Public Enemy (2002)

227) Public Enemy (2002)

The film’s plot pits a tough loose-cannon cop, Kang Chul-joong, and a psychopathic killer, Cho Kyu-hwan, against each other. Kang typifies the anti-hero cop genre, taking bribes and stealing drugs from criminals. His career is in a slump and internal affairs are investigating his actions. The antagonist Cho, on the other hand, leads a life as a successful business and family man. Under his cool exterior however, he displays a total disregard for others, killing people for the slightest perceived misdeed.

8/10 – Another film out of the mountain of South Korean DVD’s I have available to watch, and this was one I was really looking forward to. The cat & mouse style within South Korean films are executed so well, whether it be a tale of revenge, gang related or in this case a cop vs a psychopath, they (nearly) always come through with something unique and entertaining.

What sets this apart from films that take this format, was it’s quirky unpredictability. It had elements of black comedy, murder mystery and slasher levels of violence, but you never knew what genre you were going to get in the next scene. Maybe it was due to these factors that it lasted so long… too long in fact, at just over 2 hours there is only so much slapstick style violence you can endure before you reach the final scene. Nevertheless, it was still fun to watch.

It was very well received, Sol Kyung-gu won Best Actor at the Grand Bell Awards and Blue Dragon Film Awards for his lead role and the success lead them to make a sequel, creatively titled “Another Public Enemy”. I have that on DVD too, and will be reviewing in due course.

Fans of South Korean cinema will have probably seen this, but if you haven’t and you have liked the other ones I’ve suggested, then it’s worth a punt.

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