The President's Last Bang 2005

The President's Last Bang

Critics Consensus

Although it's possibly best enjoyed by viewers with some knowledge of South Korean history, The President's Last Bang entertainingly blends true crime and dark comedy.

82%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 34

72%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 720

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Movie Info

In the late 1970s, South Korean president Park Chung-hee (Song Jae-ho) leads a life of leisure and excess. Heavily insulated from his citizens and enjoying lavish surroundings, Chung feasts on the finest foods and constantly finds himself in the company of women. When Kim Jae-kyu (Suk-kyu Han), the disillusioned head of the South Korean secret service, finds out that he is suffering from a terminal disease, he resolves to assassinate Chung-hee for the good of his country.

Cast & Crew

Han Suk-kyu
KCIA Chief Agent Ju
Yun-shik Baek
KCIA Director Kim
Song Jae-ho
President Park Chun-hee
Eung-soo Kim
KCIA Agent Colonel Min
Gweon Byeong-gil
President's Chief Secretary Yang
Jeong Weon-jung
President's Chief Bodyguard Cha
Jo Sang-geon
KCIA Butler Shim
Eun-ji Jo
Banquet Guest
Lee Jae-gu
KCIA Agent Kwon
Show all Cast & Crew

Critic Reviews for The President's Last Bang

All Critics (34) | Top Critics (11) | Fresh (28) | Rotten (6)

  • what the film lacks in depth it makes up for in Hong Kong-style punch, with vivid cinematography and powerfully choreographed action.

    March 3, 2006 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • The President's Last Bang comes off as all too ridiculously believable.

    December 9, 2005 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

    Ted Fry

    Seattle Times
    Top Critic
  • Although a tad long-winded and plodding, it's vigorously acted and persuasive, leaving the viewer to suspect that Im's account, drawn from historical records, could be pretty close to the truth.

    November 30, 2005 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Im Sang Soo is, film by film, challenging the way modern South Koreans think and behave.

    November 18, 2005 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • A virtuoso slice of sustained black humor.

    November 18, 2005 | Full Review…

    Derek Elley

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • The President's Last Bang is as funny as its title promises. I can think of no higher praise.

    November 14, 2005 | Full Review…

    Andrew Sarris

    Observer
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The President's Last Bang

  • Jun 12, 2013
    I was not familiar with the plot to knock off the Korean dictator Park Chung Hee. I'm not sure if that helped or hurt my viewing of this film but it kept me hooked. I was completely fascinated by the turns of events and the conclusion was fresh.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Aug 11, 2011
    Based on the assassination of Korean President Park Chung-hee, <i>The President's Last Bang</i> creates some controversy about the portrayal of the President himself.<p>Without question, the plot for this film is interesting and will grab a lot of people's attention. Unfortunately, the storytelling may only cater to certain people since the pace of this film is really slow. This is not an action movie by any means. It is more of a crime drama with a bit of dark humor. About 95% of this film takes place a couple of hours before the assassination, the assassination itself, and the few hours after the assassination.</p><p>It is the hours before the assassination that is a let down. The first 30 minutes of this film is a little political, boring, and at the same time may be a bit hard to grasp. It isn't until the 40 minute mark that the movie really picks up. The moments right before the assassination will hold your interest and so will the assassination itself. Not long after, the film drops back down into more of the political stage again.</p><p>As for the assassination itself it isn't a fancy shootout, but is rather a realistic execution. The only downside is that there isn't enough background in the beginning to show who is in on it. You don't really find out until the assassination is actually taking place.</p><p>The acting and cinematography are probably the best aspects of this film. Suk-kyu Han and Yun-shik Baek both lead off nicely with the supporting cast following behind.</p><p>The political aspect of this film is only for certain people, but it is still a decent watch if politics is not for you.
    JY S Super Reviewer
  • Mar 08, 2011
    The President's Last Bang (그때 그사람들) is a movie which gives you a real punch from the start and then you wonder what happened - is someone still counting or you're on the floor and dreaming! The film focus is on the few hours before and after former Korean President Park's assassination on October 26, 1979. Controversial aspect of the film initially was the portrayal of the former president as a cowardly libertine, having late-night drinking parties, pawing young women, and in particular having much admiration for Japanese culture, to the point of occasionally speaking Japanese himself! The original title of this movie in English is "The People of Those Days" and refers to a famous Korean song of a similar title - "The Person of those Days". According to official sources, this song was performed by Sim Soo-bong during the party the night of Park's assassination (in the movie Sim Soo-bong is summoned to perform Japanese enka songs). I have to say that I really enjoyed the director's Im Sang-soo work - exceptionally unique and invigorating! If you have a chance to watch it, please, do it!
    Panta O Super Reviewer
  • Jul 17, 2008
    An unabashedly leftist take on a dark period in Korea's history. Set almost entirely on the day of President Park Chung Hee's assassination in 1979, the film is an all out attack on his regime, and paints the former president as a drunk with an unhealthy obsession with the Japanese. Politics aside, The President's Last Bang is an almost flawless work with cinematography that's a feast for the eyes and sound that's a treat for audiophiles. The dark humor is razor-sharp and distributed wisely, if unexpectedly. An almost mean spirited satire worthy of mention alongside Kubrick, Mamet and Altman. <a href="http://s273.photobucket.com/albums/jj203/goji9000/?action=view¤t=President_iw.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i273.photobucket.com/albums/jj203/goji9000/President_iw.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>
    El Hombre I Super Reviewer

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