Cinema Epoch // 2008 // 99 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // July 2nd, 2010
From Korea, a crime thriller about a crusty police captain named Baek (Han Suk-Kyu) and his last job. Set to retire, Baek finds himself dragged in for one more investigation. A massive heist is pulled off, the target a big-named mobster who's none too happy about his now significantly lightened change purse. As Baek digs into the robbery, his path crosses with another criminal (Cha Seung-weon) who is involved with the crime somehow -- but his true motivations are unclear.
The two men continue to maneuver while on the periphery; dope criminals and ambitious cops circle each other. The endgame eventually plays itself out on the docks, where a gunfight awaits, as well as a series of betrayals and the possible squashing of a dude thanks to a dropped shipping container.
Eye for an Eye is a solid little slab of crime adventure, highlighted by two top-tier performances and a clever, engaging plot. Han and Cha are magnetic guys, pitted against each other -- then aligned together -- and their chemistry powers the entire film. I am reminded of the classic Infernal Affairs, not because of the plot -- which, admittedly, is superior to that of Eye for an Eye -- but it's similarity in basing the production around the strength of the principals. Thankfully, the story serves Han and Cha's characters well, leaving them with satisfying culminations.
If you're tuning in for big action, you will likely be disappointed. There are three sequences that sport some mayhem: the opening heist, a car chase and the final showdown at the pier. The first is bullet-free sleight-of-hand, the second is a satisfying dose of vehicular nuttiness and the finale is more or less tension that ends with a pretty sweet death scene.
The DVD is simple, an attractive 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer joined by a 5.1 surround mix (Korean with English subtitles) and no extras.
Not Guilty. Worth a look for fans of import thrillers.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Cinema Epoch
* 1.85:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (Korean)
Running Time: 99 Minutes
Release Year: 2008
MPAA Rating: Rated R