Fred and Mick, two old friends now approaching 80, are on vacation together in an elegant hotel at the foot of the Alps. The two friends know that their time is quickly running out, and they decide to face their future together.
Hard-hitting chase thriller directed by the leader of the Korean New Wave Lee Myung-Se. A stunning visual feast, artfully playing with conventions of cinematic time and resembling a manga animation, this is a film dripping with Eastern promise
In a beautifully-shot early sequence, an unknown stranger is stabbed to death. The tone is set for the rest of the film. Drenched with startling colours, disjointed in its time structure and characterised by a lingering attention to indirect details (a girl playing at the scene of the crime, the reflection of the waiting assassin's face in a CD, rain pummelling the bonnet of the car he waits in) the sequence pounds on to a murderous freeze frame climax; teasing, dazzling and intriguing by turn.
Suddenly, the chase is on and a motley crew of ruthless, fascistic cops are on the trail, consistently eluded by the fugitive Sungmin (Ahn) - as smooth as polished ice and as bad as Lee Van Cleef. On the other side is the ultra-violent Detective Woo (Park), a man who has no qualms about torturing his captives. "Call a lawyer and say you were beaten, if I cared I wouldn't be a detective," he tells one bloodied heap.
The brutal police at first seem worse than the criminals, but soon reveal a tender, confused-big-kid side: a theme often movingly (especially thanks to Park's winning smile and fine slapped puppy impression) but sometimes clumsily dealt with - the film's one dud scene features drawn out soul-searching after a criminal is shot.
For the rest though, the viewer is led on a spectacular, frenetic trail through the Korean underworld; constantly assaulted and challenged by the ever-changing imagery and timescale of director Lee Myung-Se's unique brand of cinema.
Perhaps it will seem dated in a few years, but for now, who cares?
It is poetry in motion - a live action manga - and even though the visual bombardment sometimes jars and distracts from the action, it always looks incredible.
Randolph Scott stars in a Western about a former spy who relocates to Ariozna to join a gold robbbery, but quickly reassesses his decision
On Film4: 21 Apr 1:05PM
Mike Leigh's next project will look at Peterloo - the infamous 1819 massacre by government forces at a peaceful pro-democracy rally at St Peter's Field in Manchester, when 700 working people were inju
Four Film4-backed films ¿ Todd Haynes¿ Carol, Yorgos Lanthimos' The Lobster, Paolo Sorrentino¿s Youth and Justin Kurzel¿s Macbeth ¿ have been invited into official selection at this year¿s Cannes film
Find out who voted for Film4.com's list of the top 100 must-see films of the 21st Century so far
A tooth-chattering voyage through the scariest movies ever made