The Grand Heist (Baramgwa Hamjje Sarajida) (2012)
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Critic Reviews for The Grand Heist (Baramgwa Hamjje Sarajida)
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).
Audience Reviews for The Grand Heist (Baramgwa Hamjje Sarajida)
Boy, oh boy how it's good to see a South Korean movie without a sliver of melodrama forced in there. There is some drama here, of course, but, thankfully, it's saved for the beginning of the film and it's never actually unbearable to watch. It's good to just be able to enjoy a film without worrying about the more maudlin elements these films tend to give in to. And honestly, because of that, I had a blast watching this movie. I might've given it, only, three stars but I legit had a really fun time watching this film. It's really a combination of a lot of stuff, because the film, really, is mostly the heist planning and I could take it or leave it. I mean it's not bad, but it definitely doesn't offer the best of the film. It's definitely alleviated by a really talented cast and makes it easier to watch. I don't wanna say that the exposition is confusing, but if you don't pay attention, and you're unfamiliar with Korean names, then a lot of this will be really fucking confusing to you. But, really, I don't think they do a great job at keeping the planning of the heist itself focused enough, with a lot of information being thrown out there in a haphazard manner. What the film does do really fucking well, however, is the actual heist itself, which is when it really kicks into next gear. It's not like it's as thrilling as the train heist from Breaking Bad, but everything from the heist to everything after is really fucking entertaining. So that, to me, elevated pretty much everything else. Again, the planning, while made entertaining by a real good cast, wasn't that great. That's the only real complaint I have about the film, that it isn't consistently entertaining or that focused. If it had been, I can see myself giving this movie a higher rating for sure. Because even with those issues, I still had a really fun time watching this movie. So it's obvious I'd have liked it even more if the issues I had were tightened up. It's actually to the point where I wouldn't mind seeing a sequel to this movie and I don't say that often. And it's not like a sequel where you fix all of the flaws and perfect the formula, though that's part of it, I just liked the cast that much to where I want to see them get together again, just to see them again. I'm assuming that this film wasn't hugely successful or else we'd have gotten a sequel by now. Not that it's much of an issue, since I've seen a lot of these actors appearing in different movies together, but other movies might adhere to the melodramatic and hysterics that I really hate. I just wanna see them in this type of movie, where it, while having some drama, keeps a fun tone. With that out of the way, I had a real fun time with this, even though I thought it had a lot of flaws. I'd recommend it, but it's not really something that you need to go out of your way to see, there's better movies to see out there, but this will still keep you entertained, if that's what you're looking for.
"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. ^^ http://www.mrwickedproductions.com/wickquoting
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