A Bittersweet Life (2005)

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I remember when I first saw this movie. I was working in Blockbuster (RIP), and as we were allowed free rentals I decided to give it a whirl as I’d heard a lot about it and thought it’d be rude not to really since I didn’t have to pay. I can say that I was blown away. This film really is fantastic. It’s not a fluke either, there are some amazing movies that have come out of South Korea, all of which are well worth seeking out.

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The story concerns an enforcer and hotel manager called Sun-Woo (played by the awesome Byung-hun Lee) who is tasked by his ruthless boss to shadow his mistress named Hee-Soo, who he suspects is cheating while he is away. He is told by his boss to kill Hee-Soo and whoever she is seeing if it turns out to be true. Sun-Woo begins to follow Hee-Soo and slowly begins to develop an attraction for her. He discovers that she is cheating on his boss and savagely beats the mystery man, only stopping when he sees how distraught Hee-Soo is becoming. He promises to spare their lives if they promise never to see each other again. Sun-Woo’s boss finds out that Sun-Woo disobeyed an order and tortures him to find out why, leaving him for dead. He doesn’t bank on Sun-Woo killing anyone in his way on his quest for revenge.

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The action is incredible. There are some blistering fight scenes, particularly one in a warehouse where Sun-Woo takes on almost 30 people. There are also some fantastic shoot outs and one particularly memorable scene when Sun-Woo goes to buy some guns which is comical and nail bitingly tense all at once.

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Byung-hun Lee is fantastic as Sun-Woo. Most movie fans will recognise him from the G.I. Joe movies where he plays Storm Shadow, but he has made some fantastic movies in his native country. One of the films that he made which is definitely on par with this is ‘I Saw The Devil’. I have done a review of that movie, however to read it you will need to visit my good friends blog http://www.stigmatophiliablog.wordpress.com as it is appearing as an exclusive on their blog soon.

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This film really does rock. If you are one of those people that doesn’t watch subtitled movies, for whatever reason, then I urge you to break that habit and watch this. It really is fantastic. It’s full of bone crunching action, awesome fight scenes and blisteringly good shoot outs. Seriously, give it a go.

5/5

JM

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