This film is full of surprises and is endlessly stimulating. It's about a young Korean cop who walks a beat, gets involved in a street shootout with members of a large criminal syndicate, and then agrees to infiltrate the syndicate as an undercover agent, rapidly rising to the top of the hierarchy as assistant to the #1 man himself. During his rise, he antagonises and earns the hatred of the gangsters whose places he has taken. For most gangster plots, this would suffice for building the film, but this one adds an interesting overlay. Not only does he have to watch his back re: his fellow gang members, but as he savours the sweet rewards of power he decides to cut loose from the police and build a real gangster career for himself, despite the powerful gang enemies he's created. Now he has no police protection to fall back on if he needs it, and the former lieutenants of the gang glare daggers at him during every meeting and are waiting for him to make the slightest slip. Is this enough danger for any 26 year old to take upon himself? Nope. Here's the next plot overlay: heady with success and unperturbed by the daggers drawn around him, he decides he doesn't need the protective umbrella of the top man he is serving and takes steps to ambush him. Will he succeed? His future, his very life depends on the spin of the wheel. It's a great challenge for a film to smoothly organise all these variables and complications, and this one succeeds admirably. Aiding the terrific script and the inventive scenes that never resort to cliches, the actors are first rate and there's genuine character development. The big boss is multilayered and reveals unsuspected depths & paradoxes that turn our expectations upside down. There are beacons of decency calling out to the young renegade cop: his former partner on the beat --- idealistic and incorruptible, whose sister expects to marry the hero before the film starts and the girl's decent, humble character is superbly sketched in during a brief episode as the two discuss a menu at the start of the movie. We're also given the subplot of the #1 man's young, restless wife that becomes part of the mix and injects dangerous thrills. She, too, is not a cardboard character and displays unexpected humanity and loyalty. But do we get enough violence to meet the requirements of a Korean gangster film? Yes and the amount is just right. Are there sexually teasing moments? Yes, as we join the young hero watching from the shadows as the gang leader's exciting wife takes off her clothes. Does the film stand out from routine gangster movies because of its clever scriptwriting and novel events? Absolutely. Would a person normally put off by subtitles enjoy this film? I found that a breeze, but then that's because I effortlessly and greedily watched it three times, and I suspect you might, too.