The Cold Eyes directed by the duo Jo Ui-seok and Kim Byung-seo reinforce the impression that South Korean film is increasingly moving towards progress, both in terms of technical and story innovation. Combining a thrilling thriller with a binding drama, Cold Eyes is presented in a winding but articulate plot, so it doesn’t seem contrived to appear meticulous and certainly very easy to follow.
The film opens with Yoon-ju (Han Hyo-joo, Masquerade), a young policeman who is getting a “test” from a more senior police officer, Detective Hwang (Sol Kyung-gu, The Tower, The Spy: Undercover Operation). Yoon-ju has a 3D photographic memory which will certainly be very beneficial for the police special surveillance unit where Hwang is assigned. Best Movie Site
Meanwhile, a mysterious man named James (Jung Woo-sung, Moses, A Moment to Remember, Reign of Assassins) leads a bank robbery that lasts for three minutes. Not only is described as having a brilliant brain, James is also an efficient and trained killer. The police team under the care of Detective Hwang used many surveillance cameras scattered around the corners of Seoul and managed to spy on one of James’s subordinates.
From here begins the cat-and-mouse game between Hwang and James. Combining elements of film capers and procedural police may be common. But, how to prevent the two elements from colliding with each other is quite difficult to do. Tabik for Cold Eyes which turned out to be able to integrate the two smoothly, so that no subgenre should look more prominent, but rather support each other. Even more special, Cold Eyes also walks on the Hitchcock-style suspense-thriller platform, which is also executed smoothly.
Although without adequate character background, it turns out the film is also able to present drama that is quite humane and touching. Cold Eyes provide a large space for the development of character and for building adequate interaction between characters. This is a fairly effective respite from tension after tension brought by the film. Besides also making the characters feel more human and can be related psychologically, including the figure of the film antagonist, James. Movie Review
Jung Woo-sung still displayed a sympathetic figure as he usually displayed, even though it turned out that he was quite capable of presenting mysterious characters who were cold and cruel like James, without having to fall into a charismatic two-dimensional villain.
While Sol Kyung-gu as a qualified senior actor, clearly does not need to doubt his capacity in playing a sympathetic senior police officer like Detective Hwang. The versatility of his acting was proven when he had to show his gray figure, rather than being a wise leader.
And Han Hyo-joo also appeared quite convincingly as a rookie policeman who had special advantages and was a bit neurotic. As a woman, she does not necessarily become a damsel-in-distress figure, although the script still allows her to display a fragile side. Yoon-ju is a figure of high determination, independent, but does not lose his emotional side. Of course, as a South Korean film, the film also does not escape the emotional side that might invite emotion, It should be praised the intention of the director duo, Jo Ui-seok and Kim Byung-seo to prevent the film from the cliché of the tear-jeaker melodrama, because touching moments of feeling are present in a limited but effective portion. Top Movie
Kim Byung-seo’s background as D.o.P, is clearly a major member of the Cold Eyes cinematography. Together with Yeo Kyung-bo, they provided a spectacular Seoul landscape and not only served as a backdrop, but a canvas that moved with the story. As a film, of course in some parts Cold Eyes still feels too good to be true, but at least it does not fall into the valley of larger-than-life which marginalizes realism in the way the story tells.
Most importantly, as a thriller, it clearly has above-average quality.