HUNT Reviews of Korean espionage action thriller

  

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‘Two rivals. A hidden truth.’
Hunt is a 2022 South Korean espionage action thriller film about two security chiefs unravelling a plot to kill the president.

Directed, produced by and starring actor turned filmmaker Lee Jung-jae (Squid Game), making his feature directorial debut, from a screenplay co-written with Jo Seung-hee.

The movie also stars Jung Woo-sung, Heo Sung-tae, Jeon Hye-jin and Jeong Man-sik.

Plot:
After a high-ranking North Korean official requests asylum, South Korean KCIA Foreign Unit chief Park Pyong-ho (Lee Jung-jae) and Domestic Unit chief Kim Jung-do (Jung Woo-sung) are both tasked with uncovering a North Korean spy, known as Donglim, who is deeply embedded within their agency.

When the spy begins leaking top-secret intel that could jeopardise national security, the two units are each assigned to investigate each other. Tension and animosity mount between the two chiefs, as they both know if they cannot find the mole, they may be accused themselves.

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Pyung-ho and Jung-do begin to slowly uncover the truth but, in the end, they must deal with an unthinkable plot to assassinate the South Korean president… An operation that tests the faith of two men caught between suspicion and vigilance.

Reviews:
” …there is fun to be had watching Hunt – one street gun battle is almost as heart-stopping as the celebrated set-piece in Heat (1995), while the Bangkok-set climax is a booming spectacular of explosive carnage and furious gunplay worth waiting for. Lee’s monster shoot-out spy thriller is an auspicious debut; one only hopes he’ll jettison the convoluted adornments next time.” Sight & Sound

Hunt will be remembered for a film which would count history junkies and hardcore action-movie fans as its aficionados. Only them, that is: everybody else would probably find South Korean actor and Squid Game star Lee Jung-jae’s espionage thriller excessively bombastic and muddled.” South China Morning Post

” …Lee’s film uses uncertainty as a brush to paint each scene and turns every action beat into a mess of tension in the unknown. No characters’ motivations are clear and the narrative reveals details at as steady of a pace as it unloads bullets, resulting in a cavalcade of gunfire and information that is surprisingly not that difficult to discern at the moment.” Tilt

MOVIES and MANIA rating:

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