Don't you just hate spoilers? I do, too. That's why I always try to include warnings. However, I sometimes ramble a bit too much here or there and maybe a few (or many) key plot points slip without me giving proper notice. So I'd like to include a blanket spoiler warning for the weary internet travelers of the world: Here There Be Spoilers. You've been warned.


Saturday, June 21, 2014

Running Turtle

I'm not quite sure where the title comes from or exactly how it pertains to the film, but Running Turtle is a flick worthy of the attention of fans of Korean films. No, it isn't quite in the same league as OldBoy or I Saw the Devil, but Running Turtle is a film that can stand on its own two feet. The story is a fairly familiar one, though: A married (and very much suspended) cop who gambles too much decides to steal his wife's savings in order to bet on a bull fight. He chooses the underdog and miraculously wins, but his earnings are stolen by an escaped fugitive known for his fighting prowess. From there it's a cat-and-mouse game until the final badass fight between the two main characters. Of course, even if he can somehow defeat the legendary Song Gi-tae (Jong Kyung-ho), is there anywhere he'll be able to patch things up with his wife and daughter? Or with the police force that suspended him?

I wouldn't exactly call this movie a suspense-fest because it takes a bit to build up and sometimes it relies a little too much on some forced humor, but the real strength of this film is veteran actor Kim Yoon-seok and how he makes you want to root for his quite flawed character. You might recognize his name from the films Chaser and The Yellow Sea, both of which I enjoyed mightily and reviewed on this blog, but if you don't recognize his name then here's your chance to get acquainted. 

This film was directed by Lee Yeon-woo, a man who has only directed three films in the past twelve years, with Running Turtle being his sophomore effort. I believe he also co-wrote the script, too. 

I found it hard to believe this was only someone's second movie, but I think that the good filmmakers are just naturally gifted that way. Again, that's not to say that this is one of the greatest Korean films I've ever seen, but it's a solid movie and worth a watch if you are a fan of chase movies with a bit of comedic relief or Korean films. I'd certainly be willing to watch it again, if only to see if it flows better after a second viewing. 

Watch the movie and maybe you'll enjoy it a little bit. That's my advice.



















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