, crimer in "Eye for an Eye."

Cast:
With: Han Seok-gyu, Cha Seung-weon, Lee Byeong-jun, Kim Ji-seok, Song Yeong-chang, Jeong In-gi.

South Korean helmer K.T. Kwak, whose career has run the full gamut from triumph (“Friend”) to disaster (“Typhoon”), clocks in with a very solid, at times moreso, crimer in “Eye for an Eye.” Gritty widescreen showcase for stars Han Seok-gyu (“Shiri”) and Cha Seung-weon (“Blood Rain”) as a hard-assed cop and a cool mastermind, respectively, is trim entertainment, but beyond Asia reps more film-week or buff ancillary fare. Locally, actors’ names propelled it to a tasty 2 million admissions in August.

About to retire to run a grocery store, maverick Capt. Baek Seong-chan (Han) is lured back by a daring holdup in which his own identity is used in the getaway. Robbery is just the start of an elaborate revenge plan by Ahn Hyeon-min (Cha) against mobster businessman Kim (Song Yeong-chang, aces), who drove Ahn’s father to suicide, and Ahn has deliberately involved Baek as the latter never succeeded in nailing Kim. Gum-chewing and silver-haired, Han tries too hard to convey Baek’s manic side, though his chemistry with the much more natural Cha is fine. Use of split-screen at major moments is effective in ramping up the tension.

Eye for an Eye

South Korea

Production: A Lotte Entertainment release of a Taewon Entertainment production, in association with UBU Film. (International sales: Fine Cut, Seoul.) Produced by Jeong Tae-weon. Executive producer, Jerrold Tae Directed by K.T. Kwak, Ahn Gwon-tae. Screenplay, Kim Dong-woo; adaptation, Kwak, Ahn.

Crew: Camera (color, widescreen, HD-to-35mm), Oh Hyeon-je, Alex Hong; editor, Gyeong Min-ho; music, Bang Jun-seok; art directors, Jeon In-han, Gang Chang-gil; costume designer, Go Heui-jeong. Reviewed at Pusan Film Festival (market), Oct. 3, 2008. Original title: Nunyeneun nun iyeneun i. Running time: 99 MIN.

With: With: Han Seok-gyu, Cha Seung-weon, Lee Byeong-jun, Kim Ji-seok, Song Yeong-chang, Jeong In-gi.

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