The Suspect Blu-ray Review

     Actors: Gong Yoo, Hee-Soon Park, Jo Seong-Ha, Yoo Da-In, Kim Seong-Gyoon
  • Director: Shin-Yeon Won
  • Writer: Lim Sang-yun
  • Producers: You Jeong-Hun, Lee Hyun-Myung
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, THX, Widescreen
  • Language: Korean
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Well Go USA
  • Release Date: July 22, 2014
  • Run Time: 137 minutes


            There are many elements within The Suspect which led me to believe I was going to enjoy this film far more than I did. The reasons for my disappointment certainly stem from expectations that weren’t met, but even more so for all of the additional convoluted plot points that I could have done without. The Suspect tries to do too much with its narrative, and yet somehow still manages to feel over-simplified in the areas of spectacle. While there seem to be no shortage of characters, creating a convoluted representation of a villain, the action in the film often feels more repetitious than original. Rather than any type of variety, director Shin-yun Won seems content to pack the film with chase sequences.


            The storyline feels like something taken out of a Bourne Identity film, with a twist of Korean politics. Dong-chul (Gong Yoo) is a top field agent for North Korea until he is abandoned during a mission. Thinking his wife and daughter dead, he goes on the run and starts a new life as a night driver for the CEO of a powerful corporation. By coincidence, Dong-chul is there when a group of armed men assassinate his boss, and he is forced to go on the run as a suspect for the murder. The only chance he has at clearing his name lies in the discovery of the reasons behind the assassination. Even more significant is the opportunities this opens up for Dong-chul to discover what happened to his family.


            There may have been an exciting 90-minute film in here, but at 137 minutes, The Suspect begins to outstay its welcome at a certain point. Even when the film appears to move quickly, there is too much reliance on the chase sequence to carry the narrative from one sequence to the next. It all starts to blend together in an unflattering manner. Even when all sequences are adequately constructed and the energy remains high from scene-to-scene, this feels like a film with a lot of extra fat that could have been trimmed.


    Entertainment Value: 7/10

    Quality of Filmmaking: 6.5/10

    Historical Significance:  5/10

    Special Features: 1/10

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