The Outlaws (2017)

The Outlaws (2017)

Don Lee takes down gangsters in this gritty and humorous crime thriller

7.0

Movie

South Korea
Korean
Action, Crime, Thriller
2017
KANG YOON-SUNG, KANG YUN-SUNG
Bae Jin-ah, Cho Jin-woong, Choi Guy-hwa
121 min

TLDR

ACAB, except maybe for Ma Seok-do.

What it's about

After a turf war between two gangs turned Seoul’s Chinatown into a bloodbath, fearless, old-school detective Seok-do and his team plan to stop the bloodshed by taking down Jang Chen, the cold-blooded boss of the Heuksapa gang.

The take

While the police haven't been getting a good rep in recent years, there were times when cops actually got the job done, and went after the gangs that we individuals can’t. Kang Yun-seong’s narrative feature debut is based on the real-life Yanbian Heuksapa Incident, and what’s interesting is that along with having Ma Dong-seok deliver some of the finest and most entertaining fight scenes, there’s a sense that these cops actually care about people, like when Seok-do urges his boss to be gentle towards their team after having to stay in the office longer, or when he reaches out and works directly with the community. The Outlaws doesn’t transform the genre, but it’s well-written, well-choreographed, and held together through the strength of Ma Dong-seok’s charisma (and arms). It’s no wonder director Kang and Don Lee managed to transform this into a sprawling franchise, something to be akin to Korea’s Fast & Furious.

What stands out

Truth Chamber aside, it’s just nice to see cops actually care about the people they’re protecting, and I think it’s just one of the things cop thrillers and actual cops forget about.

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