The Grand Heist (Baramgwa Hamjje Sarajida) (2012) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Grand Heist (Baramgwa Hamjje Sarajida) (2012)

The Grand Heist (Baramgwa Hamjje Sarajida) (2012)

The Grand Heist (Baramgwa Hamjje Sarajida)

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Movie Info

During King Yeongjo's reign, ice is more valuable than gold. When corrupt officials conspire to form a monopoly and fix the prices, 11 "professionals" with a certain set of skills team up to stop the corruption!more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Kim Min-Sung
In Theaters:
Runtime:
Asian Crush

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Critic Reviews for The Grand Heist (Baramgwa Hamjje Sarajida)

All Critics (1)

The Grand Heist maintains its tone of madcap rambunctiousness, while allowing its thieves to be, or at least to become, true Korean patriots with a grand political cause and an East-meets-West sensibility (the latter shared with the film itself).

Full Review… | November 30, 2012
Sight and Sound

Audience Reviews for The Grand Heist (Baramgwa Hamjje Sarajida)

"O.K."

In 2012, towards the end of July, a Korean film with an ensemble cast called The Thieves was released. Around two weeks later, another Korean ensemble film more focused on comedy came out, titled The Grand Heist. While The Grand Heist is also about a robbery carried out by a group of "professionals," it is set in the late 18th century. During this time, ice is a valuable commodity which is regulated by the government. However, corrupt officials (who the two main characters have beef against) take over the business and form a monopoly. An avid reader, Duk-moo (Cha Tae-hyun), along with his stern, combatant partner, Dong-soo (Oh Ji-ho), come up with a plan and gather 11 members total to steal the ice blocks in the royal storage to distribute back to the people. It is an interesting story that unfortunately, comes with a few weak plot points.

Let's start with the diversity of characters. Because there are 11 heist members, it's difficult to get to know all of them and care about them. In a couple of scenes, some of the members are on the verge of getting killed. Even when Min Hyo-rin's character, Baek Soo-ryun, is in a dire situation, it takes some effort to be concerned about whether or not she'll get out alive. This is probably because most of the characters lack a background story to show who they really are. You could say some of the characters in The Thieves suffer the same fate. However, The Thieves makes up for it with lots of suspense. In The Grand Heist, there's just nothing suspenseful about the dangerous scenes, even if characters are close to drowning. The camera flows too well, like the water being shown on screen, rather than rapidly cutting back and forth to build up tension.

Also, the film has a couple of unlinked references that seem out of place when shown. Towards the end of the film, when Duk-moo is about to fire a gun, a book about guns and the posture to hold when aiming is shown, to indicate Duk-moo's recollection of the stance. It wouldn't have been that strange if the film actually showed Duk-moo reading the book early on. The film sort of digs its own grave by putting so much emphasis on the gunshot when the outcome doesn't really lead to the ultimate victory for the protagonists. Perhaps it would have been better if throughout the film, multiple short recollections of information from books pop up that aid Duk-moo in pinches, since he's a book collector. Just having that one scene kind of throws the viewer off.

The bonds between characters aren't addressed very well, and the love stories all feel a bit forced. Even so, once you let go of certain expectations, the film can be funny and entertaining. You definitely shouldn't expect the level of humor of Cha Tae-hyun's big hit movies, like My Sassy Girl and Speedy Scandal. There's an O.K. joke that gets a bit overused. However, the film guarantees a few laughs (disregarding the childish fart jokes) and has a pretty satisfying ending. The Grand Heist should be viewed for the actors and their interactions with the historical Korea setting.

The movie is... O.K. ^^

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