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THE CITY OF VIOLENCE aka JJAKPAE
UK: Contender Entertainment Group
Cast: Jeong Du-Hong, Ahn Kil-Kang, Ryoo Seung-Wan, Lee Beom-Su, Ahn Jae-mo, Kim Seo-hyeong, On Ju-wan, Jeong Seok-yong, Jo Deok-hyeon, Kim Byeong-ok, Kim Shi-hoo, Lee Beom-su, Lee Ju-shil
Director: Ryoo Seung-Wan
Country: South Korea
Language: Korean (English subtitles)
UK: 93 mins
UK Certificate: 18 contains strong bloody violence
UK Release Date: 8 June 2007
Both satirizing and paying homage in equal measure to the gritty action flicks of the 1970s, THE CITY OF VIOLENCE is a brutal crime thriller-cum-martial arts actioner and the latest offering from the man who has been hailed as the Korean Tarantino, CRYING FIST director Ryoo Seung-wan.
Detective Jeong Tae-su (played by martial arts wizard Jeong Du-hong), returns from Seoul to Onsung, the hometown of his youth to attend the funeral of his long time friend, a reformed small-time mobster, Wang-jae (Ahn Gil-gang). There, following a nostalgic reunion with his gang of former childhood buddies, he becomes obsessed with investigating the circumstances surrounding Wang-jae's death. What he uncovers sparks a chain of events that results in Jeong and his buddy Ryoo (played by director Seung-wan himself) being forced to battle it out with teenage gangs, deadly assassins and a horde of murderous gangsters, as they get closer to the truth.
Slickly exploiting the "grindhouse" style of filmmaking usually associated with 1970s cinema, and boasting astonishing fight scenes and action sequences choreographed and performed by Korea's leading martial arts practitioners, THE CITY OF VIOLENCE moves at a breathless pace. Film fans will delight in spotting and revelling in Seung-wan's affectionate homages to many Hollywood favourites, including Rob Reiner's STAND BY ME, Brian De Palma's THE UNTOUCHABLES and Tarantino's KILL BILL amongst others.