New World Blu-ray review

  • Actors: Choi Min-sik, Hwang Jeong-min, Lee Jeong-jae, Park Seong-Woong, Song Ji-hyo
  • Director: Park Hoon Jeong
  • Format: Blu-ray, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, THX, Widescreen
  • Language: Korean
  • Subtitles: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Well Go USA
  • Release Date: July 23, 2013
  • Run Time: 135 minutes



            In many ways, New World is far from original in its plot. If I were to add together all of the crime films involving an undercover cop and then separate them by country of origin, I would imagine that at least half would be Asian-language films. Though South Korean cinema of the last decade or so has said to have had most its influence from the heyday of 1990s Hollywood blockbusters, New World seems more likely to have been inspired by the plethora of Chinese crime films. It may have even blended in to become indistinguishable amongst them, if it weren’t for an altogether inspired ending. The conclusion of New World is one which cleverly relies on the expectations audiences have with the familiarity of this material, elevating the film to new heights as the credits begin to roll.


            The film begins with a shocking event that changes the dynamic in a powerful crime syndicate. When the head of the Goldmoon syndicate dies, three different men prepare their own rise to the top. As the top seat is being battled for by brute force and clandestine actions, one of the members has other issues to deal with. Ja-sung (Lee Jung jae) is an undercover cop who has been in deep-cover for eight years with the Goldmoon syndicate. Although the man he was investigating has died, Ja-sung is forced to stay undercover by the order of determined Police Chief Kang (Choi Min-sik). Soon it is more than just the arrests at stake, as a mole is being exposed within the syndicate and Ja-sung worries that he will be discovered before the case is closed.


            Those going into New World expecting a great deal of action are likely to be disappointed. There is some gangster violence, but this is much heavier on the drama than it is on the exploitation or spectacle. What action there is has a purpose within the grand scheme of the plot, rather than simply serving the bloodlust of the audience. While much of the film may be a bit slow for the genre, this is the kind of film which pays off to the patient viewer.


            The Blu-ray release includes a making-of featurette, as well as a photo gallery and a trailer.


    Entertainment Value: 7/10

    Quality of Filmmaking: 8/10

    Historical Significance: 6/10

    Disc Features: 5/10



    No comments: