JANG Do-young (KWON Sang-woo) is a hot-blooded homicide detective
who has lost faith in the law. OH Jin-woo (YOO Ji-tae) is
an elite prosecutor. Learning that they’re after the
same target, they decide to team up. As they get deeper into
the investigation, a huge conspiracy awaits them, in which
YOO Kang-jin (SON Byung-ho), boss of the Kuryong Family is
involved. Feeling threatened YOO blackmails JANG’s family
and pulls to get OH off the case. Now the unavoidable battle
begins between two men and the Kingpin of the criminal world.
you believe justice prevail in this world or the society around
the answer is a no according to this gritty crime thriller
directed by Kim Sung-su. Kim a protégé of the
renowned Park Chan-wook whose vengeance trilogy (“Old
Boy”, “Sympathy for Lady Vengeance”) is
well known for its gore and violence shines here in his directorial
debut. Roping in character actor, Yoo Ji-Tae and heart-throb,
Kwong Sang Woo (best known as the faithful lover from “Stairways
to Heaven” and “Volcano High”), “Running
Wild” is about a prosecutor and a cop joining forces
to arrest an influential triad member.
shedding off his clean-cut image turns in a tremendously heart-feel
performance as a no-holds-barred, ill-tempered cop, Jang.
Jang is a sad character to begin with, beneath his tough as
nails image, he has a terminally ill mother in the hospital
and a stepbrother who was mysteriously killed after being
just released from jail. Apparently, Jang is a major breakthrough
role for Kwong. Spotting a less than charming moustache and
a shaggy dog hairstyle, there are many action and emotional
sequences in the movie that requires Kwong to showcase his
acting bits instead of relying on his usual lovey-dovey performances
in romance dramas. You might argue that Kwong’s performance
is overly exaggerated. But I guess if the script calls for
it, Kwong has rightfully fulfilled the requirements or in
this case, maybe Kim’s expectations.
off Jang is a prosecutor played by Yoo Ji-Tae, a no-nonsense
firm believer of justice and a strict follower of the rules
set by the judicial system. He is a workaholic who has little
interest in salvaging his failing marriage and is deep set
to nab his targeted criminals. So when these two characters
meet, sparks fly and blood ensured.
label “Running Wild” as ‘hard-boiled action’
is sort of over the top, instead it plods along with an uneven
pacing, intermission with some typical combat gang fights.
A reminiscent of the typical HK triad movies in the 80’s.
And of course, you need to suspend your belief in the fact
that Jang seems to possess extraordinary immortality powers
despite sustaining countless injuries.
Unlike his master’s love for shock, Kim opted less on
visual flair although at times, he relied on shaky camera
moves to accentuate a sense of emergency. In a way, it is
shot vaguely similar to the style of the hit HK crime hit
thriller “Infernal Affairs”. It smells strongly
of masculine masochism, on the other hand Lee wants the audience
to connect to Jang’s inner world as well. The female
audience might appreciate Jang’s more awkward, quiet
side with his faithful partner played by Eom Ji-won in the
movie’s more subtle moments.
which contains the director’s cut at 144 minutes delves
deeper into the relationship factor of the characters. Although
critics in Korea savaged it when it was first released in
the beginning of 2006, “Running Wild” is still
a recommended compelling crime thriller worthy of your time.
Be intoxicated by Kwong and Yoo’s performances, “Running
Wild” will slowly absorb you to the world of men’s
the credits rolled, tell me, do you believe justice prevail
in this world or the society around us?
music video for the theme song and trailer is the only extras
included in this Code 3 DVD.
Dolby Digital 2.0 and 5.1 are available. However, there are
only a handful of action sequences that truly make use of
the surround speakers.
Basically, the former is sufficient to bring out the movie
on the whole.
The movie is shot mostly on dark tones with an intentional
grittiness to it. The transfer here successfully brought out
the sharpness of the colours although some of the night shots
betrayed the lack of light sufficiency.
DVD RATING :
by Linus Tee