Gonggongui Jeog (Public Enemy) (Public's Enemy) (2002)

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Movie Info

Detective Kang Chul-Choong (Sol Kyung-gu) is a tough, hotheaded cop. He is also as corrupt as they come. He never makes an arrest because he'd sooner take a bribe. But when an internal affairs investigation threatens, Kang's older and more circumspect partner, Song Haeng-gi (Kim Ju-bong), commits suicide, leaving Kang slightly unhinged. Cho Gyu-hwan (Seung-jae Lee of Attack the Gas Station!) is a wealthy fund manager and family man who also has a problem controlling his temper. Cho gets angry when his elderly father calls in a loan in order to help a struggling orphanage. Cho has the money invested in a can't-miss stock, and will lose millions if he pays his father back, so one rainy night, while Kang is nearby on a stakeout, Cho brutally murders his parents. While making his escape, wearing a hooded raincoat, Cho has his first encounter with Kang. He literally bumps into him on the street, and when Kang upbraids him for it, Cho, not realizing Kang is a cop, slashes Kang's face. When Kang hears about the vicious double murder, he realizes that he was attacked by the killer, and joins the investigation. Suddenly, police work isn't about the money any more for Kang. Kang didn't get a good look at Cho that night. But after questioning the vain, supercilious young man, Kang immediately suspects him. Cho uses his powerful connections in the police department to thwart Kang's efforts, but Kang is determined to deliver his own unique brand of justice, no matter what the cost. Gongongeui Jeok (Public Enemy) was directed by Kang Woo-Suk and was shown at the 2002 New York Korean Film Festival. ~ Josh Ralske, Rovi

Cast

Seol Gyeong-gu
as Kang Cheol-jung
Lee Seong-jae
as Jo Gyu-hwan
Kang Shin-il
as Capt. Eom
Jeong-hak Kim
as Det. Kim Yeong-su
Yong-gu Do
as Det. Nam
Nae-sang Ahn
as Det. Lee
Mun-shik Lee
as Lee Ahn-su ("Math")
Sung Ji-ru
as Dae-gil
Yoo Hae-jin
as Lee Yeong-man
Kim Ju-bong
as Song Haeng-gi
Oh Seung-myeong
as Jo's Father
Park Seung-tae
as Jo's Mother
Ahn Jin-su
as Go Hung-shik
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Critic Reviews for Gonggongui Jeog (Public Enemy) (Public's Enemy)

All Critics (4)

Despite its amusing outrageousness and well-choreographed mayhem, the film never transcends the genre the way Dirty Harry did.

Sep 8, 2005 | Rating: 6/10 | Full Review…

Even in its darkest corners, the movie maintains its sense of fun, crashing us from idea to idea with a wink in its eye and a smirk on its face.

Sep 3, 2005 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

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

½

This was made before Korean films were a popular export and is therefore very much aimed at Korean audiences - hence the odd tone. Still good though.

Marcus Woolcott
Marcus Woolcott

Super Reviewer

½

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.

Lee ?
Lee ?

Super Reviewer

½

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.

JY Skacto
JY Skacto

Super Reviewer

½

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.

Sarah Gaish
Sarah Gaish

Super Reviewer

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