The Suspect

The Suspect is what would happen if Jerry Bruckheimer and Michael Bay were Korean. It’s a collage of scenes from better movies (and also bad ones), put together with so little care that I can barely muster enough righteous anger to rant about it.

Yes, it’s another South Korean movie about corrupt Korean officials who are worse than bubonic-plague-carrying Satan.

Go figure.

The Suspect is not content with being as much of a clichéd mess as The Berlin File. No sir, that wouldn’t be aiming high enough. It also wants to start and end in almost the exact same way. Oh, and the relationship between the two main tough guys progresses identically.

Yeah, nice photography and crisp images. Most of the time. When they’re filming the city, at least. The fights aren’t as bad as Bourne, which looked like the was camera mounted on someone’s elbow, but close enough. You can’t just splice random shots together and call them a sequence, guys, we need to see what the hell is going on.

Ugh. Here’s where I’m supposed to say something about the actors. Hard to bother, when they seem to come from the “look like you have something stuck in your teeth all the time” tough-guy school of acting. At least those who aren’t oily villains or dour victims.

But that’s OK. There’s still the dialogue, right? Like when they spend a decade telling us how hardened a killer the spy is.

In fact, there is a solitary action sequence that makes sense. In the middle of a car pursuit, our hero spins his car around, then starts driving in reverse down a steep set of steps. Why the hell would he even do bother to drive backwards?, you ask, already annoyed.

Then, in a fleeting lucid moment, the movie answers. You think it might start making sense.

They bash those hopes in the head almost immediately. The Suspect can’t even get how airbags work right, much less a gung-fu section. The best I could say is that it has imaginative scenes, done badly. But to say that, I’d need to ignore how they even stuck in an obligatory shooting-at-water-with-bullet-trails-going-by bit. The fact I liked that chase scene just means I haven’t seen the movie that they stole it from.

Just don’t bother. If you have read this far down, you have already given The Suspect more attention than it deserves.

Originally published at