Director: Kim Hae-gon
Cast: Song Seung Heon, Kwon Sang Woo, Ji Seong,
Kim In-kwon, Park Han-byeol, Ahn Nae-sang, Jeong Woo, Kim Min-joo,
Choi Jae-hwan, Yoon Won-seok
RunTime: 2 hrs 3 mins
Released By: Encore Films and Golden Village
Rating: NC-16 (Violence)
Official Website: http://encorefilms.com/fate
Opening Day: 14 August 2008
Woo-min, Cheol-jung, Do-wan and Young-hwan: they are the perfect
team to rule the underworld. When they were united, nothing
could stop them. Their plan to attack a casino and steal the
money to get a fresh start seemed destined to be a success.
That is, until Cheol-jung’s unexpected betrayal turned
their world upside down!
Woo-min is enraged at Cheol-jung’s betrayal and for
making everything go wrong. Cheol-jung betrayed his friends
to get what he wants and to succeed in the cold, dark world.
Do-wan dreams of making a comeback while Young-hwan try to
quietly help his friends in the background. Woo-min’s
girlfriend, Eun-young, is also caught up in the whirlwind
of the four men’s destiny.
at the crossroads of fate, endless deception and betrayal
grow rampant. The four friends are confronted once again with
an unavoidable battle.. They collide on a harbor front illegal
trading site, all with different motives... Now, their unavoidable
fight with fate begins!
Sook-myeong is the story of four gangster friends of different
temperaments who met with the same destiny after 123 minutes
of screen time. For the good gangster, k-drama idol Song Seung
Heon channeled two years' experience in compulsory army service
to act as a newly-released prisoner. This movie is also a
career turn by Kwon Sang-Woo as the principal foul-mouthed
gangster, Mr "Shibal" (as vulgarities go, I find
the Korean version of the four-letter word strangely repulsive
coming from them pale-faced idols with the ruby-red-lips).
That said, Kwon put in the most credible performance in a
confusing movie that ran like a "best of" cutaways
from the many gangster genre k-dramas out there.
is wildly irrational and it requires deep suspension of disbelief
to be taken seriously. Take the opening sequence as an example:
while I wonder why any gangster would rob a bank with nary
more than a stylish gait and a baseball bat, about 200 serious-looking
security-type gangsters began to charge at robber-gangsters
mostly empty-handed. What, real security guards with shotguns
only exist in comedies? By the time another 200 gangsters
charge Song in the middle of a shopping district, I began
to hallucinate about the Right Hand of Doom bursting from
Song's right arm.
is touted as the show in which "pretty boys go bad",
but in line with the general confusion reflected in the movie,
director Kim Hae-gon also commented that "You can put
scar on Kwon and Song's faces, but that won't take away their
looks. I considered making them look messier but it's a futile
effort. If I wanted ugly characters I wouldn't have cast them
in the first place." Quite right, Park Han-byeol is pretty
I put the blame squarely on Kim; the director tried to do
too much of everything. Kwon, as the traitor-baddie, had to
be funny as well. Song, as the ex-convict, had to look good
and make moon-eyes at the audience as well. Park, she had
to act on top of looking pretty. This is a movie about gangsters
and friendship; what has 40-inch pecs gotta do with it?
the positives. For the best part of the show, the audience
member would be better served exploring better ways to spend
(Like the grotesque golem in Yiddish folklore, the
Korean actors with the sculpted body and the manicured hands
put in a soulless display. Some idols think they only look
Review Tyler Lim