×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Your Time Is Up

Turning nearly every scene into a blood-soaked melee, "Your Time is Up" is a concussive viewing experience.

With:
With: Choi Won-young, Kim E-jung, Kang Ho, Kim Won-sik, Shin Hyun-tak.

Turning nearly every scene into a blood-soaked melee, “Your Time is Up” is a concussive viewing experience. A crazed yarn about a fraternal fracas catalyzed by a femme fatale, this bludgeoning exercise in machismo and misogyny will have its champions, who’ll hail it as an unflinching reflection of the violence inherent to South Korean society. But such films are a dime a dozen in the country’s rich repertoire, and while festival and quasi-arthouse ancillary markets will lap it up, one hopes first-time helmer Kim Sung-hyun’s notable talent can be applied to more thematically satisfying projects in future.

Water-purifier salesman Seok-ho (Choi Won-young) grudgingly lends $5,000 to his brother Jin-ho (Kang Ho) so he can enroll in grad school. But when Seok-ho catches the ne’er-do-well having a sexual rendezvous during study hours, he demands his money back within a week. Jin-ho, who’s squandered his windfall on snack-bar hostess Hee-young (Kim E-jung), starts stalking her for a refund, but becomes incensed with jealousy when he spots her lover, Min-kyu (Kim Won-sik), driving her car. A confrontation ensues, with violent results.

Popular on Variety

An inflated plot develops as Seok-ho, Hee-young and Min-kyu’s gangster brother, Tae-kyu (Shin Hyun-tak), keep having coincidental encounters at a morgue, a funeral parlor, Hee-young’s home and, most incessantly, her bar, as if it were the only watering hole in Seoul. While Tae-kyu and his boss harass Hee-young to pay up a loan of $15,000, Seok-ho’s sexual overtures toward Hee-young become more aggressive.

All male characters, regardless of their dramatic significance, behave as if they’ve swallowed barrels of gunpowder. Seok-ho’s increasingly psychotic belligerence reads as guilt over his tough love toward Jin-ho, while Tae-kyu’s bloodlust can be attributed to a thirst for revenge. But it’s harder to explain why a police detective also abruptly joins the fray, except as another excuse for more rounds of fist fighting and furniture smashing. The action reaches a ridiculous nadir when Hee-young calls Seok-ho “a crazy loser.” Seok-ho retorts: “Alright, I’ll show you crazy.” He does.

The pic’s treatment of loan sharks is superficially similar to that of Korean indie “Choked,” which, like “Your Time Is Up,” is helmed by a Korean Academy of Film Arts (Kafa) graduate and was selected for the Busan Film Festival’s New Currents competition. The comparisons end there, however, as this film merely treats debt as a plot device without investing it with additional layers of meaning.

Kim E-jung has neither the looks nor the sex appeal to sell the idea that men would drain their resources or risk their lives for her, and she tends to substitute the same fed-up frown for a whole range of reactions she’s supposed to have. The male protags convey their brutishness with mechanical efficiency.

In stark contrast with the protags’ muddled motives and behavior, Kim’s technical execution, from immaculately composed and lit cinematography to tightly controlled editing and action choreography, is impressive for an up-and-comer.

Your Time Is Up

South Korea

Production: A CJ Entertainment release presented with Korean Academy of Film Arts of a Kafa production. (International sales: CJ Entertainment, Seoul.) Produced by Kim Na-hyun. Directed, written, edited by Kim Sung-hyun.

Crew: Camera (color, widescreen, HD), Cho Hyoung-rae; music supervisor, Cho Ji; sound (Dolby Digital); visual effects supervisor, Song Yong-soo; visual effects, CJ Powercast. Reviewed at Busan Film Festival (New Currents, competing), Sept. 8, 2012. Running time: 85 MIN.

With: With: Choi Won-young, Kim E-jung, Kang Ho, Kim Won-sik, Shin Hyun-tak.

More Film

  • Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese and

    Film News Roundup: Leonardo DiCaprio Presenting Robert De Niro SAG Life Achievement Award

    In today’s film news roundup, Leonardo DiCaprio will present Robert De Niro with his SAG Life Achievement Award, the Oliver Sacks documentary finds a home and UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television gets a new dean. AWARD PRESENTATION Leonardo DiCaprio has been selected to present Robert De Niro the SAG Life Achievement Award  at [...]

  • KARNAWAL

    ‘Karnawal,’ ‘Restless,’ ‘Summer White,’ ‘Firsts’ Win Big at Ventana Sur

    BUENOS AIRES  — With Ventana Sur now firing on multiple cylinders, featuring pix-in post or project competitions for not only art films but also genre pics and animation – two sectors embraced by young creators in Latin America – “Karnawal,” “Restless,” “Summer White” and  “Firsts” proved big winners among Ventana Sur’s arthouse and animation competitions, [...]

  • (center) George MacKay as Schofield in

    From "1917" to "Jojo Rabbit," Composers of Some of the Year's Top Scores Talk Shop

    “1917,” Thomas Newman The 20-year collaboration of director Sam Mendes and composer Thomas Newman has encompassed midlife crisis (“American Beauty”), crime in the Depression (“Road to Perdition”), the Gulf War (“Jarhead”), marriage in the 1950s (“Revolutionary Road”) and two James Bond adventures (“Skyfall,” “Spectre”). Now they’ve tackled World War I, with “1917,” but Mendes’ much-talked-about [...]

  • Billy Magnussen Aladdin

    'Aladdin' Spinoff With Billy Magnussen's Character in the Works for Disney Plus

    Disney is developing a spinoff of its live-action “Aladdin” with Billy Magnussen reprising his Prince Anders character. The unnamed project is in early development for the studio’s recently launched Disney Plus streaming service. Disney has hired Jordan Dunn and Michael Kvamme to write a script centered on the haughty Prince Anders, one of Princess Jasmine’s [...]

  • ROAD TRIP – In Disney and

    Disney Boasts a Bevy of Hopefuls for Oscar's Original Song Race

    When the Academy announces its shortlist for song nominations on Dec. 16, you can be certain that at least one Disney song will be on it and probably more. Disney songs have been nominated 33 times in the past 30 years, winning 12 of the gold statuettes. This year, the studio has at least four [...]

  • Innovative Scores Elevated the Year's Documentaries

    Innovative Scores Elevated the Year's Documentaries

    It’s next to impossible for a documentary score to be Oscar-nominated alongside the dozens of fictional narratives entered each year. But it did happen, just once: In 1975, composer Gerald Fried was nominated for his music for “Birds Do It, Bees Do It,” a documentary on the mating habits of animals. Fried, now 91, perhaps [...]

  • Ron Leibman, Jessica Walter'Mary Stuart' Play

    Ron Leibman, Tony-Winning Actor Known for 'Angels in America' and 'Friends,' Dies at 82

    Ron Leibman, an Emmy-winning actor who garnered a Tony for his work in Broadway’s “Angels in America” and played the father of Jennifer Aniston’s Rachel Green on “Friends,” died on Friday. He was 82. Robert Attermann, CEO of Abrams Artists Agency, confirmed the news to Variety. No further details were immediately available. Leibman, a native [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content