Director: Hong-jin Na
Writer: Won-Chan Hong, Shinho Lee, Hong-jin Na (Screenplay)
Starring: Kim Yoon-seok, Hung-woo Ha, Yeong-hie Seo, Yoo-Jeong Kim, In-gi Jeong
Plot: A disgraced ex-policeman who runs a small ring of prostitutes finds himself in a race against time when one of his women goes missing.
Tagline – The hunter and the hunted, the ultimate chase begins
Runtime: 2 Hour 5 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: The Chaser starts as we meet former detective turned pimp Joong-ho Eom (Yoon-seok) who arranges the girls, but will get hands on with anyone who abuses his girls, putting their safety first, his style has seen him falling behind and when some of his girls have gone missing, he starts to investigate the truth.
When Joong-ho catches the killer Young-min Jee (Ha), he faces a new race against time to save the missing girl Mi-jin Kim (Seo) that Young-min isn’t will to give up the information about, despite having the police constantly on the attack looking for the truth.
Thoughts on The Chaser
Characters & Performances – Joong-ho Eom is a small time pimp, with his girls getting treated differently to others in the industry, he is a former detective as will use his connection when needed and he will take on and punish anyone who hurts the girls he has working for him. When his girls start going missing, he goes into detective mode to track them down, where he catches the person behind it, but is left trying to figure out where the latest victim is, to reunite her child with them. He will not stop until he finds her and he is willing to hurt anyone that holds back the truth. Kim Yoon-seok does show us just how far someone will go when they are pushed to the limits. Young-min Jee is the killer, he calls up prostitutes where he uses the time to kill them, he has been caught but isn’t given away the information about where he has committed these crimes, keeping everything secret, so his latest victim will die, a sick a twisted man that is always ready to make people pay. Jung-woo Ha gives us a very cold character that will not stop and is always planning something in his head. Mi-jin Kim is the prostitute that is taken by Young-min Jee, locked up and beaten, she spends most of the film tied up waiting or thinking how to escape. The supporting cast in the film are all wonderful, showing us just how dark and desperate this world created has become.
Story – The story here follows a former detective turned pimp that must track down a killer who is killing his girls and find the latest victim before it is too late. This story shows us how someone searching for the truth will go to extreme lengths to make sure he finds it, going into a dark place to take on a killer that isn’t willing to give up any information, knowing he is in a race against time to save a life. The story is gritty, filled with twists about who is involved and by the end will leave you exhausted.
Themes – The Chaser brings us into a cat-n-mouse like world, with a killer looking to stay ahead of the man trying to catch him and save his victim. We get plenty of running action sequences, through the tight streets, trying to capture potential suspects, before we learn the truth, with the tension being ramped up by the race against time to save the missing girl. We don’t hold back on the violence which will be shown in every blow. The setting of the big city, works, with the housing area being very tight streets, leaves everything in a race against time, with many different options.
Final Thoughts –The Chaser is a dark disturbing crime thriller that doesn’t hold back on anything.