“While it was super tense and exciting, it completely lacked realism.”

by Martin Hafer

A Hard Day is a very good Korean film.  And, if you like violent and occasionally brutal action films, then you might want to give this one a try.  However, the film also has two knocks against it–the plot sure sounds an awful lot like I Know What You Did Last Summer and the film really lacks realism when it comes to one character–a guy who seems to be every bit as tough and indestructible as the Terminator…perhaps tougher!

When the film begins, Detective Go Geon-soo is having a horrible day.  He’s late for his mother’s funeral and he’s rushing about like a madman trying to get there.  Unfortunately, when a dog jumps out in front of his car, he swerves and hits a man!  The victim is obviously quite dead and Geon-soo makes a very fateful decision.  Instead of reporting this accident, he rashly decides to stuff the body in his trunk.  Later, at the funeral, he quickly concocts a plan–to stuff the body into the coffin with his mother!  Soon, the coffin is buried and Geon-soo can finally relax…he’s gotten away with killing a man.  Right?  Well, no.  Soon, he begins receiving phone calls from an unidentified stranger who knows exactly what happened and he demands that Geon-soo get the body back…or else.

A Hard Day
Directed by
Seong-hoon Kim
Lee Sun Gyun, Cho Jin-Woong, Man-shik Jeong
Release Date
Out Now
Martin’s Grade: B+

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The most surprising thing I noticed in the film was how the South Korean police were portrayed.  Just about all of them are totally corrupt in the film–even more so than Geon-soo (who has been taking bribes as well as his involvement in the hit and run and disposing of the body)!  I have no idea how accurate this portrayal is, but it sure makes you think twice about going to visit the country!  Another thing that surprised me was that I liked the film.  This is a surprise because I generally don’t like action films.  Normally, such a movie wouldn’t interest me…but this one managed to.  But, as I mentioned above, it is a bit derivative…though it certainly is not exactly like I Know What You Did Last Summer.  The only real deficit I otherwise noticed was the big finale.  While it was super-tense and exciting, it completely lacked realism.  No one can take that much punishment and still be alive…yet one of the characters seems almost immune to anything Geon-soo can throw at him (literally).  The bottom line is that the film is super-entertaining provided you don’t think too much near this crazy ending.