Friday, February 21, 2014

Review: Troubleshooter (2010)

Troubleshooter (Review)
Kwon Hyeok-jae/Sol Kyung-gu/2010
Where to watch:
Netflix Streaming
Amazon Prime 

"...offered enough to keep me interested."

Former cop turned private investigator Kang Tae-sik (Sol Kyung-gu) is framed for murder and drawn into a conspiracy...

Troubleshooter drops you right into a conspiracy and the life of Kang Tae-sik. We really don't spend much alone time with Tae-sik since he's almost immediately framed for murder and pulled into a conspiracy. So, to clear his name and save himself, Tae-sik, of course, has to do some jobs for the people running the show. The story follows this course with a few twists and turns and it eventually leads to what you'd expect – an ending, predictable but good enough.

Troubleshooter is an entertaining action-crime film. It really doesn't experiment much and plays it safe for the entire film. It's also a bit confusing at times, and for all of the twists it packs, most seem to lack the necessary punch to be a real twist. Considering we really don't know the character, although we get some depth later, there really aren't any stakes or odds to begin with. So, the tag line on the cover/poster screaming “ALL HE'S GOT IS 24 HOURS”, never comes to fruition as there is no sense of urgency or even empathy for the character.

However, Troubleshooter offered enough to keep me interested. Despite knowing the destination, I wanted to soak in the trip – and this is a trip that offers plenty of wit and action. The action consists of some great fist fights and edge-of-your-seat chase scenes – not the best in the genre, but enough to get your heart pumping. The humor was funny enough to add some life to the film – it's never really fully utilized, but I laughed quite a bit.

Sol Kyung-gu is great as the lead, he really can hit many notes and has plenty of charm and charisma to lead, but he's never fully utilized. Lee Jung-jin also plays his character well. The acting is overall great – the roles aren't too demanding, but it's an action-comedy, so it really didn't need much to begin with. The film is shot nicely, although some of the camerawork is too sloppy and occasionally nauseating. I liked the music. Director Kwon Hyeok-jae does well capturing the action and comedy, but the story needed some fine tuning.

Overall, Troubleshooter is a good action/comedy crime film. Some of the action sequences are great, and the humor helps keep the film alive to the end. However, the story feels half-baked – it's not original or creative, it barely even tries to engage the audience. I liked it, it was good – that's all I really can say about it.

Score: 6/10
Parental Guide: Violence and blood.

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