Mary Poppins Returns
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All Critics (29)
| Top Critics (9)
| Fresh (23)
| Rotten (6)
| DVD (1)
Director Kim turns the screw relentlessly, working old-school devices like ringing phones to excellent effect while tossing in some inspired fight and chase scenes.
It's hard to feel sympathy for such a miserable miscreant. Impossible, in fact.
You'll be glad that "A Hard Day" isn't happening to you, but you won't regret observing it all from a safe distance.
When was the last time you saw a modern thriller with so much narrative and visual wit that you were simultaneously laughing and crying out in fear - the kind the Coen brothers often make and Spielberg when he's in a Hitchcockian mood?
At its best, "A Hard Day" has a breakneck pace that allows one to easily dismiss the more ridiculous, downright nonsensical aspects of its plot. Only occasionally will the eyes roll. For the most part, it works.
A kinetically visceral, enjoyable nasty joy ride, "A Hard Day" is pretty much as advertised.
When the film works, it's great; when it doesn't work, it's a bit corny.
For a film that strives to be hard as nails, A Hard Day is more like cotton candy, crackling on the tongue and evaporating instantly.
Call it a modern Korean cop noir with a wicked sense of humor and an absurdly busy catalog of disasters.
[A] ceaselessly entertaining action comedy from Korean writer-director Kim Seong-hun.
If A Hard Day sounds like a Korean mash-up of After Hours and I Know What You Did Last Summer, well, that's not too far off in regard to the setup.
Surprise and tension make this Korean police mystery a fun ride
This is one of the best South Korean thrillers I've seen in a long ass time and, really, one of the better South Korean films I've seen since Pieta. That may not say a lot about South Korean cinema, lately at least, but I think it's mostly the fact that a lot of the really great movies don't find their way here. Either that or they're going through a slump. Regardless, with that out of the way, I really enjoyed this film quite bit. There's just something very skillful about the way it handles some fairly high-tension moments whilst also providing you with a good amount of comedic elements in there. Not like the comedic elements there make this the best comedy of 2015, but there's enough of it that helps liven things up from what is a very taut and well-executed suspense/thriller. I think it benefits from a really strong cast. The lead character, Detective Go is fairly ineffectual and he's always two steps behind the villain of the film. He's always working against the clock and he can't really hold his own in a fight if he's overpowered, which does happen in this movie. It works because it's actually believable in that Go simply wouldn't be working at peak capacity when he has to worry about another cop trying to blackmail him with revealing what he did to the world. It's an interesting direction to take your lead character, but I think the scripting and Lee Sun-kyun, who plays the detective, definitely make this approach work. It also helps when you're put against such an effectively dastardly villain as you have in this movie. Perhaps it's not even the scripting of the villain, I think it's Jo Jin-woong's performance that really takes the film to the next level. It's clear that he had a certain commitment to this role and that he was gonna give the absolute best of him to make the role memorable. According to his Wikipedia page, I've seen him in some movies, but this might be, from what I've seen, his most high-profile role to date and he is pretty damn excellent. There's just something detestable about him and I think Jo plays perfectly into that and it makes watching him really entertaining. The film moves at a real fast pace, it's not that there's a lot of information that the movie needs to get out, but there's still a lot of stuff going on at all times. The movie does not take a break before moving on to the next scene that'll move the story forward. There's a manic energy about it and that's part of the reason why the film feels like it's over quicker. I don't think the film is as twisty as a lot of these films tend to be and, you know what, it's to the film's benefit. A lot of these films have these really stupid twists that make no sense in the context of its own story and I'm glad to see a film not give in to that. That's about it really, I really liked this movie. It's a really consistent film. It's really good from beginning to end. It has a really strong cast, characterization and simple, but effective, storytelling. This is an easy recommendation.
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