South Korea’s movie scene is returning to pre-COVID level with multiple Korean blockbusters smashing theatrical box office records, notably The Roundup (#1 movie box office movie of the year with USD97.35 million) is also the 13th film in history to cross 12 million admissions. The Witch: Part 2. The Other One also surpassed 1 million cumulative admissions in just 4 days of release and has a gross of USD19.92 million till date. It has accumulated >2.4M admissions (15 days of release) and is sequel to 2018 hit – The Witch: Part 1- The Subversion which gathered 3.1M admissions. The highly anticipated 75th Cannes Film Festival Best Director Park Chan-wook’s Decision to Leave opens today in South Korea. Other Korean blockbusters confirmed for release this summer includes Emergency Declaration, Confidential Assignment 2, Men of Plastic, Decibel, A Man of Reason, The Point Men, The Match.
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The Roundup (a.k.a. The Outlaws 2), already pre-sold to more than 132 countries worldwide is the sequel to the 2017 action-crime hit The Outlaws. Ma Dong-seok (Train to Busan, Eternals) reprises his role as the heavyweight law enforcer Ma Seok-do chasing down a ferocious killer Kang Hae-sang, played by Son Seok-koo (Suits, My Liberation Notes) who has been committing crimes against tourists for money in Vietnam. Choi Gwi-hwa and Park Ji-hwan are also back for this sequel together with the duo.
From the director of New World and Night in Paradise, The Witch: Part 2. The Other One is director Park Hoon-jung’s follow-up to his 2018 sci-fi action mystery The Witch: Part 1. The Subversion. The sequel stars Shin Si-ah as another girl with unnamed powers who escapes from a top-secret laboratory, pursued by multiple violent groups. The film also features Kim Da-mi from the original, Lee Jong-suk, Park Eun-bin, Sung Yu-bin, Jo Min-su and Jin Goo. As of June 28, 2022 it is at 2nd place among all the Korean films released in the year 2022 with a gross of US$18.72 million and 2.33 million admissions after its release on June 15, reaching the milestone faster than its prequel.
Korean-language thriller Decision to Leave was selected for the Palme d’Or at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival where Park Chan-wook won Best Director. The film charts the aftermath of a man falling from a mountain peak to his death. The detective in charge of the investigation, Hae-joon, comes to meet the dead man’s wife Seo-rae. When she becomes a suspect, Hae-joon finds himself slowly developing an interest in her. The film stars Tang Wei (Lust, Caution), Park Hae-il (The Host) with Lee Jung-hyun, Go Kyung-pyo and Park Yong-woo.
The much-anticipated star-studded disaster-action film, Emergency Declaration directed by Han Jae-rim (The King) pulled together Korea’s top stars – Cannes Best Actor Winner Song Kang-ho (Broker, Parasite) and Best Actress Winner Jeon Do-yeon (Secret Sunshine, The Housemaid) with Lee Byung-hun (Ashfall). The film marks the first time these three Korean icons are sharing the same screen, despite working individually with one another previously. The film, also starring Kim Nam-gil (The Shameless), Yim Si-wan (The Merciless) Kim So-jin (Escape from Mogadishu) and Park Hae-joon (Believer), is set to premiere in Korea this August. The story centers around a commercial plane that faces a never-before-experienced crisis situation while in-flight – an onboard virus outbreak – which forces the pilot to pursue unconventional emergency measures. The film will be released theatrically in South Korea this August.
Hyun Bin and Yoo Hae-jin are back in Confidential Assignment 2 as North and South Korean detectives who teamed up to catch a criminal together with Girls’ Generation’s Yoona, reprising her role as Yoo Hae-jin’s sister-in-law. The sequel will see Daniel Henney joining the trio as Jack, an FBI agent from the United States who is on the trail of a North Korean criminal organization that has wreaked havoc all over the world, while Jin Sun-kyu will be playing the leader of the said criminal organization.
Fans of Ma Dong-seok will be happy to see him leading another blockbuster – Men of Plastic, a comedy-drama about a native of Seoul’s glamourous Apgujeong neighbourhood who is determined to launch his own plastic surgery business and courts the area’s most talented surgeon, Ji-woo played by Jung Kyung-ho (Hospital Playlist), who has lost his medical license in an unfortunate accident. The film also stars Oh Na-ra (Sky Castle) and Oh Yeon-seo (A Korean Odyssey).
Decibel, an action thriller movie about a terrorist who wants to plant a bomb that responds to sound in the middle of the city targeting a former Navy commander. Kim Rae-won plays the former Navy commander, while Lee Jong-suk plays a Navy captain who is fiercely loyal to the crew of his submarine. ASTRO’s Cha Eun-woo stars as a young sailor in the Navy who is in charge of sonar detection. Other actors in the film includes Jung Sang-hoon, Park Byung-eun, Lee Sang-hee and Cho Dal-hwan.
A Man of Reason is Jung Woo-sung’s first action directorial film about Soo Hyuk, who was released after 10 years in the prison on behalf of his boss but yet his loyalty was doubted. After paying a visit to his long-abandoned girlfriend, he discovers that he is now a father to a young girl. He wants to cut ties with the gang, but the boss is not agreeable and hires a notorious killer to get rid of him. The killer takes the daughter as hostage, and Soo Hyuk decides to take revenge in a way that he`s best at – violence. The movie stars Jung Woo-sung (Steel Rain, Steel Rain 2), Kim Nam-gil (The Fiery Priest), Park Sung-woong (The Dude in Me) and Park Yoo-na (True Beauty).
Director Yim Soon-rye’s anticipated hostage crisis drama – The Point Men is based on the true events of a Korean diplomat (Hwang Jung-min) who is dispatched to Afghanistan when a group of South Korean tourists were captured and held hostage by the Taliban. When all measures fail and one hostage is killed, he is forced to team up with a NIS agent (Hyun Bin) who is an expert in the Middle East to try and rescue the survivors. This film also marks the first time that Hwang Jung-min and Hyun Bin are acting together.
Lee Byung-hun (The Man Standing Next) and Yoo Ah-in (Voice of Silence) pair up in The Match, set in the 1980s competitive world of Go championships (Go is a strategic board game popular in many parts of Asia) and is based on the true story of Go legend Cho Hun Hyun and his protégé and future rival Lee Chang Ho, who were forced to become rivals. Directed by Kim Hyung-joo (The Sheriff in Town), the film deeply portrays the story of a Go master who discovers a gifted but untrained young boy in an amateur contest and takes him under his wing to turn into a professional player. Conflicts arise when the protégé later turns against his teachings.