Escape from Mogadishu 모가디슈 (2021) Director: Ryoo Seung-wan [New York Asian Film Festival 2021]

Escape from Mogadishu    EscapeFromMogadishu_WellGoUSA_OfficialPoster_1382x2048

모가디슈 Mogadisyu

Release Date: July 28th 2021

Duration: 121 mins.

Director: Ryoo Seung-wan

Writer: Ryoo Seung-wan, Lee Ki-cheol (Script), 

Starring: Kim Yoon-seok (Han Shin-sung – South Korean ambassador), Zo In-sung (Kang Dae-jin – intelligence officer), Heo Joon-ho (Rim Yong-su – North Korean ambassador), Kim So-jin (Kim Myung-hee – ambassador Han’s wife), Koo Kyo-hwan (Tae Joon-ki – NK intelligence officer), Jung Man-sik,

Website IMDB   Korean Film

Escape From Mogadishu is a based-on-reality ensemble drama set amidst an action movie spectacle. With the backdrop of the Somali Civil War, it provides the pulse-pounding summer entertainment thrills with poignant moments of humanity as a group of opponents must join forces to survive scenes of carnage. 

We are taken Somalia’s capital city of Mogadishu, circa 1991. Already unstable, we witness bandits and government forces terrorising the local population and government business done with a massive side-order of corruption. Meanwhile, acting as an undercurrent to life in the city are news reports relaying dispatches from rebellious regions that signal Somalia’s oncoming slide into a decades-long civil war. The whys and wherefores of this turmoil are never gone into detail but what is presented feeds into another conflict, one between the staff of the South Korean embassy and their rivals from North Korea as each seek to curry favour with factions inside the failing Somali government in a diplomatic battle over securing votes for U.N. membership.

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Veteran (2015)

Veteran   Veteran Film Poster

Release Date: August 05th, 2015

Running Time: 123 mins.

Director: Ryoo Seung-Wan

Writer: Ryoo Seung-Wan (Screenplay)

Starring: Hwang Jung-Min, Yoo Ah-In, Yu Hae-Jin, Oh Dal-Su, Jang Yoon-Ju, Kim Shi-Hoo, Jung Woong-in, Cheon Ho-Jin, Jeong Man-Sik,

Ryoo Seung-Wan follows up The Berlin File (2013) with this much more light-hearted action romp taking aim at the Chaebol, family-run mega-conglomerates that dictate much of the financial and business side of Korea. There is little sophistication in terms of its story which uses broad brushstrokes to illustrate a world where a dedicated team of cops take on an extremely violent, criminally corrupt and callous corporate playboy who abuses his powers in ludicrous ways.

Veteran Bad Guys 3

The playboy in this film is the baby-faced Cho Tae-Oh (Yoo Ah-In), an executive at Sin Jin Trading who dresses sharply and has a smile to die for. As the son of the CEO’s second wife he is battling his siblings for control of the company and must be seen to be doing a good job if he wants the glory. While most people can accept being denied something or having to work hard, Tae-Oh’s family connections see him treated like a prince and so when he doesn’t get what he wants, oh boy.  Beneath the cute exterior lies a cocaine-fuelled sadistic psycho who trashes his office, beats up his bodyguards, threatens his staff. His biggest problem is his hair-trigger temper which is unleashed whenever he doesn’t get his way in business and life. Normally, he is a spoilt brat who has no problem humiliating people in order to dominate them and likes to throw parties where underage girls and hard drugs are passed around by politicians, plastic surgeons and pretty boys looking to go wild for a night. Nobody is untouchable in his world…apart from him. This leads to him putting a man in a coma.

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The Berlin File

Genkina Hito Reviews Berlin File Header

The Berlin File                                                             The Berlin File Film Poster

Release Date: January 29th, 2013 (South Korea)

Running Time: 120 mins.

Director: Ryoo Seung-Wan

Writer: Ryoo Seung-Wan

Starring: Ha Jung-Woo, Gianna Jun, Han Suk-Kyu, Ryoo Seung-Bum, Lee Kyoung-Young

I love spy films as my reviews of Skyfall, and Salt reveal. I also liked the Korean spy thriller Shiri. When the chance to see The Berlin File at the Terracotta Far East Film Festival came up I leapt for it.

The film opens stylishly with grainy footage and rapid cutting of espionage activities such as the creation of fake passports, code breaking and physical violence. It all begins to focus on a menacing man walking down grim streets and into his apartment where he self-administers medication. He is Pyo Jong-Sung (Ha Jung-Woo), the number one North Korean agent in the service and known as “the Hero of the Republic”.

The Berlin File Pyo Jong-Sung (Ha Jung-Woo) Shoots to Kill

Three hours ago he was at the Grand Westin Hotel with a Russian arms broker and a terrorist from the Independent Arab League. The meeting is being monitored by South Korean NIS agents led by veteran spy Jung Jin-Soo (Han Suk-Kyu). Just as the transaction is about to go ahead Mossad agents burst in and a gunfight ensues. Amidst all of the chaos Pyo Jong-Sung attempts to escape the hotel but Jung Jin-Soo pursues him and the two fight on the hotel roof. Jung Jin-Soo loses his prey but this just increases his determination to take him out even if his bosses are losing confidence in him.

The Berlin File Jung Jin-Soo (Ha Jung-Woo) On the Phone

Blowing the operation would be bad enough for Pyo Jong-Sung but when he learns that Dong Myung-Soo (Ryoo Seung-Bum), a rival from home, has been sent by Pyongyang to Berlin in order to investigate the possibility of a defector working at the North Korean embassy he finds himself in a deadly situation that threatens to drag his wife Ryun Jung-Hee (Gianna Jun), an embassy translator, into harm’s way. His loyalty as a husband and spy are tested to the extreme as a series of betrayals and defections unfold and the NIS, CIA and North Korean spy agencies tussle over Pyo Jong-Sung and his wife who are trying to flee Berlin.

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Terracotta Reveal Film Festival Guests!

Big news has just been released from the fine folks running the Terracotta Far East Film Festival in the form of the guests who will show up and who won the short film competition and the trip to Hong Kong. Plus there’s a trailer for the festival itself.

Here’s the trailer and the information on who is attending:

 

FILMMAKERS AND HIGHLIGHTS OF THE 5th ANNUAL TERRACOTTA FAR EAST FILM FESTIVAL

With 2 days to go to the Opening Night, it’s time to reveal the guests of the 5th annual Terracotta Far East Film Festival and the Festival organisers are delighted to make a series of other announcements.

Highlights of this edition are the guest talent from Asia who will be attending the festival, the talent Masterclasses, the winner of the inaugural Terracotta Short-Film Competition, unveiling of the Official Trailer and the festival parties.

Hong Kong director Gilitte Leung joins the festival to introduce her independently produced film, LOVE ME NOT. Gilitte is also a guest jury member for the Short-Film Competition.

South Korean Director Ryoo Seung-wan, the master of action films such as THE CITY OF VIOLENCE, will be here to present the UK Premiere of his latest blockbuster, THE BERLIN FILE.

Week two of the festival sees Indonesian directors Ifa Isfansyah and Edwin at the festival for THE DANCER and POSTCARDS FROM THE ZOO respectively.
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