Berlin-File
I had heard decidedly mixed things about Ryu Seung-wan’s latest Korean action thriller, so was pleasantly surprised by this neo-Cold War tale of duplicitous North and South Korean agents working in Berlin. Ha Jung-woo is the North Korean agent who is told that his wife (Jeon Ji-hyun) is under suspicion of being a double agent. Ryu Seung-beom turns up to ensure those in the wrong are dutifully dispatched, while Hun Suk-kyu’s South Korean agent attempts to work out just what the hell is going on before everyone involved is dead.

The film’s big problem is that the script demands its cast to have numerous conversations in English, and frankly none of the actors is up to the task, but when allowed to speak in their native tongue they do a great job. The film’s true highlight, however, is its action. The film features a number of implausibly brutal skirmishes, featuring plenty of hand to hand combat, and head on collisions with all manner of sharp and blunt objects. Ha Jung-woo in particular appears to be jaw-droppingly indestructible, and fans of recent Korean thrillers like The Man From Nowhere and The Yellow Sea should get their kicks – and punches, stabs, gunshots and batterings – from this top tier production.

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