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Gonggongui Jeog (Public Enemy) (Public's Enemy) Reviews

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WrenchLT
WrenchLT

Super Reviewer

September 15, 2011
Dark humoured Korean thriller which may not be highly original plot-wise but it's unpredictable and has its own quirks that make it seem fresh and memorable. It's quite brutal and violent at times and there's a host of wacky characters that keep things entertaining during its overly long 2 hour 20 minute duration. It's a very decent offering from Korea that's recommended for fans of dark thrillers.
skactopus
skactopus

Super Reviewer

May 25, 2009
Public Enemy, a film directed by Woo-Suk Kang, is nothing more than a traditional crime drama out of Korea.The story is straightforward. There is a ruthless cop on the hunt for a serial killer. The first hour is all character buildup and, in my opinion, it is just too long. This contributes to the long run time of 2 hours and 15 minutes. Sure, it is nice to build up the characters, however it is a bit much in this film. The actual plot that I mentioned earlier doesn't begin until nearly 60 minutes in. Too long of a wait.The film does have its moments though. There are times that will make people laugh and this is a good thing, considering the length of this picture. The violence, while not a ton of it, is quite bloody and brutal. Combine the violence with the very strong language and there is no question about an R-rating.Kyung-gu Sol puts on a good performance as the corrupt cop. His attitude and actions make him an unlikeable hero for most of the movie and it is these same actions that spark the laughs, not the jokes. Sung-jae Lee is an appropriate villain and the two play off of each other brilliantly.Public Enemy is actually a decent crime thriller that just takes a bit long to get going. Still, fans of this type of film will find this satisfying.
Sarah G

Super Reviewer

April 1, 2007
Ruthless cop Chul-joong and a merciless killer in raincoat run into each other in a small alleyway and form a fatal bond. A free-for-all fight occurs by coincidence on a rainy street. A week later, the dead bodies of an old couple are discovered with multiple stab wounds. Chul-joong suddenly recalls the night he met the man in the raincoat. Chul-joong meets the old couple's son CHO Gyoo-hwan. He has an intuition that CHO is the murder but has no clue. In the meantime, another murder takes place in the same fashion. The showdown between a dirty cop and a killer unfolds, as things get more personal

I?ve been a fan of Asian cinema for quite a while now, in particular Asian crime dramas. Public Enemy fits my kind of Asian film perfectly but on a different scale. The film has the Police Officer solving a case despite no clear evidence, something less original. The film is satire one some levels, some slapstick moments blended in with the crime genre. Something I haven?t really seen before in films, something for sure Hollywood wouldn?t often do. From the first part of the film, the comic and crime elements are a little hard to follow as it just doesn?t quite fit into the film. There doesn?t seem to be many explanations for it either. However half way through the movie It does start to become humours. From seeing the Captain and our main protagonist( Cheol-jung, Kang) constantly slap and hit follow officers and characters to constant repletion of ?Bastard? or ? Asshole? in almost every bit of dialogue I began to laugh but I don?t know quite know why. Perhaps it was something out of sorts for that protagonist. Certainly it?s not something portrayed on screen much, as it?s usually done in a serious way. The comic/crime genre that is in the movie doesn?t fit throughout the movie, when I say that I mean it becomes out of sorts with what?s on screen. The comic elements are at times are empathised too much and I began to loose interest. The film has its ups and downs, most notably on almost every occasion Chang turns your usual perception of an officer around and makes the criminals do everything he says. This is defiantly a statement on the director?s part.

Some of the scenes however, have no clear rationale to them. For instance why the second main character was doing what he was doing. It also felt like it was written primarily for an American audience and you can see that with the several ?bastard? references that I mentioned before.

However there are some strong elements to the movie. Kyung-gu Sol was pretty good as Officer Chang, and funny. He depicted two sides to the character well and I enjoyed his performance. It's this performance and the antagonism with his rich rival that is the real motor of the movie. You are put on tender hooks as the two characters relationship progresses through the course of the movie.

