This is an updated version of an earlier review.
To lump all South Korean cinema together and paint the industry with a singular, this-is-what-they-do brush is to do it a disservice. It cuts across genre boundaries, topics, and subsets, with standouts in each category along the way. But goddamn, do the South Korean filmmakers do dark, thoughtful crime thrillers really well. Oldboy, I Saw the Devil, The Yellow Sea, the list goes on. The latest addition to this canon is Lee Won-tae’s The Gangster, the Cop, the Devil.