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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kim Yoon-Seok Take a Bow
'The Chaser' is a multi-layered film of remorse, regret, revenge and helplessness.

It's rare that any director achieves such a complex character in any film, but the male lead (Jung) played by Kim Yoon-Seok is an incredibly deep individual, who had me loathing him one minute and empathising with him the next throughout.

Indeed Kim Yoon-Seok achieved...
Published on 12 Oct 2011 by The Dandy Highwayman

versus
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good, solid detective drama, but nothing too special although it does chase for this
Comparing this to Taken, as reviews have, is unfair and will only disappoint, I challenge these comparisons. For me it was more a resemblance of modern BBC TV Detective dramas. The Chaser (a 2010 remake) is slick, deep and packing intelligence, emotion and multi-level story into what is an ex cop enters a serial killers world.

It is shot well, with great South...
Published on 17 Aug 2011 by T. BROOKES


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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kim Yoon-Seok Take a Bow, 12 Oct 2011
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This review is from: The Chaser [DVD] (DVD)
'The Chaser' is a multi-layered film of remorse, regret, revenge and helplessness.

It's rare that any director achieves such a complex character in any film, but the male lead (Jung) played by Kim Yoon-Seok is an incredibly deep individual, who had me loathing him one minute and empathising with him the next throughout.

Indeed Kim Yoon-Seok achieved 7 seperate awards for his stunning portrayal of this 'ex-detective turned pimp' in Korea during 2008.

Very cleverly, the audience is 'in the loop' early on and the proceeding race against the clock centres around 'Jung' trying to piece events together as we, the viewer, look on helplessly.

Many reviews go into the storyline in far more detail, so I'll miss that out. All I'd say is that this is a tough, tense yet highly touching piece of cinema. Brutal in parts, gut-wrenchingly sad in others; 'The Chaser' has everything.

I would settle on 4 stars, but for me, Yoon-Seok's stunning acting demands and deserves a top-notch rating.

Exceptional.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well crafted and tense Korean thriller., 17 Oct 2009
This review is from: The Chaser (2008) [DVD] (DVD)
The Chaser was a massive success in its native South Korea, it was an odd but effective thriller which holds no mystery and purposely reveals its secrets right from the start. The brilliance behind this approach is avoiding tiresome clichés and the need to include ridiculous plot twist and disappointing endings. First time director Na Hon-jin mounts his tension not on shocks and revelations but strictly on emotion, keeping the audience frustrated and aggravated with the police force who are more concerned with public image than public safety. In my opinion this fantastic Asian thriller showed so much originality and again shows how Korea keeps making these amazing films that continue to surprise the audience, Hong Jin delivered an amazingly assured crime thriller debut revolving around the grisly deeds of a real life serial killer who claimed more than twenty victims. Not quite a masterpiece like Memories of Murder or Oldboy but on par with a film like Seven.

Joong-ho (Yun-seok Kim) is a pimp that keeps losing his girls. They go out, but they don't come back. He doesn't know if they are running away or kidnapped and sold. The cops are too busy watching out for politicians to look for missing prostitutes. Fortunately, Joong-ho also happens to be a former cop and decides to solve the mystery himself. When he sends out Mi-jin (Yeong-hie Seo), he tags along. Unfortunately, he cannot save her from her fate, but he does find out who (Jung-woo Ha) is doing it; he just doesn't know yet what is being done. While Joong-ho is searching, he discovers that Mi-jin has a daughter and now he is stuck with her while he looks. I'm not going to say anymore as it's better if you watch this for yourself. Things take many twists and turns that add to the suspense. There were a couple of very intense and disturbing scenes especially towards the end but the film flowed very nicely and the storyline fit perfectly from start to finish, so it's very entertaining and it did have a few humorous scenes but still maintained that serious tone especially at the last half of the film. The film has some outstanding writing and acting, and incredible suspense. A real winner from Korea that keeps you on the edge of your seat, I highly recommend this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Korean Thriller, 27 July 2011
By 
Tommy Dooley (London, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Chaser [DVD] (DVD)
I saw this ages ago and have just re watched it, and I have to say it is still stunning second time round. The plot is that an ex cop turned pimp Joong Ho (Kim Yoon-seok) thinks someone is stealing his ladies, as they keep going off to meet clients and not coming back. He and his sidekick, `Meathead', decide that after one of his last girls goes missing to do some searching. It soon becomes obvious that some of them have all disappeared after seeing the same punter. A punter who he has just sent Kim Mi-jin (Seo Young-hee) to go and service - as it were. He tells her to text the address as soon as she gets there. Without wanting to spoil the plot, she has a bit of a service outage and the chase to find her is on.

This is a film where Na Hong-jin (director and co-writer) keeps up the pace at a blistering level. It is shot beautifully in a way that makes it look effortless and natural at the same time. All of the characters are portrayed as being very human and very fallible. There are asides into humour too that fit just perfectly. This is a thriller with some gore, but most of the violence is straightforward fighting. The tension is piled on especially when Joong Ho discovers Mi Jins seven year old daughter and reluctantly takes her with him.

There is great attention to detail and I have seen criticism that the plot is too `far fetched', well I hasten to disagree as this film is based on the true life story of serial killer Yoo Young-chul. He was sentenced to death for twenty murders and cannibalism in 2005.

