Director: Sunh-hyun Byun
Release: 17th of May, 2017
Original Title: 불한당:나쁜 놈들의 세상
Romanised Title: Bulhandang: Nabbeun Nomdeului Sesang (Bloody: Bad Men’s World)
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Taking place in both the present and the past, The Merciless tells the story of two men who meet in prison; Han Jae-ho (Sul Kyung-gu), a ruthless member of Busan’s mafia underworld, and Jo Hyun-su (Yim Si-wan from ZE:A) a daring young man who somehow manages to become Jae-ho’s protégé.
Impressed with Hyun-su’s fearlessness and somewhat comic approach to confrontation, Jae-ho takes the youngster under his wing – acting as a father-like figure at times.
Once the two are released from prison the film switches back and forth in time as it explores the bond between Jae-ho and Hyun-su and slowly, almost painfully, reveals the real motives behind each character.
Together, Hyun-su and Jae-ho work for Chairman Go (Lee Kyeong-yeong), the boss of the Busan mafia, whilst they, at the same time, try to avoid capture by Detective Young-geun (Moon Ji-yoon), who does everything she can to take down their criminal organisation.
Although The Merciless has many violent and gruesome scenes, it also has moments that are either calm and reflective or funny which contrasts very well with all the bloody action and fighting.
Whether it be a prison brawl with upbeat music playing in the background, an endearing moment between mother and son or a group of dangerous criminals playing with sparklers on the beach, The Merciless finds ways to help us get through even the most disturbing of scenes (of which there are many!).
All in all The Merciless is a fast paced thriller that gives audiences exciting action sequences, intricate plot-lines, well developed characters, a few heart-warming scenes, many heart breaking ones and enough plot twists to keep us guessing what will happen till the very end – it’s a definite must see for this year!
We saw this movie as a part of the 8th Korean Film Festival In Australia (which also had many other fantastic films that you might like to check out~!)
Feature Image Source: ©the-merciless, 04.09.2017, www.imdb.com