Home Movie Vault Disc Vault Coming Soon Join Our Mailing List Articles Soundtrack


Genre: Action/Thriller
Starring: Lee Byung-hun, Kim Tae-hee, Jung Jun-ho, Kim Seung-woo, Kim So-yeon, T.O.P (Choi Seung-hyun)
Director: Yang Yun-ho, Kim Gyu-tae
Rating: NC-16 (Some Violence)
Year Made: 2010






Languages: Korean
Subtitles: English/Chinese/Malay
Aspect Ratio: -
Sound: Dolby Digital 2.0
Running Time: 1 hr 57 mins
Region Code: 3
Distributor: Clover Films




Korea, the last divided nation on earth is constantly under political and military tension with the surrounding countries especially concerning the North Korea nuclear issue. To avoid the second Korean War, the secret intelligence agency NSS that exists for the national security on the Korean peninsula, operates beyond the limits of law or regulations.

Top NSS secret agent Kim Hyun-jun is secretly given an order to assassinate a top North Korean political figure in Hungary but he is immediately abandoned by NSS and the Korean government when his mission is complete. Hyun-jun survives through a number of close calls but during his escape, he and Seung-hee, a NSS profiler who he had secretly been seeing are both misled into thinking the other had died.

Assisted by anti-forces against IRIS, Hyun-jun joins hands with a terrorist group operated by North Korean agents, in order to get his revenge. In a world of conspiracy and betrayal, he is forced to make his final decision when the terrorists begin their attack in Seoul.


On location shooting, spilt-screens, massive gun battles and international star, Lee Byung-hun, you know IRIS the movie is going to be nothing but cool and slick.

Technically speaking, IRIS the movie is not even considered a movie. It’s merely a summarization of the original 20 episodes drama series produced by KBS in 2009 that is trimmed to a digestible 117 minutes feature film. For people liked me who do not have the patience to sit through a long-running series, this execution is the perfect solution.

This espionage action drama details the exploits of secret agent Hyun-jun (Lee Byung-hun) who is being betrayed by his own agency, the NSS (something that resemblances the FBI) after carrying out an assassination on a North Korea diplomat that is ordered by NSS director, Baek San. After a few close calls with North Korea agents who are hot on his heel, Hyun-jun finally uncovers his tragic past and a sinister plot to unleash a nuclear bomb in the heart of Seoul.

Perhaps one of the few things that are going to grip you from start to finish is the exhilarating gun fights, car chases and explosions that are littered throughout. Choreographed on a scale that is seldom seen on old boring television, the action really deserves much compliment and with beautiful on-location shooting in Hungary, Japan and Shanghai, it’s definitely an enriching visual experience.

The star of G.I. Joe (It’s stated on this DVD cover so I might as well cash on it), Lee Byung-hun even jumps off a 130 metre-tall dam in one scene cementing his heartthrob status and proving that his million-dollar paycheck is worth it. Lee also showcases his tender side as the romance factor in the story requires him to tear constantly opposite his lover cum fellow NSS colleague, Seung-hee (Kim Tae-hee from Stairway to Heaven) who assumes Hyun-jun is dead.

Plotwise, the narration and character development fails to contribute anything fresh to the ongoing North and South conflict. Expectedly, the North is painted as power hungry and craving for bloodshed and the muddling espionage element is the only plotting mechanism that keeps the action moving ahead till the big shootout in the end.

Unless you crave for more Lee Byung-hun, characterizations and a far detailed look at the heavy political undertones which this fat-free version has left out, do check out the original drama series. Other than that, IRIS the movie is a decent Asian espionage 'movie' with rich production values to kill a boring weekend.




The visual and audio experience is decent for this originally made-for-TV production.



Review by Linus Tee

Posted on 7 February 2011


Other Titles From Clover Films:

. Ice Kacang Puppy Love

This review is made possible with the kind support from Clover Films

DISCLAIMER: Images, Textual, Copyrights and trademarks for the film and related entertainment properties mentioned
herein are held by their respective owners and are solely for the promotional purposes of said properties.
All other logo and design Copyright©2004- , movieXclusive.com™
All Rights Reserved.