every time he reaches for his hat, you understand fireworks are about to begin.
That's the variety of anti-hero Hong Gil-dong (Lee Je-hoon), a character rooted in sixteenth-century Korean folklore, is within the enthralling "Phantom Detective." The South Korean suspense drama is each most appropriate popcorn movie and morally complicated revenge tale.
The up to date-day Hong telegraphs what he's about to do after which does it — a trademark of these days's cookie-cutter action determine. but the character's problem is his lack of soul.
'Phantom Detective,' with Lee Je-hoon, Park Geun-hyung, Roh Jeong-eui, Kim Ha-na, Kim Sung-kyun. Written and directed by Jo Sung-hee. one hundred twenty five minutes. no longer rated; for mature audiences. In Korean, with English subtitles. Alderwood Mall sixteen.
in this visually fantastic and spooky thriller, Hong's redemption is at hand.
a private eye who works for an outfit that extra resembles surprise's S.H.I.E.L.D. than a noirish firm of sleuths, Hong is a "ghost" who can't be tracked via reputable data. in reality, he is aware of little about his own previous other than shadowy recollections of his mother's murder by the hands of a man named Kim.
That hollowness makes Hong well-suitable to deal mercilessly with killers and human traffickers. An early scene reveals his smug pleasure in sadistic violence towards his prey.
but Hong is largely driven by a desire to locate Kim and kill him. When he locates his nemesis' damaged-down shack on a lonely rural road, he finds the old man's very younger granddaughters (Roh Jeong-eui and Kim Ha-na) on my own. Kim (Park Geun-hyung) has just been kidnapped.
An ensuing search leads Hong to a substantial conspiracy, a supervillain (Kim Sung-kyun) and into the mystery of his personal past. but this story is basically a few every so often comic impediment: those granddaughters attach themselves to lone-wolf Hong. How can he kill Kim with them in tow?
writer-director Jo Sung-hee subtly inspires American Westerns and "X-information"-like weirdness whereas dreaming up such pulse-quickening set items as a shootout in a fog-crammed room. ultimately, although — as fun as all of this is — "Phantom Detective" is, movingly, about a ghost glimpsing his humanity.