New World (2013) | Bluray release

January 28th, 2018
Author: Meredith Taylor

Dir.: Park Hoon-jung; Cast: Park Seong-ung, Hwang, Choi Min-sik, Lee ja-seng, Ji-hyo Song; South Korea 2013, 134′

Park’s ultra-violent, epic gangster movie is unfortunately all mouth and no trousers. Images of mass slaughter, however stunning – and Chung Chung Hoon certainly pulls out all the stops in this department – can never replace the gaping void left by an incoherent narrative that ultimately leaves most viewers yawning on the sidelines, or even checking their ‘phones. 

After the death of the senior boss of the gangster conglomerate Goldmoon, three men fight in a bloody war for his succession: Lee Jeong-gu (Park) seems to have the best chance, he at least appears to have his act together – more than can be said for the loose cannon Jeon (Hwang), who is an out and out psychotic. The third contender is Lee Jong-jae (Lee), who happens to be a policeman who has infiltrated the gang on orders of his superior chief Kwang (Choi). To make sure that Lee is keeping on the right side of the law, Kwang has ordered Lee’s pregnant wife to keep an eye on him, sending regular reports to the chief. But Lee is really in love with Shin-woo (Ji-hyoSong), who is also a mole set up by Kwang. After her cover is blown, Lee has to shoot her to save her from more torture. After Kwang himself is killed, the plot deteriorates even more, ending in its bloody conclusion. That the gangsters  behave like corporate junkies, when not hell bent on killing each other, is hardly a novelty after a while. Overall, Park has nothing new to offer, just a higher head count than his fellow directors. Shame about the gorgeous images, and the highly skilled professional work of all departments. AS


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