List Film

The City of Violence (3 stars)

Martial Arts

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The City of Violence

Deeply indebted to a host of Western classics, this dazzling flick by Korean director Ryoo Seung-wan smoothly blends all of its influences into a fast-paced, gorgeous-looking whole.

With shades of Get Carter, the hard-bitten (and just plain hard) Detective Tae-su (Jeong Doo-hong), returns to his home city to attend the funeral of a childhood friend. He reminisces about their teenage years in gangs, and in the cold, hard present he makes it his mission to investigate the death, following a trail that leads up the gangland hierarchy. Aided by his friend Seok-hwan (played by the director), he navigates some spectacular set-pieces – included a stunning clash with teenage gang members which borrows the stylistic motifs of The Warriors – yet it’s the grittily iconic grindhouse brutality of the film which lingers most with the viewer. Extras include a ‘making of’ featurette, and cast and crew interviews.
(David Pollock)

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