Korean Film Noir New World has attracted more than 3 million audiences in Korea as of 10th March only 17 days after it was released to local theaters. New World has also been topping the local box office for three weeks in spite of its R-rate.
Directed by Park Hoon-jung who wrote the screenplays of I Saw the Devil and The Unjust, New World is a gangster thriller following an undercover detective who has been successfully infiltrated a massive crime organization named Gold Moon for 8 years, but suddenly finds himself caught between the two different worlds of gang and police after the big boss died in a mysterious car accident. The movie is also about a bitter story of three guys who want to create their own ‘new world’ but are being forced to do things they never wish or intend, in order to survive in their merciless ‘old world’.
It is indeed a very rare opportunity to watch three big-name Korean movie stars of Lee Jung-jae in The Thieves, Hwang Jung-min in The Unjust and Choi Min-sick in Old Boy in a single movie. Lee Jung-jae plays Lee Ja-sung, the undercover cop and also the ‘brother’ like right hand to the gang’s No.2 Jung Chung played by Hwang Jung-min. Choi Min-sick acts head of the police team who is the mastermind of this whole undercover cop project to control the gang group in disguise of a normal corporate.
And all of three big names would not fail your high expectations for them in the movie as all the three actors are perfectly infused with their roles to brutally express escalating conflicts between each character in complicated relationships. In particular, Hwang’s acting to depict the double side of No.2 Jung Chung characters is the beauty of the movie, and Lee Jung-jae’s sexiness in suites is also a treat to the eye. And if you are a fan of Song Ji-hyo, a tomboy in ‘Running Man’, you can watch her different side in the role of an alluring secret agent connecting Ja-sung and the police.
As you might guess if you are one of audiences who watched the movies based on the director’s previous screenplays such as I Saw the Devil and The Unjust, New World is a pure macho movie full of bloods and violence. But New World also irks out something romantic appealing to both sexes. The romantic fractions in the movie are carefully dispatched everywhere; they are in actions, gestures, conversations, and even deaths to touch audiences’ fantasy of ‘real men’ not only for men but perhaps also for their counterparts. NEW, the distributor of the movie, said recently that “We expect it would become a steady hit in theaters as the number of female audiences has been increasingly solid.”
Backed by its success in home turf, New World is now about to tap overseas markets as well. Well Go USA Entertainment has bought all the commercial rights for the movie in North America and the movie is scheduled to open theatrically in 15 North American cities on March 22 including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, Toronto, Vancouver, Washington DC. Doris Pfardrescher, President of Well Go praised the movie, saying “New World is one of those rare gangster movies that keep you pinned to your seat,” and “The collection of talent is unparalleled and the combination of rich characters and a complex storyline will have people talking about it for years to come.”
Lee Jung-jae, who played the main character Ja-sung who cannot decide between the two worlds, said in an interview that he just had to smoke again after many years of quitting because of the movie. All the compliments for the movie aside, it seems one thing is sure. If you want to watch bitter tastes of smokes exhaled by guys who struggle to make their own worlds even in exchange of their lives, New World is just for you.