Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Review: The Suspect (2013)

The Suspect (Review)
Won Shin-yun/Gong Yoo/2013
Where to Watch:
Netflix Streaming
Amazon Prime

"...right behind The Raid 2: Berandal as the best action film of 2014."

North Korean defector Ji Dong-chul (Gong Yoo) is framed for the murder of his boss and chased by his betrayers, as well as the South Korean intelligence service -- all while Dong-chul chases someone himself.

The Suspect follows former special forces agent (how many times have you heard that in film, huh?) Ji Dong-chul as he chases and as he's chased. It starts off little complicated because it drops you into the middle of an already established situation and also due to the many characters it introduces. Fortunately, it straightens out quickly and forms into the familiar super-spy. You know, elite super solider who can't be stopped, the skilled agents sent to kill him, the conniving mastermind... it's territory we've been through dozens of times over. The ending is kind of cliché, too, but I liked it.

Honestly, I didn't mind most of the clichés. In fact, I was fully prepared for them from the start. I mean, everybody should be after watching the trailer. This story seems to be timeless. I can never get enough of the super-soldier beating impossible odds and nearly escaping death -- okay, maybe it'll grow stale, especially if you watch these types of films often, but I don't, so I'm still okay. Anyway, the standard super-spy plot works very well in this film. It's very engaging and very entertaining. The beginning is rough, but the rest is easy enough to sit back and enjoy.

Story aside, you should be watching The Suspect for its action. And it's jam-packed with adrenaline-filled action. This one is especially a treat for fans of chase scenes. The chases are exhilarating and thrilling, literally keeping you at the edge-of-your-seat. The film also features some of the best car chases ever -- and I fully mean that. Other than the superb chases, you get plenty of shootouts and some vicious hand-to-hand combat. It all blends together for a balanced and versatile action flick.

Gong Yoo is great as the lead -- the character doesn't demand much, but Gong Yoo delivers a charismatic and cool performance. Park Hee-soon is also great. Jo Sung-ha plays the antagonist in this film and, although he overacts a bit, he's perfect for the role -- he has that face and that grin you wouldn't mind punching. The film has blockbuster production values. Great cinematography, epic action soundtrack, and superb action choreography. The English subtitles on the Well Go USA Blu-ray are perfect, too. Although the plot and characters are cliché, director Won Shin-yun does a wonderful job in capturing the superb action and pulling great performances from the cast.

Overall, The Suspect is, without a doubt, a generic film. The story, the characters... we've seen it before. Fortunately, The Suspect is also, without a doubt, one hell of an action-thrill ride. In fact, The Suspect is right behind The Raid 2: Berandal as the best action film of 2014. (at least for films released in 2014 in the U.S.) The car chases alone are worth the price of admission. Action fans, don't skip this one.

Score: 8/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and blood.

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