The Chaser (Chugyeogja) [2008]

Director : Hong-jin Na

Writer :  Won-Chan Hong, Shinho Lee, Hong-jin Na

Cast : Yun-seok Kim, Jung-woo Ha, Yeong-hie Seo

Story :  In some movies it’s a necessity to have a used to be cop who is now on the bad side of the law, but still has a backbone.  In this particular movie  plays this part, but he delivers a performance that will make you think twice about laughing at the term pimp. His eyes reflected that he had absolutely no problem with hitting someone, hard; when the camera focused on this look I kept repeating oh shit, oh shit, somebody is going down.

The Chaser, with a title like that I counted on a few chasing scenes, didn’t expect that the whole movie is going to be about that (not in the sense of it being a big foot chasing scene). At a moment I even thought that midway through it’s going to fail in maintaining my attention, well it was only then when the movie kept becoming better and better. I’m always amazed at ability of using one good idea expanded with some great actors and believable setting can make you forget about the world for two hours.

But I still haven’t talked about the story itself. When his girls  keep disappearing Joong-ho Eom becomes certain that one client is behind it all, namely 4885 (the last 4 digits of the telephone number). Since one girl is already on her way to meet the client, he instructs the girl to send him the exact address of the guy’s location. Neither of them expected that 4885 has a plan of his own, and when he starts executing it, all  Joong-ho Eom can do is to try to catch him.

What I Liked :

– every little piece of the movie, one word : perfection

– as I already said Yun-seok Kim’s performance left a print on me, to say it was one of the most realistic embodiment of a pimp wouldn’t be enough. He nailed every bit of his part, there really wasn’t any moment he wasn’t believable. I know his an actor, but if I’d be meeting him In real life I’d expect him to be just like Yun-seok Kim, that part fitted him like a glove. To be fair everybody delivered exceptional performances

– when the movie starts you won’t like Joong-ho, because, well, his a cold, violent pimp, but as the story progresses the events will force you to side with him, and after about an hour you won’t regret it because every situation peels off another layer of his character and you realize he is essentially good – brilliant writing.

– I especially like the few scenes with the politician, don’t know how this idea springed up in the director’s mind, but bless him for it.

– the story grabs your heart and starts to slowly tighten its grip, I’ll tell you the truth I cried a lot, which is pretty odd since it’s a thriller, this only should prove that this one is an exceptional movie; and I have to say again that the complexity of the story just draws you in, there are so many angles attached to the main theme that it feels like you are watching a magician pulling out different animals from his hat but you keep on watching holding your breath to know what the next animal will be.

– one scene I really liked, don’t want to give away spoilers so just watch out for the scene where the suspect talks alone to the female detective

– beware this movie consists of scene full with violence, and not your CGI ha-ha violence, but the realistic one that makes you want to look away now and then

– and the most important thing I freakin’ loved the chasing scene, it’s a pretty long foot chase, where you can see how the characters are loosing their breaths from corner to corner, they keep throwing things just to keep the other from moving forward, and that bit of fighting where they have no power left just desperation to win, now that is real

What I Didn’t Like :

– come up empty-handed

Final Note :

4 out of 4

Interesting Facts :

– sadly the story is based on true events, here is a link that describes it

Trailer :

– full of spoilers, I would recommend to skip the trailer and just watch the movie instead

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2 thoughts on “The Chaser (Chugyeogja) [2008]

  1. It’s a brilliantly constructed film. Very gripping, very brutal, and very tense. All of the characters are compelling and it is blackly humorous at times. That said I can’t love it because it is so down-beat. That said I’ve watched it three times.

    • that said it is a great movie which only gets better with every viewing. I just watched it the second time, and even though I knew what was going to happen I enjoyed it even more. It truly is a brilliant movie.

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