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All Critics (21)
| Top Critics (6)
| Fresh (18)
| Rotten (3)
| DVD (1)
...does boast its fair share of gripping moments.
A breakneck mix of bone-crunching freneticism and bloody close-quarters knife-fighting with a strand of romantic melancholy.
A rush of a movie from South Korea that slips and slides from horror to humor on rivers of blood and offers the haunting image of a man, primitive incarnate, beating other men with an enormous, gnawed-over meat bone.
The Yellow Sea is far less interested in character than in choreographing pursuit scenes spiced with Asia Extreme levels of violence.
Writer-director Na Hong-Jin achieves a vibe of urban desolation right off the bat, and deepens the mayhem with acutely observed and charged details about illegal-immigrant life.
A listless succession of brutal, consequence-free stabbings encase a pair of lengthy chase set pieces, both technically adept, both utterly ridiculous.
The Yellow Sea is a genre film that has more to offer than just a high body count.
Although the central story is compelling, even fans of this ultra-violent genre might find The Yellow Sea (the water between China and Korea) is too long and dark, especially given the way the leading characters wear black at night.
Probably the year's best crime drama and might be confirmation that there is a new master of the genre, spinning tough as teak tales, ready to emerge
a gripping existentialist thriller, where jealousy, greed and desperation lead inexorably to a chaos of carnage, and where exile and death cross their borders to merge into an emotionally-charged sequence of final images.
At nearly two and a half hours long, The Yellow Sea is overkill in every sense.
[A] highly efficient Korean thriller...
Beating around the bush kinda makes it feel too slow-paced & eventually leading to its failure to leave the impact the plot otherwise had the potential to.
Na Hong-jin's The Yellow Sea is a crafted Korean crime thriller.
The 2 hour 15 minute run time is lengthy, especially when the plot details get sketchy. The 4 chapter story does contain some good storytelling, but things can become elusive with a wealth of characters to focus on. Nonetheless, the plot twists come in at opportune times and the cloudiness of what comes next as the story progresses works in the film's favor.
Aside from the story, the gritty and realistic violence, full of knives and hatchets, is a pleasant surprise and in high abundance. The destructive vehicle sequences are the icing on the cake.
Ha Jung-woo is a convincing neutral protagonist. A lot of blood comes at the hands of Kim Yun-seok.
Once the final scene, which occurs in the closing credits, is over, The Yellow Sea finds itself as a recommendable picture out of Korea.
Na Hong Jin brings us his second feature after the dark and disturbing The Chaser. The Yellow Sea is a complex character piece that sees a man from Yanji City travel to South Korea to kill a man in order to pay off his missing wife's debts. Like The Chaser, this is also a film that mixes fast paced action and gritty realistic violence. In many ways The Yellow Sea is a lot like a poor man's Bourne, but not in terms of production quality. As Gu Nam travels to Seoul it isn't by plane in a fancy suit, he's herded into a ship in a room with dozens of other people, freezing and sick not everyone makes it. Gu Nam takes his time over the kill and it shows his inexperience. Of course, Gu Nam is really there to search for his missing wife but as things escalate so does the action. Incredible chases on foot and by car elevate this thriller to something that really does thrust a man on the run thriller into the real world. As the film progresses more and more people find themselves involved in the hunt for Gu Nam it's rather humorous to see him quite oblivious to those after him. The Yellow Sea sees the tragic places people from the almost ignored Yanji City find themselves in. Love and dedication are the main themes but are hidden behind an exhilarating wall of delicately crafted action sequences. Brilliant.
Liked it up to half way through, then felt like a totally different movie, too many characters, couldn't follow it at all. (or maybe it's just it was very late and I was tired...).
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