A Company Man (2012) [Review]


A faded pop star (Lee Mi-youn) gives a contract killer (So Ji-sub) a reason to want to quit the assassination business.

Another Korean film to throw into the ‘action/thriller’ pile, but in this instance it does not live up to the usual standard I come to expect from this type of film. Think ‘A Bittersweet Life‘ only more guns and less stabbing.

There is little to say about this film without just going over the plot. A plot that is largely forgettable, very predictable and offers nothing above the ordinary for the audience. It is a real shame because So Ji-sub was excellent as the suit wearing, ass-kicking hit-man, and it has got me even more excited to get round to watching Kim Ki-Duk’s ‘Rough Cut’ in which he plays the lead. It felt like he was wasted in this film, supported by a mediocre cast and provided with a simplistic story to act out, there was little room to shine. That little room he had usually appeared in the action sequences which although inconsistent and infrequent were entertaining overall. The gunfight in the final third was a joy to watch, if not a little messy, but it only added to it’s appeal.

I’m not one to continuously draw comparisons, but it is so difficult when there are many better films in this genre out there to be viewed. ‘A Bittersweet Life’, ‘The Man From Nowhere’, ‘The Yellow Sea’ and ‘The Chaser’ are all worthy of your time, each one different and compelling in their own unique way. Each of the films are memorable, they make you feel uncomfortable at times but ultimately excite you as an Action/Thriller should do. This film falls short, in a genre that has launched Korean Cinema to a much wider audience, we are now aware of their potential, and this simply did not live up to that.

Good, but not good enough.

Currently streaming on Netflix

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