What was interesting about it was that you?re watching what this character does, from taking a dump in the middle of the street, to disobeying his orders, and you like his character at the end of the movie. You get a sense of justice at what he?s doing. For one the continuous themes, such as a blackly-comic view on the class divide that pits slovenly cop against suited-businessman. There is also a strong empathises on smell, Chul-joong sweats, there's a gag when a murder weapon is tainted with excrement, the rotting bodies; all surrounding the Korean summer. There are also constant references to the heat depicting a tense atmosphere in every frame of the movie. The film is shot in rather ordinary looking locations and lacks a visual style that I?ve come to see from other Asian movies.

Public Enemy suffers from a lengthy run-time for me. 140 minutes, with too much yelling and ebate at times which makes the story a little less compelling. Certainly less comic elements would have made the film a little more than 3 and a half stars for me. The film is worth a watch for the criminal/officer type chase is compelling to watch and the comic elements are quite funny a times. I did enjoy it despite the disappointment I had. The film just needed a little structure to it and more focus on the crime element. I still quite haven't made my mind up about this movie so I might re-review it again soon.
alanjayh
alanjayh

Super Reviewer

January 9, 2009
Well done police drama that has plenty of action and violence/gore...and large doses of situational comedy as well...terrific acting by the lead cop Chang and a worthy adversary psycho killer as well. Definitely worth a watch..and don't miss the follow up 'another public enemy' and 'public enemy returns'...all are enjoyable in this popular korean series!
Anthony V

Super Reviewer

July 1, 2008
Black comedy concerning a smart, merciless serial killer being pursued by a corrupt, dopey cop, who's only assets are toughness and stubbornness. Lots of humor, great characters and stylish direction.
ualush
ualush

Super Reviewer

January 24, 2007
I've watched this movie so many times and is a real favorite of mine. The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is because it doesn't do anything to original. But it is a good crime movie and has its fair share of funny moments, but not like joke funny, just the situations and the emotions of the main detective make it funny. The movie is about a bad cop who even though is bad can't forgive what a criminal has (murder his parents) done and will stop at nothing to get him.
December 28, 2008
Another Korean crime film, Kang Woo-suk's superb tale of a corrupt cop hunting down a criminal forced against his desires into a life of crime is a fascinating character study full of suspense and excitement.
December 24, 2008
A sort of Korean answer to Beat Takashi's 'Violent Cop.' Lots of dark humor, and will come off at times like a movie about a lazier, more slapstick version of Violent Cop chasing American Psycho. Recommended.
January 11, 2007
Renegade cop in South Korea chases a killer on the loose. Not great, but captures my attention for 2 hours.
July 6, 2012
awesome till the end
February 10, 2012
Korea's answer to 'Dirty Harry'. The only film in the world where you can see some elderly couple get stabbed to death by their own son and then laugh hysterically in lterally the next scene as some detective desperately looks for somewhere to have a dump. Black humour at its best and detective thriller at its most entertaining.
KevinRobbins
September 7, 2009
You think gangsters can?t file lawsuits?

Chul-joong is a ruthless detective whose life is turned upside down when his partner commits suicide. He is now forced to work solo. His first case as a detective on his own involves a murderer who seems to brutally slay random people. Chul-joong quickly identifies the murderer, a wealthy businessman, but can?t seem to pin anything on him. As Chul-joong becomes more and more fed up, he may take the law into his own hands.

?What type of cock-a-doodle crap is that??
?What does that mean??

Kang Woo-Suk, director of Another Public Enemy, Public Enemy 3, Hanbando, Two Cops 1 & 2, Bedroom and Courtroom, and Happiness has nothing to do with School Records, delivers Public Enemy. The storyline for this picture seemed straight out of the Dirty Harry genre. The character development was first rate, the action scenes were solid, and the script was superb. The soundtrack was also well selected.

?Why would a detective place his own excrement on evidence??

Public Enemy is a film I happened to come across at my mother-in-law?s house. After reading the synopsis, I had to see this picture. I didn?t have high expectations for this movie; however, this film blended Dirty Harry with Ichi the Killer. I will now try to obtain the entire trilogy. The only drawback for this film is that it ran a little long; but overall, this is a magnificent action film that I consider a must see.

?How could a motherfucker like that become a cop??

Grade: A
Virus
February 10, 2009
A weird police film with some great dark humor, but it also feels really familiar.
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