Review of Korean film ‘ Cold Eyes’


‘Cold Eyes’ (or its literal transalation ‘Stakeout’) is a taut crime thriller about an elite police surveillance team in Seoul. It follows the rookie, a detective with a photographic memory known disparagingly as ‘Piglet’ as she tries to integrate into the team, and also follows the baddie, who heads a criminal team hired by people in high places.

Its a great film, funny and fast-paced with a nail biting opening, great car chases and lots of dry humour. It’s a big budget action thriller, with parts of Seoul being shut down to film huge scenes.

My favourite character was the police chief ‘Falcon’ who calls everyone ‘b***h’ and ‘worthless b*****d’ and calls fat people ‘hippos’ but really has a heart of gold.

Even the baddie, known as ‘The Shadow’ may be truly ruthless but also has a human side. We see his father-son relationship with the man who trained him but who is willing to turn on him in a second.

The Shadow and The Rookie

I loved that the real criminals in this film were the wealthy and the powerful, who arent seen but are constantly reffered to. For example, the shareholder with insider knowledge of his banks imminent demise who hires the criminals to break in and steal bonds, knowing that the bank can never publicise the crime.

I highly recommend this film. It was absolutely brilliant, with so many twists and excellent cinematography. The acting was also really good. I cant believe that the actor Jung Woo-sung who plays ‘The Shadow’ is known for playing for romantic leads cos that man is scary! It also features Lee Jun-ho, a member of K-pop boyband ‘2pm’ (if you’re into that kind of thing!)

The Cast

It may not have been the most original of plots and there is sense of morality that most Western equivalents have long done away with but if you’re looking for a good cat-and-mouse story then this is the film for you.

It opened on Thursday and is on at Cineleisure and Golden Village.



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