HA Yoon-ju becomes the newest member to a unit within the Korean Police Forces Special Crime Department. With her team, she tries to track down James, a cold-hearted leader of an armed criminal organization..
While everybody else is talking about Oldboy (the remake, the comparison, or the plagiarized poster catastrophe), i watched a korean remake of 2007 Hong Kong film Eye in the Sky. A high octane dramatization of police procedural might not be a new or exciting things, but usually those are made up by CSI-esque reconstructions and investigations. Cold Eyes, is strictly about police surveillance procedure, like the original title suggest, Gamsijadeul (literally means surveillance).
We immediately thrown into the middle of things, an interior of a moving train, as the camera follows three distinct people. An earphone-wearing girl, an bespectacled middle-age man, and a sleek businessman. Everything immediately arouse our curiosity and wonderment. Who are they? What are the relationship between these people? Things started to unravels fast. The already rapid pace begin to elevate into staccato rhythm. Who would’ve thought a surveillance task could get so intense?
Although the film does suffer from unnecessary moments and might have seen like all these surveillance officer just walked around through the whole films. The film still remain tight and high-strung. It remains thrilling the audience from one scene to the next and kept me gripping on the edge of my seat. I also love how non fussy it is, this is a thriller period. No non-sense romance, or overtly done melodrama.It’s all boils down to the cat and mouse chase between the police team and the villain. Han Hyo-joo, adorably nicknamed piglet by her colleague, is the heroine of the film. She brought ingenuity, slight humor, and determination to her role as the novice officer. Still torn between her humanity and restrained by the level of efficiency and task limits she must follow as a police.
The thing that made the movie really works, beside the accompanying score, was the cinematography. It swivels, pans, and tilts, enhancing the grit of the moment. It moves fluidly following one moment to the next, switching point of views from each characters to the surveillance monitors. The camera plays with the backdrop of urban korea, using geometries of architecture and utilized it as a way to instill more suspense. The ending is predictable at best, but it’s the puzzle-solving ride that matters.
If i need one word to summarize Cold Eyes, i would choose ‘exhilarating’. I remember i put this title as one of my most thrilling list for the Breaking Emotion Blogathon. From what i read the original is more hard-boiled and not as stylistic as this, i’d love to see it sometimes. But i can not fault this film too much anyway, i enjoyed all 7,080 seconds of it!
COLD EYES (2013)
DIRECTOR Jo Ui-seok, Kim Byung-seo | PRODUCER Lee Yu-jin | WRITER Jo Ui-seok | MUSIC Dalparan, Jang Young-gyu | CINEMATOGRAPHER Kim Byung-seo, Yeo Kyung-bo | EDITOR Shin Min-kyung | STUDIO Zip Cinema | DISTRIBUTOR Next Entertainment World | COUNTRY South Korea | BUDGET ₩4 billion | RUNNING TIME 118 minutes | RELEASE July 3, 2013 (SK)
STARRING Sol Kyung-gu, Jung Woo-sung, Han Hyo-joo, Lee Joon-ho