Commitment

Commitment

DVD - 2014 | Korean
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The highly educated son of an ex-North Korean agent is tasked to kill North Korean spies hiding in Seoul to save his kidnapped younger sister.
Publisher: [Place of publication not identified] :, [Publisher not identified],, [2014]
Branch Call Number: DVD Commitme
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (113 min.) :,sound, color ;,4 3/4 in.
digital, optical, rda
video file, DVD video, region 1, rda

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d
dnk
Feb 03, 2018

Speed was the most important factor in this movie. I got the impression that the director didn't want to give the audience too much time to think about the plot and explanations. Not necessarily a criticism- this is an action/espionage movie; if you're looking for realism about North Korean espionage in South Korea, watch a documentary.

This movie would have you believe that South Korea is overflowing with North Korean spies, but those spies would be well-advised to stay in South Korea, because there is no going back. When a North Korean spy has completed his mission and is set go home, he's waylaid by South Korean intelligence, who reveal that North Korea gave him up. The spy is killed, but he's labeled a traitor at home and his son (Li Myung-Hoon) and daughter (Li Hye-In) are sent to work in a labor camp. Shortly after, Myung Hoon is given the option to turn spy himself and gain freedom for himself and his sister. A year later, he arrives in South Korea under the pretense of having escaped by boat and uses the alias Kang Dae-Ho. He's taken in by a couple whom we realize are also North Korean spies in Section 8. Meanwhile, someone is executing other agents in their section, and it's revealed through South Korean intelligence that it's a rival faction of North Korean spies, Section 35. Myung-Hoon's mission is to find the assassin and kill him.

Finding the assassin is presented as less of a challenge than maintaining his cover as a high school student, where he encounters a classroom filled with bullies. He befriends a girl, also named Hye-In, who's teased and bullied mercilessly. While Myung-Hoon can maintain his stoic cover when he's attacked, he snaps when Hye-In is robbed and abused.

The question of how he'll survive now that his cover is starting to come apart is irrelevant once the assassin he's been looking for finds him. Disposing of him is difficult enough, but when he's betrayed by his own people and his sister is used as leverage against him, Myung-Hoon is going to have to depend on unlikely allies if he wants to save his sister.

Again, not the most realistic story ever told on screen, but the director and actors did a good job of selling it. (One thing that did ring true: the bullying in high school.) The acting was a little uneven (if I notice acting, that's a bad sign). I suspect T.O.P.'s range was a little limited at the time, so playing a character that wasn't allowed to express a lot of emotion for the most part was a good choice. Ye-ri Han was much more convincing, as were most of the adult leads. Still, I would recommend this for fans of Korean action films, especially those who don't want excessive gore

s
StarGladiator
Nov 22, 2017

Pretty good flick - - liked the highschool bullying scene's denouement.
Overall, solid movie, although a frequent occurring plot in Korean action/dramas.

nycounsel Mar 03, 2015

A lot of stuff going on, North Korean spy, some martial arts, high school bullying, brother looking out for his sister, etc... Despite this, the sum was greater than its parts, it worked for me. Choi Seung-hyun (T.O.P.) and Han Ye-ri (who plays the girlfriend - the DVD cover misidentifies her as the sister), were reserved but believable and fun to watch.

j
jimg2000
Aug 02, 2014

Nice cloak-and-dagger thriller that can only take place in Korea. Other than the black-op killings and martial arts stunts, the plot evolved around the teen secret agent's promise to protect his sister and girl friend from harm, and ... don't bully a new boy in high school.

FlightlessOwl Apr 07, 2014

Is this the one with T.O.P?

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j
jimg2000
Aug 02, 2014

Colonel Moon: You're still a child. Long way 'til you grow up.
Kang: You can't do this to me. I followed every order.
Colonel Moon: I wanted to make you our nation's hero.
Kang: But you...made me into a killer.
...
Colonel Moon: Blood is indeed thicker than water, you traitor...
Kang: Why did you bring my sister into this? What happened?
Colonel Moon: As long as you have that package, you'll be hunted. ... Making friends, it's not like you.
...
Kang (stabbed by agent): Who ordered you?!
North Korean Agent: No agent has ever returned home. But that doesn't mean you can live here.

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