A desperate cab driver (Jung-woo) from the badlands of China's Yanji City heads to Seoul to take on a dangerous job that could make or break him...
Desperate Gu-Nam (Ha Jung-woo), a Korean living in a lawless border region of China, takes a hitman gig in Seoul in the hope of finding his missing wife. He nerves himself up to strike, only to find his target is already being murdered by his own chauffeur, who Gu-nam kills in a messy fight. Pursued by inept cops, gangsters and the flamboyant fixer (Kim Yun-seok) who hired him, Gu-nam tries to survive. With an unfamiliar milieu (Korean-Chinese hardmen are wilder than regular Korean baddies) and several exciting escape sequences (director Na Hong-Jin made The Chaser, and specialises in hectic running-away scenes), this is also perhaps the stabbiest film ever made, as all factions abjure guns but go at each other with knives and hatchets.
More startling than an unexpected punch in the noggin, Na Hong-Jin's unusual thriller could have the highest knife count this side of Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares. A violent thrill-ride to a dark new corner of Asian cinema.
Reviewed by Kim Newman