Good versus Evil
Miguel B. Llora | Bay Point, California USA | 06/12/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Another Public Enemy is the kind of movie that should resonate immediately with American audiences. Although set in South Korea and supposedly dealing with areas of modern Korean culture, the film shows and deals with situations that should be recognizable to most Americans.
Kang Chul-joong is the archetypal self-made man, a prosecutor whose mind and skills are, in some odd way, born into. Like Prosecutor Kang was "born" for one mission and one mission only: to serve the public good.
On the flipside, Han Sang-woo, represents the doppelganger that can be created by the same society: born rich and spoiled he is not interested in playing by the rules of civilized society. It is classic and it works.
In Another Public Enemy, the director Kang Woo-suk tries for social commentary. He focuses on the corruption that exists in politics and business in Korean culture - with caricatures and no subtlety. Yes, one could read Another Public Enemy as too simplistic. It will resonate with those viewers who are stuck in the duality of good versus evil. Why not? For those of us missing heroes and mired in convoluted psychological dramas Another Public Enemy is a solid sequel that expands on its basic ideas in new and exciting ways. It might not be the next Infernal Affair but it was two hours of good fun.
A special treat for fans of the first movie
Horror Fanatics | 03/21/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have to be completely honest and say that was never a big fan of police dramas. Most of the time I found them to be repetitive and unrewarding. It wasn't until I saw the South Korean film Public Enemy that I learned to appreciate action/crime drama films. It's been so long since I've written a non horror movie review and I was lucky enough to check out the sequel for Public Enemy, one of the most successful Korean crime thrillers of all time. Gonggongui jeog 2 (Another Public Enemy) was a sequel that I was really anxious to see and I was glad to be able to check it out on DVD. In this new film we fallow Prosecutor Cheol-jung Kang once again as he tries to uncover a new mystery. This time around he isn't looking for a merciless raincoat killer, but he tries to find the truth behind his nemesis in which he may be responsible for bribery, embezzlement and murder. Kang suffers deeply as he goes deeper into the case and even finds himself going above the law to serve his own brand of Justice. This film caught my attention from the very beginning. We're treated to a nice little back story which is filled with a good plot and nice action. It starts of with a steady but great pace and all the action blends in very well in the start.
The purpose of the opening scenes were to show you that power is what rules the world. The opening scenes also show you the relationships between the teachers and the rich kids who have power and I thought that whole idea played out well. More of that idea plays out through most of the movie as we see more of the villain in the movie. From then on we return with some familiar characters as they go into a brand new case. It's much different from the one in the first movie, it's more of your typical gangster type of film where you have the bad guy and who is rich and can pretty much get away with everything. We've seen plenty of movies like this here in the states but what was different for me were the characters. I liked the films plot but it was the relationships between the characters that really kept my attention to the movie. The acting is what impressed me the most. I even heard that actor Sol kyung-gu won a Grand Bell and Blue Dragon award for his performance in the first movie. Unlike his role in the first movie Kang no longer plays a ruthless cop. Instead he is more of a straight laced prosecutor and the difference between this and the earlier picture is shown. I was hoping that this movie would have a lot of action in it, but it's not all there. There were some cool action sequences near the beginning of the movie but that was pretty much it. The rest of the film plays out as a crime drama but it still kept my attention which was a plus.
I usually tend to get tired and bored from these kind of movies but this one had me glued to the screen. I liked the story and I liked what the film had to offer. It's repetitive and even with its slow pace it was pretty good. We're also treated to some nice and fun humor which doesn't ruin the picture but makes it much more fun to watch. If you're unfamiliar with the first movie then that's fine, there aren't really any parts in the film that will leave you confused in case you never watched the first movie. As I mentioned before this film runs at a pretty slow pace. Most of the film is built on drama and story so you can just imagine what the pace must be like. For me it wasn't too much of a problem even though I was hoping for more action or maybe even some really cool plot twists. Everything in this movie is straight forward and you would have to pay attention to understand what is going on. Overall I thought Another Public Enemy was a good movie. The acting is great, the story is and good and it kept my attention though the entire thing. I liked the first movie and I enjoyed this sequel just as much. It's different and un-fulfilling in some areas but it's still a fun watch. Your time wont be waisted for sure.
The bonus features on this DVD are a real treat. The film is of course played in Korean but features both English and Spanish subtitles. It's presented in Widescreen format and bonus features include Commentary with the director and cast, a making of featurette, behind the scenes featurette, theatrical trailers and even some trailers from other great Tartan Asia Extreme releases. Of all the bonus features I enjoyed the commentary with the films director and some of the cast members. The commentary gives you a better idea of what the film is about and like most commentaries you learn plenty of cool facts. Another Public Enemy is a really good treat for those of you who love crime dramas. This is a film I would really recommend renting whether or not if you've seen the first movie. But if you're into this genre of films then picking up the DVD would be a good choice. It's a good movie and the special features make it even more worth the price. I'm proud to have this film in my collection and like the first movie it helped me appreciate these kind of movies more.