The Outlaws / 범죄도시 [BumJoedoshi] / Lit: Criminal City (2017)
DIRECTOR: Kang Yun-sung
WRITER: Kang Yun-sung
CAST: Don Lee (Ma Dong-seok), Yoon Kye-sang, Cho Chae-yun, Choi Guy-hwa, Jin Seon-kyu
Ma is a detective who leads a team that keeps the Korean-Chinese gangs under control. But the status quo gets turned upside-down when a trio of gangsters from China come into Seoul and start brutally taking away territory from the current Korean-Chinese gangsters. Inspired by real events (and probably extremely loosely).
This is a pretty solid Korean crime movie with a charismatic lead performance from Don Lee / Ma Dong-seok that’s matched by the villain Jang Chen (Yoon Kye-sang). Although the new Chinese gangsters in town are quite brutal, chopping off limbs with axes, the gore isn’t really put on screen. The movie’s overall tone isn’t dark and has some funny moments.
Action is pretty well choreographed and suitably hard hitting although don’t expect anything super creative. Lee is a built like a brickhouse and fights like one. Although it’s never particularly in doubt who will win in his fight against Jang, it’s one that action fans will enjoy. It helps that up to that point, Jang has been built up as an extremely dangerous threat so it doesn’t completely seem like a foregone conclusion.
I don’t really have much to say about this movie, it’s an enjoyable popcorn flick, nothing more or less. It’s not really a must-watch but fans of the genre will probably enjoy it, particularly fans of Don Lee. There’s also a sequel in the works.
Seen on a screener at Fantasia International Film Festival