Korean cinema's assault on the senses of Western filmgoers continues in dazzling style with the violent crime thriller-cum-martial arts actioner, THE CITY OF VIOLENCE, the latest offering from the man who has been hailed as the Korean Tarantino, "Crying Fist" director Ryoo Seung-wan. Both satirizing and paying homage in equal measure to the gritty action flicks of the 1970s, while combining elements of Scorsese's "Goodfellas" and Stephen Chow's "Kung Fu Hustle" with referential nods to the likes of Walter Hill's "The Warriors", THE CITY OF VIOLENCE is a supremely entertaining work that scores on every level. Detective Jeong Tae-su (played by martial arts wizard Jeong Du-hong), returns from Seoul to Onsung, the hometown of his youth to attend the funeral of his long-time friend, a reformed small-time mobster, Wang-jae (Ahn Gil-gang). There, following a nostalgic reunion with his gang of former childhood buddies, he becomes obsessed with investigating the circumstances surrounding Wang-jae's death. What he uncovers sparks a chain of events that results in Jeong and his buddy Ryoo (played by director Seung-wan himself) being forced to battle it out with teenage gangs, deadly assassins and a horde of murderous mobsters as they get closer to the truth. Slickly exploiting the "grindhouse" style of filmmaking usually associated with 1970s cinema, and boasting astonishing fight scenes and action sequences choreographed and performed by Korea's leading martial arts practitioners, THE CITY OF VIOLENCE charges non-stop from one set-piece to another resulting in an action-packed cinematic jolt of adrenalin guaranteed to leave audiences breathless. Film fans will also find additional pleasure in spotting and revelling in Seung-wan's affectionate homages to many Hollywood favourites, including Rob Reiner's "Stand By Me", Brian De Palma's "The Untouchables" and Tarantino's "Kill Bill" amongst others.
AA police detective returns home to Onsung for a friend's funeral only to find himself--and his butt-kicking buddy--investigating the true nature of his death. Chock-full of invigorating battles, this homage-heavy martial arts film features intricate fight sequences with sword-wielding baddies, opponents decked out in baseball garb, and many more.