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The Yellow Sea

2010 Thriller

The Chaser director Na Hong-jin returns to deliver this action-packed suspense thriller about a desperate cab driver who stumbles into a treacherous conspiracy after agreeing to perform an assassination in South Korea. Gu-Nam (Ha Jung-woo) drives a taxi in Yanji City. Located between the borders of North Korea and Russia in Northeastern China, Yanji City is home to nearly 100,000 Chinese-Koreans known as Joseonjok. Six months ago, Gu-Nam's wife traveled to Korea in hopes of earning some extra money. He hasn't heard from her since. In addition, Gu-Nam has lost a great deal of money at mah-jongg. He gets a rare opportunity to get out of debt, however, when he crosses paths with Myun-ga, a hired killer who recruits him for a one-time job in South Korea. Reasoning that he will have the opportunity to search for his wife while he's there, Gu-Nam accepts. But shortly after arriving in South Korea, Gu-Nam is framed for another crime. As he flees from the cops, a vicious crime boss (Cho Seung-Ha), and a determined assassin, the terrified cabdriver realizes he has walked right into a deadly trap. Now, unless Gu-Nam can discover who is behind the conspiracy and why he is being hunted through the streets of Seoul, he may never see his beloved wife again. more..

Director: Na Hong-jin

Starring: Ha Jeong-woo, Kim Yoon-seok, Cho Seong-Ha, Lee Chul-Min

Reviews

  • 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.

    Manohla Dargis - The New York Times

    20 January 2013

  • Na captures at once the fragility of the human body and the deep-rooted darkness of the human soul. The Yellow Sea is easily one of the films of the year for underserved action-heads.

    - Los Angeles Times

    20 January 2013

  • More startling than an unexpected punch in the noggin, Na Hong-Jin's unusual thriller could have the highest knife count this side of Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares. A violent thrill-ride to a dark new corner of Asian cinema.

    Kim Newman - Empire

    20 January 2013

  • Gushing more blood and possessing more stamina than any number of Hollywood hack-'em-ups, writer-director Na Hong-jin's pulse-pounding, mordantly funny genre piece is at times messily convoluted, yet serious and full-bodied enough to achieve a genuinely tragic dimension.

    Justin Chang - Variety

    20 January 2013

  • If anything, Na's film is too much of a good thing, exceeding credibility too often (the punching-bag hero is far too lucky - good and bad - and absorbs a hilarious amount of punishment) in its pursuit of despairing violence. But that's the Korean way, and Na nails down the bottom feeder realism while slouching toward video-game hyperbole.

    Michael Atkinson - Village Voice

    20 January 2013

Awards

  • Achievement in Directing

    Asia Pacific Screen Awards (2011)

     
  • Best Actor

    Asian Film Awards (2011)

  • Hong-jin Na

    Cannes Film Festival (2011)

     
  • After Dark Competition

    Chicago International Film Festival (2011)

     
  • Best Costume Design

    Grand Bell Awards, South Korea (2010)