The Chaser is thrilling and endlessly inventive during its two hour runtime.

The Chaser is an expert serial-killer film from South Korea and a poster child for what a well-made thriller looked like in the classic days. The film is distinguished by the grubby velocity of his foot chases, and the effectiveness of its craft. South Korean first-timer Director Na Hong-jin offers nasty thrills, manic foot chases and some genuinely subversive riffs on the police procedural. “The Chaser” is one of the greatest samples of contemporary Korean cinema and one of the best entries in the crime thriller genre. It runs long at over two hours but it is expertly directed, shot, edited, and acted. It runs so fast and twisted a course through a range of tones and genres that just trying to keep up will leave the viewer as breathless as the monstrous protagonist – and it has a real social conscience to boot. It’s twisty, provocative and impressively grim, a sort of Asian-extreme Man hunter for the strong of nerve.

Easily the best cop thriller since The Departed.

Kim Yoon-seok as Eom Joong-ho, pimp and former police officer
Ha Jung-woo as. Je Yeong-min, serial killer
Seo Young-hee as Kim Mi-jin, prostitute
Koo Bon-woong as Oh-jot, Eom Joong-ho’s assistant
Kim Yoo-jung as Eun-ji, Mi-jin’s daughter
Jung In-gi as Detective Lee
Park Hyo-joo as Detective Oh
Choi Jung-woo as Chief of Police
Min Kyeong-jin as Team chief
Oh Yeon-ah as Sung-hee
Kim Sun-young as Ji-yeong

A new but familiar crime movie.

Ex-detective pimp Jung-ho is angry because his girls keep disappearing without clearing their debts. One night, he gets a call from a customer and sends Mi-jin. But when Mi-jin meets the customer, Jung-ho realizes the phone number of the customer matches that of the calls the missing girls got last. As something smells fishy, he searches for her. During his search, Jung-ho dents a car in the alley. When Jung-ho spots blood splattered on the driver’s shirt, he senses the man, Young-min, is the suspect. After an intense chase, Jung-ho finally catches Young-min. But because of Jung-ho’s pretense as a cop, they are both taken to the police station. At the station, he bluntly tells the policemen that he has killed the missing women, and the last girl, Mi-jin, may still be alive. As the police force is obsessed with a random search for corpses, Jung-ho is the only one who believes Mi-jin is still alive. With only 12 hours left to detain the serial killer without a warrant, Jung-ho’s hunt begins.

Movie Information

Release date: February 14, 2008 (South Korea)
Director: Na Hong-jin
Box office: US$35.8 million
Music by: Kim Jun-seok; Choi Yong-rak
Cinematography: Lee Sung-jae

Peter Ahn

Peter Ahn

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