This is a stunning piece of original cinema that is nigh on hard to fault, it is in Korean with excellent sub titles. If you don't like subs then Warner Bros may have the answer as they have bought the rights and are thinking of a re-make with Mr DiCaprio as the star. I suggest doing yourself a favour and seeing the original, I am pretty confident that it far outshines any attempt at copying. Excellent Korean film that I can not recommend highly enough.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars intense thriller., 6 Aug 2010
This review is from: The Chaser [DVD] (DVD)
the chaser may not feature the most original story but the director makes up for it with his execellent pacing and direction. the director gives the time for the protagonist to develope making you care for him and his actions, he may not be the nicest of people but as the story moves forward the viewer may change their view about him.

the intensity is increased when the killer is captured in the first quarter for he is holding another victim and when it becomes a race to find her where abouts before her death the viewer will be thoroughly engaged. the film moves along at a decent pace allowing time for the drama and characterisation to unfold.

the film features really graphic scenes and may not be to everyones liking but it brings about the realism and insanity of the criminal.

thorougly engaging, highly recommended.

p.s. hollywood are planning a remake of this so that itself should speak volumes about the quality of this film.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good, solid detective drama, but nothing too special although it does chase for this, 17 Aug 2011
By 
T. BROOKES "Brookey" (Midlands, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Chaser (2008) [DVD] (DVD)
Comparing this to Taken, as reviews have, is unfair and will only disappoint, I challenge these comparisons. For me it was more a resemblance of modern BBC TV Detective dramas. The Chaser (a 2010 remake) is slick, deep and packing intelligence, emotion and multi-level story into what is an ex cop enters a serial killers world.

It is shot well, with great South Korean filmography in feel and character. It is deep, engaging, entertaining and well cultured.

The plot involves an ex policeman turned prostitute guardian (pimp). One of his girls goes missing, captured by a twisted customer, who has scared girls before, who turns out to be a serial killer. As the police detain the killer there is a race to find the imprisoned last victim, as she is till alive in an unknown house. More of the killer's character is unravelled, whilst ex-cop Jung-ho has to look after the victim's young daughter, helping to save her mother before it is too late. All of this is shot well in a gritty, but greatly real, Mangwan in Seol at night amongst the streets, back allies and shady homes near the mountains.

If you are into World Cinema and these style of cat and mouse detective dramas, then this film will please fans. I do feel sorry that it suffers from top-billing and raving reviews as a cult gem, when it was for me slick and well produced, rather than being anything special, unique or extra-ordinary. The film is slow, long (2 hours) and thus an asking watch, but a debatably worthwhile one none the less.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars don't wait for the remake, 10 Mar 2009
This review is from: The Chaser (2008) [DVD] (DVD)
...because it won't be anywhere near as good as this. The Chaser somehow manages to be tender and funny and harrowing and intensely exciting all at the same time. The acting, script, cinematography, editing and score are all first-rate. Less gimmicky than Oldboy and more dynamic than Memories Of Murder, The Chaser is the real deal. Highly recommended.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Chaser, 3 April 2009
By 
Dirk Beemster "DirBee" (Amsterdam, Netherlands) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Chaser (2008) [DVD] (DVD)
Wow, I love asian cinema. One of my favorites last years was Oldboy (also korean). But this, for me, beats Oldboy. It's more down to earth, more realistic, quite sad, and very exiting. Iff anything, I would have to compare it with Seven and Silence of the lambs, but it stands completely on it's own as a serial-killer masterpiece. Loved it.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Chaser; good though a little pedestrian., 14 Aug 2012
By 
Mr. J. Ryden (In your mind, in the part you've forgotten about.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Chaser [DVD] (DVD)
Bought The Chaser on the strength of numerous positive reviews on Amazon. To be fair, perhaps I suffered from a case of the 'inflated expectations', if I were to be generous. The plot itself isn't vastly original; cat-and-mouse thriller which sees killer caught early in the film followed by our corrupt cop-turned-pimp searching for the still-living latest captive.

I do like my Korean and Japanese cinema so was eagerly anticipating this bad-boy. When all's said and done though, it wasn't the resounding success I thought it would be. The plot and acting is all good but sometimes the film seemed to veer into a slight slapstick feel which felt incongruous and out of place. Similarly, the inept and bumbling local police felt like they were played for laughs. This for me took something away from the urgency of the plot. As I say, the pimp, killer and young girl all played their parts well; they made up for the film's shortcomings somewhat.

In short, not a bad film by any stretch of the imagination but my experience didn't match that of its plaudits. A film of a very similar ilk I thought did better was German serial-killer flick Antibodies.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hair-raising Chaser, 16 Mar 2010
By 
George Redelinghuys "Art lover" (Helsinki, Finland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Chaser [DVD] (DVD)
"Chaser" is an intelligently made, hair-raising thriller, as only the South-Koreans ( "Old Boy")in their unique way can achieve. It is thoroughly recommended to all who appreciate top film making, but is not for the squeamish.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An outstanding movie, 30 Dec 2009
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This review is from: The Chaser (2008) [DVD] (DVD)
A great film that is unsparing in its relentless pace and sense of dread as each of the key characters move towards a denouement that is truly horrific and yet holds out a glimmer of redemption for the ex-cop turned pimp who tries to save the life of one of his "girls". Some Korean movies can be pretty stomach turning but the best of them show great humanity amongst the ultra-violence and malevolence.
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The Chaser [DVD]
The Chaser [DVD] by Yeong-Hie Seo (DVD - 2009)
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