The Gangster, The Cop, The Devil is a film that you can be completely safe to go to the theater, with a quality assurance from talented actors.
A work brought by Korea to the recent Cannes Festival with Parasites, The Gangster, The Cop, Devil is an action/psychological film violating many violent scenes, but it is not too fast-paced due to the many funny situations that come from the two main actors, Ma Dong Seok and Kim Mu Yeol.
The Gangster, The Cop, Devilis directed by director Lee Won Tae, set in Seoul in 2005, revolving around three main characters who are a small local police officer, a gang boss and a serial killer. Ma Dong Seok portrays Jang Dong Soo, who was randomly attacked by the murderer Kang Kyung Ho (Kim Sung Gyu), reluctant to cooperate with the nasty police officer Jung Tae Seok (Kim Mu Yeol) to track down and stop the killer from harming innocent people.
The content of The Gangster, The Cop, Devil focuses on two main issues: the quest for a killer and a view of Korean society at the time, where gangs in the world are raging and dominated by the head of a police department. The process of searching for the murderer Kang took place quite aggressively, with murder scenes happening throughout until the two main characters found the identity of Kang. There are many scenes of violence and gore in the film, mainly from the violent and brutal punches of Ma Dong Seok as well as the fatal blows of murderer Kang. However, some murder scenes were cut off in a straightforward manner, lessening the audience’ experience a little bit.
Although The Gangster, The Cop, Devil has many intriguing details, the speed is not too busy and not to the extent that the audience must be too choking, because of the many funny situations between gangster and cop. Ma Dong Seok has collaborated very well with Kim Mu Yeol, making audience believe in each other’s dislike and their reluctant partner relationship. Ma Dong Seok has a character that is quite similar to his previous roles, a big guy with a grim face but quite cute, but his performance in this film is still great, a powerful and cold gangster but sometimes also reveals vulnerability to others.
Kim Mu Yeolhas fulfilled his role as the policeman who wants to catch the murderer, with many scenes showing the character’s complex psychological developments when he is forced to “dip in” to be able to catch the criminal. This stems from the conflict between him and his gangster when he received the security money and was under the control of Jang Dong Soo, as well as the helplessness when he forbade him from participating in the investigation of murder cases of murderer Kang.
Kim Sung Gyuhas excelled in the role of a savage and sick man, with his impossibility. Kang murdered mercilessly, and anyone who caught him could become his reluctant victim. However, in addition to the circumstances that happened in the film, audience cannot understand Kang’s past and why he became such that person. Kang will become much better if the writer exploits and delves into how the society at that time had an influence on Kang, a society in which people cannot clearly differ the differences between rightness and wrongness, and sometimes truth also needs to be bent a bit so that justice is enforced. Thanks to that, the film possesses an ending which is not too surprising, but still makes the audience extremely satisfied.
The Gangster, The Cop, Devil also possesses many impressive scenes, such as when Kang shows off his victims, audience were usually only seen from a far or blind corner, with the sound of knives hitting the skin. Meat leaves the audience with a painful feeling. The recorded close-up scenes were cut off and it alleviated Kang’s cruelty. In return, the camera angles move in the direction of Ma Dong Seok’s blow, plus the sound quality coming from punches always satisfies the audience, but somehow it also feels hurt for the punched characters.