HONG Gildong is an infallible private detective with an exceptional memory and quirky personality. While chasing the only target he failed to find, he gets entangled in a much bigger conspiracy than he bargained for.
Life of a upcoming Korean patriot Park Yeol, who formed the anarchist organization "Black Wave" during the Japanese colonial period and attempted the assassination of the Japanese Crown Prince Hirohito.
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In late 18th century ice is a commodity more valuable than gold. When corrupt officials conspire to form a monopoly and fix its price, a gang of 11 professionals is formed to steal all the royal ice blocks in five storage for a night
Private detective HONG Gil-dong is seeking revenge for his mother who was murdered in front of him when he was a child. An investigation determines that the assailant is a man named Kim, but when he arrives at the Kim's house, he finds only the man's grandchildren who tell him that their grandfather was kidnapped. Hong tracks down the vicious kidnapper with help from the grandchildren, but senses that he is not acting alone. The mastermind is the notorious leader of a massive cult - a man with a terrifying, bloody secret in his hands. Now, Hong decides to face him once and for all.Written by
The walkie talkie used in the first scene is the same walkie talkie used in the drama "Signal" which shares the same written. See more »
This is the kind of film that Hollywood does not like to make nowadays
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Our protagonist (a detective, of course) works day-to-day to track down missing persons. One day, he finally finds the man who murdered his mother (when he was a child), but the murderer gets kidnapped and the detective must track down the criminals responsible. At the same time, however, he is forced to watch over two little girls (the murderer's grandchildren) who are tagging along for the ride. Unfortunately, the kidnappers work for a shadowy organization that has no qualms about eliminating anyone who stands in their way.
This movie has a very noir-ish feel to it, with a lot of investigation that leads our protagonist from place to place as he narrates his thoughts. He even wears the old school detective hat and coat, which gives him a classical look. The lead actor is Je-hoon Lee, who previously starred in "Bleak Night" and appeared in "The Front Line" (both of which are very good movies, by the way). "The Phantom Detective" provides even more evidence that this guy can legitimately carry a movie. He does a good job of portraying a man who is proficient at his job, but is still vulnerable and can get in over his head.
The dynamic between him and the girls is somewhat unorthodox. However, it's also endearing because the kids don't immediately know that he wants to take revenge on their grandfather, but they do figure out fairly early on that he is a habitual liar – and this gives some leeway for the filmmakers to pepper in some humorous exchanges of dialogue between them. In addition, one of the girls breaks out a notepad and takes down information while he questions people, almost as if she were a detective herself. This is entertaining stuff that safely avoids the "annoying little kid" cliché that can really hurt a movie. So basically, there are no weak points when considering the acting in this movie – everyone holds their own.
In terms of action – there are a handful of gun battles and fist fights, none of which are graphically violent, but they do have a hard-hitting feel to them that adds a weight and danger to everything. The action design has a "higher octane" feel to it, without the need for going over the top or chucking in cartoonish set pieces. Everything is grounded here, and that's important in this case due to the tone and type of film we're dealing with. Sure, we have three likable leads, but there are some dangerous people in this movie. One such person is the main bad guy, who makes multiple appearances throughout as he stalks the protagonists. And let me tell you, he's one tough son-of-a-gun too. Now, I won't spoil the ending for you, but what I will say is that it's very satisfying.
There are a few stylistic flourishes that are used for the buildings and environments at times, which utilize some artificial visuals. I know some critics have complained a bit about these particular special effects, but I thought it was a neat idea that gave this film some charm. You know, I have to say, "The Phantom Detective" feels like something that would have come out of U.S. during the 1990s. This is the kind of movie that Hollywood doesn't like to make anymore. And I definitely recommend it.
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