There is no denying that when you first hear a brief plot summery for The Chaser you will most likely scratch your head, then again that’s the wonderful world of Korean Cinema! In a Nutshell, a detective turned pimp, starts losing his girls to a serial killer and uses his professional skills and connections to start a personal manhunt for the suspect. However the hunt will be heavily skewed by wave after wave of frustrating red tape in what appears to be a slight at a broken justice system.
So there you have it, a detective turned pimp hunting a serial killer, despite the unusual plot The Chaser is easily one of the best Korean action films I have seen in a long time. I hate to use clichés, but I believe the following are in order; Gripping, suspenseful, edge of your seat thrill ride (terrible I am very sorry), its everything so many crime thrillers with similar tag lines have tried to be in the past, and failed to deliver on. As the quality of Hollywood, and Hong Kong cinema seems to be dropping, or at best flat lining. Korean Cinema continues to thrive and deliver such brilliant films as this one!
Believe it or not this was a debut film by a director named Hong-jin Na. Yun-seok Kim won a Korean Film best actor award for his performance as Joong-Eom (the pimp in question), and deservedly so. His performance was top notch, and the same can be said for Jung-woo Ha who brilliantly plays the killer to pitch perfection. He is truly one of the more memorable on screen villains in a long time.
There is a perfect blend of action, suspense, graphic violence (that Korean film fans must be used to by now) humor, and heart shattering drama. Though there is a bit of a slowdown midway through that takes a bit of steam out of the films pacing. Don’t fret because the final 20 minutes of The Chasers outstanding finale will more than make up for it! If you have a habit of biting your nails, or pulling your hair when nervous, you may want to wear gloves and a hat. Because when I pulled out the “edge of your seat” card earlier, I was pretty much talking about the unforgettable climax that will most likely have you gasping aloud. I know I did!