Nowhere to Hide
인정사정 볼 것 없다
Director: Lee Myung-se
Cast: Park Joong-hoon, Ahn Sung-ki, Jang Dong-gun
Film genre: Noir
Cert 12A, 112 mins, 2021
Distributed by Taewon Entertainment
A detective investigates the murder of a drug boss in this highly stylised violent actioner that saw director Lee Myung-Se, in America at least, marketed as Seoul’s answer to Hong Kong’s John Woo. It has been cited as an influence on The Matrix. This is the period in South Korean cinema where directors were gleefully using every trick in the technical playbook - and what the film lacks in narrative cohesion it more than makes up for in extravagant style. After this genre masterwork Lee spent four years in America unsuccessfully trying to put together an English-language debut. It never happened, and his career never quite recovered. Taking place over 72 days often in the pouring rain, this is a police procedural with an all-too familiar cop duo, taking a prime Western slab of noir and slathering it with gochujang.