city violence

How on mars did I ever manage to sleep on watching THE CITY OF VIOLENCE? Thanks to a fellow asian cinephile from da Bronx named mondo-curry who gave me some cliff notes & a summer list of Korean & Japanese films that I might gravitate to watch considering my taste of destruction on the Hong Kong side of my palate! Yes, I tend to be monogamous when it comes to asian cinema(Hong Kong) but, I think it’s time to revisit that buffet of pan asian style proportions of movie distortions & have an all out film orgy to appreciate the eclectic reels of flicks that we have available to us!
Today, we focus in on KO-REA & The City of Violence did a full court press on raising adrenaline levels as action after action sequence had me jumping out of my spaceship! The movie was highly predictable as it starts out with a group of friends in their teen wonder years who are young,dumb, & full of cum, but stick together as they fight through the trenches of living in a competitive suburban Korea outside of city proper. Fast forward to the present & one of the members of this ‘rat pack’ turns bad. Let’s call him the brother in law. The brother in law lets greed & power get the best of him when lucrative deals from the President of Seoul entice him to turn his suburban town into a tourist destination with plans of a flagship casino looming in on the horizon. The brother in law takes some of the funds provided by the government of Seoul to start his own crooked business of offering private loans to his fellow town members. What a thoughtful & wonderful guy, huh?! One of the toughest & eldest members of this Korean rat pack unearths the wrong doings of this monster & basically loses his own life to the hands of the brother in law. Other rat pack members converge to suburban korea to pay respects to the elder one, & one of them is a detective named Tae-su who I will call Batman. The brother of the elder one that was murdered will also play the role of ‘Robin’ to unearth the death of Wang Jae. The action & martial art sequences in The City of Violence was ‘good n plenty’! No gunplay was involved but, lots of down & dirty flying fists,kicks, & flips were witnessed as well as street knives,swords, & sushi grade ginsu blades were being slashed around! This one fight scene in the movie was something to behold when the detective, Tae-Su confronts a young punk in a pachinko arcade which then escalates onto the streets. Tae-Su is tae kwan do fighting with amazing grace while performing Jackie Chan like stunts with flips & jumps while using props on the city streets like cars, & sticks to his advantage! Tae-Su faces his 1st obstacle with breakdancers who turn city street dancing into urban dancing on his face! Next comes, the bmx freestylist who uses their bicycle as weapons! Tae-Su turns around & then comes a band of young gunners in school outfits with hockey sticks! He runs around the other corner but, a herd of school girls grasping steel tubes walk briskly to meet him! Tae-Su looks to his back & out comes a nest of young men wearing baseball uniforms wielding baseball bats confront him! What to do?! The action is fierce as fire extinguishers,neon signs,& window shattering ensues! Finally, out pops ‘Robin’, the other member of the korean rat pack to help with the mayhem! Amazing,amazing action sequence, folks! One of the best I’ve seen in a long while! The fighting wasn’t realistic of course, but the action,ebb & flow, & thrill of the moment made it seem real! The convergence of the gangs kind of reminded me of the 1970’s movie, “The Warriors” by Walter Hill! It was real intense! Can you dig it?! I also like the cinematography in the film providing plenty of birds eye view shots of the fighting! I think the birds eye shot really enhanced the view of the fighting scenes to the movie goer especially in respects to the korean fighting style because tae kwan do seems to have a lot of fast, spinning motions to their kicks & stance work. Seeing the moves from a bird’s eye allows you to see the full 360 degree motion with much fluidity & grace! The korean batman & robin soon discover that their childhood friend, the brother in law is the source of all this evil! Gut wrenching side appetizers pop up on the scene when Robin’s mom & older brother discover another fate! The ending fight scene is also a 3 course meal involving Batman,Robin,brother in law, & his band of korean inspired fighting machines! This fight scene reminded me of Quentin Tarantino & Robert Rodriguez’s taste in films! The musical score,sword play, & the set design showed droppings of the works of “Hattori Hanzo”! If “Kill Bill” & “The Warriors” had influences on THE CITY OF VIOLENCE then kudos to the director because those are great entertaining films in their own right! Don’t sleep on The City of Violence, martians! I should of known to pay closer attention to this movie because ‘Dragon Dynasty’ released this on DVD! Dragon Dynasty tends to have pretty good tastes in getting copyrights to re-release exciting asian movies like (e.g. ‘Hardboiled”,’The Killer”,”Fists of Legend”). Now, onto my mission on finding more movies like this!
“Annyong ha saeyo!”

–Mr. C

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