Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Film Review: New World (2013)

New World (Review)
South Korea/2013
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"Some moments had my jaw on the floor, or clenching the side of my seat..."

After the head of the Goldmoon crime syndicate dies in a vicious car accident, an epic power struggle ensues between second-in-command Jung Chung (Hwang Jung-min) and the gang's number 3, Lee Joong-gu (Park Sung-woong). Meanwhile, Chief Kang (Choi Min-sik) uses his mole, Ja-sung (Lee Jung-jae) to influence the tides of war.

New World is a wonderful crime drama. In this case, the less you know, the better. The story quickly begins with a plethora of information -- a lot to soak in within the first 30 minutes, but it's delivered competently. Afterwards, the story will keep you on your toes as the twists and turns are delivered one after another; some you may see some coming, but others will blind side you. The story quickly barrels through the first half into a thunderous second half -- unforgettable would be an understatement. You may be able to see the ending coming, but that doesn't take away from the masterful execution. Generally, the story is highly engaging and very entertaining.

New World is a crime drama paced as an action thriller. Much of the film relies on its dialogue, and that's a good thing -- the dialogue is perfect in being engaging and intense. The dialogue-based encounters are so good, they deliver more tension than a traditional thriller. There are a few action sequences, especially towards the second half. These action sequences are masterfully executed as they blend effective violence and unbelievable tension; a bloody, bloody scene in an elevator quickly comes to mind, as well as the previous parking lot scene. The blending of action dialogue and actual action sequences creates a consistent pace -- the film was over before I knew it.

Lee Jung-jae, Choi Min-sik, and Hwang Jung-min deliver brilliant performances, fully immersing themselves into their roles; their dialogue, their emotion, it all comes off as authentic. The supporting cast is also fantastic, and the scale creates a real "mobster" vibe. The music is well-fitted, can be epic one moment and emotional the next; in fact, the soundtrack really contributes to the epic, thunderous atmosphere of the film. The direction and writing is superb, really pulling off a unique and entertaining story, without sacrificing character.

Overall, New World is a spectacular achievement in the gangster genre. The story is engaging and entertaining from beginning to end -- and I really mean from the first frame to the last. Some moments had my jaw on the floor, or clenching the side of my seat, either from the amazing twists or dreadful tension. Don't miss out on this film.

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

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