New World (2013)
New World (2013)
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Critic Reviews for New World
New World tries to expand the genre with nods to The Godfather but can't escape the over-the-top acting, expansive violence and overdone story typical of Seoul-made crime dramas.
"New World" is both less bloody and more thoughtful than most of its genre, the shifting-alliances plot becoming more engrossing as it progresses.
Writer-director Hoon-jung Park tells this twisty story of internecine warfare within a Korean corporate crime syndicate with patience, elegance and no small amount of bloodshed.
Like many of his SK-action peers, director Park Hoon-jung has a knack for staging violent set pieces but comes up lacking in terms of character development, narrative clarity, etc.
Audience Reviews for New World
It's difficult to standout in the crime genre when many similar films have taken inspirations from the greats, but never match them. When it comes telling a fresh story it's nearly impossible to do so without falling into common traps. New World is such a crime film that while well made provides nothing new you have not seen before.
New World tells the story about a conflict between the police and the mob through the eyes of an undercover cop. Like most films with this similar premise it contains plenty of characters being driven by dialogue and not violence. It's a slow burn getting to know all the major player in the film which sadly has little pay off. We're detached from the characters of the film spouting plot devices and force dialogue that attempt to add a level of high risk stake. There's no sense of reality in the film as everything in the world is planned. It's unable to conceal the feeling that we're moving from plot point to plot point. Our detachment from the characters is not overtly negative as both the gangster and police side are equally flawed. Blurring the line of what side serves a greater good based on the protagonist own established morals or by the fulfillment of his job to maintain order. The wisecracking dialogue and banter between the crooks and cop provide moments of entertainment when not attempting to become serious. It plays a lot of guessing game on audience as alliances are questioned, loyalties broken, and the search of a leader causing boundaries to be broken. It's more than capable maintaining interest in the story that many familiar beats. Undercover cop doubting his superior trust, undercover cop is in danger of cover being blown, a gangster betrays his crew for higher power, undercover cop lingers on who's to serve, and the list goes one. Your perception of characters are constantly changing. Unsure of what exactly they will do next. The ending fizzles the journey for one reason. In the end no significant sense of progress from where the protagonist started in the film to where he ends up. It seems like a logical choice that holds no shock value is gain when the protagonist choosing his side.
Hwang Jeong-min plays a nervous wreck undercover cop. Vividly portraying the depths of his character through could line delivery as a gangster or convoluted emotions as a cop. Choi-Min-sik is commanding and manipulative in his role. Choi-Min-sik is a character you'll love to hate with his lack of concern for a human life with each layer reveal about Min-Sik character the more versatile he becomes playing a man of many shades. Hwang Jeong-min is the most charismatic of the cast. His loose nature and wise cracking attitude makes Jeong-Min a noticeable standout for being the only actor who can pull off dramatic acting and dark comedic relief. Hoon-jung Park's direction is stylish capturing the essence of a noir film. The pacing and the storytelling work well, adding suspense and never feeling the complex story to much to take in. Using the looming city as a background, the film takes audiences into the underground of South Korea, where crime has fully infiltrated major businesses. Both the gangsters and the policemen are seen in suit and ties, making the distinction between the two forces at best murky. Park also effectively uses lighting in numerous instances to highlight the chaos Ja-sung finds himself in. If you're expecting plenty of bloodshed you'll be be disappointed by the low body count. Also the sequence where actor Hoon-jung fights off a crowd of gangs member in a elevator is terrifically filmed and fulled of tension that's worth complementing.
New World is anchor by strong performances and a well written complex story. Sadly what holds it back is the ending and overly familiar plot beats that feel obligatory in the genre. It provides nothing new, but the provides the same thing we seen before in a well done package.
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