A Bittersweet Life review

Guns, knives, torture, revenge, pain, death... and love. You can't beat Korean cinema when it comes to belching blood right from the heart. Aiming to top Oldboy's overkill brutality, writer/ director Ji-woon Kim ditches the superb, measured chills of A Tale Of Two Sisters in favour of slicked-up ultra-violence.

Assigned to watchdog the squeeze of his crime-lord boss, ice-man enforcer Sun-woo (Byung-hun Lee) suddenly finds a shot of warmth pulsing through his veins. Big mistake. Slashed with a quirky black grin, Kim's movie gathers hardcore momentum as Sun-woo ships and dishes sensational levels of pain. He's battered, strung-up, crippled, buried alive, then recovers for face-smashing, bullet-blasting revenge. By now, though, Kim has long run out of ideas, no matter how much carnage he heroically shovels into the gaping plot holes.

NO VERDICT

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