Genre: Action/Crime
Director: Heo Myeong-haeng
Cast: Don Lee, Kim Moo-yul, Lee Dong-hwi, Park Ji-hwan
Runtime: 1 hr 49 mins
Rating: NC16 (Violence)
Released By: Golden Village Pictures
Official Website: 

Opening Day: 1 May 2024

Synopsis: “Monster Cop” Ma Seok-do (Don LEE) investigates an illegal online gambling business led by a former STS - Baek (KIM Moo-yul) and an IT genius CEO - Chang (LEE Dong-hwi), Ma proposes an unexpected alliance to Jang (PARK Ji-hwan) and begins hunting down the criminals.

Movie Review:

No one will bat an eyelid if you rename The Roundup series to Detective Ma and His Amazing Fists. Ma Dong-seok aka Don Lee returns as the boorish, kind-hearted cop Ma Seok-do in the fourth entry (The Roundup: Punishment) and this time he is taking his flying fists to the Philippines. Well sort of anyway.

Detective Ma has promised the mother of a Korean tech kid who was supposedly kidnapped and brutally killed in the Philippines that he will solved the mystery of his death. It turned out that the deceased was part of a tech team that worked for an online casino site co-owned by a ruthless ex-military man, Baek (Kim Mu-yeol) and shady tech entrepreneur Jang (Lee Dong-hwi).

With Ma being a tech illiterate digital dinosaur, he has to rope in colleagues from the IT police team and a small-time hoodlum (Park Ji-hwan) to help him break into the world of illegal online gambling and cryptocurrency.

The story which took place both in the Korean Peninsula and the Philippines is yet another masterpiece when it comes to combining both action and crime. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out the actual running of the syndicate and the eventual double-crossing of the baddies. At the same time, there’s enough humour factored throughout the investigative process that it’s almost guarantee there won’t be a need to constantly check your watch for the time.

Talking about the humour, there’s constant hilarious jabs on Ma’s inability to tell apart the various tech jargons. Cloud source or crowd source? How to sync from your old phone to the new one? It doesn’t bother Ma much, he just wants to get the job done but the audiences in the end get a good laugh out of it. Once again, Ma exploits the Gucci-loving Jang I-soo, this time to help in setting up a fake casino site in the Philippines to lure out the bad guys. And this is of course one team up that is constantly silly and amusing.

Stunt coordinator turned director Heo Myeong-haeng, behind Punishment, Badlands Hunters and also Lee’s regular collaborator brought the usual sense of visceral violence to the movie’s various well-staged action pieces. With his help, Lee delivers one solid punch after another onto his opponents with all the sequences competently lensed and edited. There’s even a bathroom brawl that reminds one of Mission: Impossible Fallout.

Taking on the role of the baddie is Kim Mu-yeo (last seen in Sweet Home 2) portraying a knife-toting villain that apparently shows no mercy to no one. His tactic is swift and gory and he gives Lee a run for his money especially in the finale which took place of all places in the business suite of an airplane.

Lee who is also a producer of the series promises four more sequels to come, all based on true crime events. With this fourth instalment, Lee has established a beloved IP based solely on his charisma as a hard-hitting cop capable of blood spills and crime solving. If you are a familiar fan of The Roundup, you will find the latest outing is yet another terrific entry.

Movie Rating:




(His ways might be unorthodox at times but Detective Ma is here to stay)

Review by Linus Tee


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