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Public Enemy
Public Enemy
Actors: Park Seung-tae, Lee Seong-jae, Yu Hae-jin, Lee Mun-shik, Ahn Jin-su
Directors: Woo-Suk Kang, Kang Woo-seok
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Anime & Manga
NR     2005     2hr 20min

The essence of the police, public servant, maintaining public peace, striving for the safety of citizens, has nothing to do with Detective Gang of Gangdong precinct. The meaning of being a public official, putting public i...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Park Seung-tae, Lee Seong-jae, Yu Hae-jin, Lee Mun-shik, Ahn Jin-su
Directors: Woo-Suk Kang, Kang Woo-seok
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Anime & Manga
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Anime & Manga
Studio: Adv Films
Format: DVD - Color - Dubbed,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 09/06/2005
Original Release Date: 01/01/2005
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2005
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 2hr 20min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: Korean, English
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

Not your typical good cop v. bad guy movie..
Stupendousmen | philadelphia, Pa United States | 01/24/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The title of this film says it all like a foreshadowing metaphor for the two main characters. As stated through his narration, you have this corrupt, violent, lazy, thuggish, not-so-bright-extortionist of a detective (played by Sol Kyung-gu from, "Oasis" and "Silmido") who on his way back from heroin heist from gang of dealers (3 kilos worth), witnesses his partner committing suicide after he finds out about an internal investigation from his chief (who gets the axe for corruption) in his precinct. Even after such traumatizing event does not deter his way of abusing his authority for his personal gain as he try to deal his stolen heroin to local dealers. Then we meet a character named Jo Kyu-hwan, (played by Lee Sung-jae from, "attack of the gas station") who on the exterior, not only is a successful stock broker, but also a good father and a husband - your typical upstanding citizen; however, deep within him lurks a cold blooded ruthless killer.

The irony of this movie is about these two characters. Who is the real public enemy? The corrupted detective who abuses his authority for personal gain or successful family man with a hidden agenda? Director Kang Woo-Suk does not use abstract contents or riddles (like David Lynch) that depends solely on intrinsic storyline nor does he dumb it down for the audiences to comprehend where the line of morality is drawn for these characters. The simple story is told straight through as the director forms outstanding character development through their distinctive contradicting personalities for greed, responsibility, and morality. You have this feeble-minded detective trying to solve a crime by botching critical evidence, to using unnecessary brute force for confession, to seeking help from local criminals for forensic evidence to a smart, calculated serial killer who unknowingly makes critical error that no right-minded detective has caught on? Yes, Woo-Suk scripts this movie almost perfectly with undertone of irony. He doesn't force feed the audiences with clich's of typical bad cop turned good cop like stereotypical Hollywood movies, but how a bad cop can retain his characteristics and yet enlighten himself to a point where he becomes somewhat useful, but not completely enough to eradicate his old personality and characteristics.

"Public Enemy," is a dark comedy wearing thriller in disguise. It is one of the most entertaining movies I've seen recently (last time I had this much fun was when I was watching Miyazaki's "Castle in the Sky," to Kon and Furuya's "Tokyo Godfather" to Nolan's "Batman Begins" to etc etc etc..). The movie is over two hours long and some tend to complain that the movie either side tracks or drags itself unnecessarily, but you be the judge. For me, I enjoyed every interaction between characters in different circumstances especially how the new police chief dealt with issues and corruptions -- it was just plain humorous and entertaining!

Public Enemy is hard edge drama that's funny
Phillip Colyette | 12/01/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I really did enjoy this picture it was funny but not a comedy. It was more drama based. The story starts off Soule, Korea with a dirty detective who never arrested anyone in his carrer. He crosses path with this sociopath. (how that happens is very funny) The detective doesn't know he just murder two people till a week later. So he's determined to prove to his superiors that he's the guy. No one takes him seriously, because they know he's a big MESS up. He not the sharpest tool in the shed, he's hard headed, and one tuff cop. He probally one of the dumbest cops around but this movie is not a spoof type movie. It have a lot of great one liners and the action isn't what you expect from a Asian movie. There in no karate, some gunplay, but a lot of people getting getting knocked off there block. All fights are street styled fighting. When I seen the detective in this movie, he reminds me of Charles Bronson as far as being tough and taking no crap from anybody. He also reminds me of Chow Yun Fat in those old Hong Kong films when he goes off on just about anybody. You'll be say he's bad a## but why can't he just do this or that to get this guy. That where some of the comedy comes in. It a different type of movie if you're tired of seeing the same old tired movies."
Lee Armstrong | Winterville, NC United States | 05/09/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Woo-Suk Kang directs "Public Enemy" with a different sense of rhythm and style from our Hollywood products. His characters are vivid. There is a logical story line, punctuated with some great fight sequences. Some combat seems to be thrown in because it'd be a nice time for a fight. Sol Kyung-gu who won a Best Actor award from the Seattle Film Festival for 2003's "Oasis" plays the bumbling cop who takes bribes and would rather bash a criminal's head to smithereens rather than bring him into the station and have to do the paperwork. While all the other cops have desk drawers full of paper, his drawer contains only one pencil. Lee Seong-jae plays the heavy Gyu-hwan in the movie. He is a corporate type who is completely amoral as he wheels and deals. Unfortunately, his aging father wishes to buy and orphanage and help children rather than invest in one of Gyu-hwan's schemes. Gyu-hwan decides on the obvious solution and shows up in a raincoat on a stormy night and slashes his parents to death, thus inheriting the money. As a criminal, Lee Seong-jae is handsome and sinister. I didn't particularly understand the necessity for the male nudity in the first part of the film. We get a backward glance at Gyu-hwan in the shower performing some manual manipulation. This is followed by a hot tub scene where Chul-Choong's partner who is tattooed from head to foot showers and gets into a naked fight with his partner. That's followed by an odd scene where the tattoo cop scrubs his partner's back. Culturally, this must have a different significance in Korea. Some of Woo-Suk Kang's scene selections seemed to make the film unnecessarily long. There's a sequence where Kang Chul-Cheoong who's been put back on the street as a beat cop stops the wife of Gyu-hwan for a traffic violation. He accepts a bribe and then crumples up the money. However, the wife connection doesn't lead him toward catching Gyu-hwan; it just seems tacked onto the plot. Oh Seung-myeong and Oh Seung-tae as the father and mother of Gyu-hwan do nice jobs as their son's victims. However, while it may be a bit long, the film is filled with good characters and riveting action. Enjoy!"