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Fantasia 2019 Film Review: “The Gangster, the Cop, the Devil” (2019) ★★★★★


The one that is eager to kill someone is always look for a victim that won`t be able to defend himself or herself. Someone who is weak and incapable to fight back. But when the same criminal, or murderer, in this case, messes with the wrong victim, the actual war begins against the one who takes the human life for granted.

“The Gangster, the Cop, the Devil”, written and directed by Lee Won-tae, arguably, is one of the most gritty, impressive, intelligent and totally engaging crime thriller, sadly, based on true events. Set in August, 2005, in South Korea`s Chungnam region, a mysterious waves of murders began. The man, hiding his face in the dark, hits the first seeing car in a deliberate manner. Even, if the victim of an car accident does not want to get involved, the man takes his long sharp knife and begins stabbing its victim until the soul departs a lifeless body. During one of those casual days, when the serial killer thinks he will kill another one, his next victim is notorious gangster, Dong-soo (portrayed by always great Don Lee) who refused to become an easy target.

Surviving the attack, he teams up with an unlike ally, a brutal policeman Tae-suk (Kim Moon-yul) to begin their haunt after the man that continues terrorizing the city. His targets are random. His manner of killings is vicious and cold-blooded. However, Tae-suk`s supervisor does not believe that, a police is dealing with the serial killer until Tae-suk provides the proof. In the mean time, Dong-soo, who remembers not only the face of his attacker, and even his car plate, orders his people to find the guy that attacked him to bring its own justice. Tae-suk, who investigas Dong-soo for his long-list of committed crimes, agrees to sign a peaceful pact to catch the most wanted man, that is smart enough to avoid all the traps being set for him.

“The Gangster, the Cop, the Devil” is such a joy to watch, while there`s never a moment of celebrating every minute of it, due to the real events, even though there were dramatized for the film, were real and terrifying. Director Lee Won-tae with his directorial approach delivers a nail-biting suspenseful crime thriller filled with the most interesting and solid performances delivered in a South Korean cinema. This is why, whenever you see its being streamed, OnDemand or played near you, trust me on that, never think twice, but simply watch it. Because by the time when you end watching it, you will be extremely proud of the choice you made, the exact same way I did, if not more.

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