Movie Rated: 18+
Genre: Action, Crime
When a ragtag crew comprising of four impoverished men successfully rob an underground casino run by a local gang, little do they anticipate the trouble that comes with the heist. The real nightmare for these men starts after they successfully rob the casino, and it’s in the form of a man called Han, who is dispatched to track down and hunt them. The rest of the story focuses on the aftermath on the heist and everything that follows effectively make Time to Hunt not your quintessential heist thriller.
The film is set in dystopian future, following a financial crisis that has swept through Asia, particularly hitting South Korea really hard. The story takes place against a backdrop that beautifully blends the thrills of a heist and capitalist apocalypse that has crippled the Korean economy. If you’re one of those viewers who expect the film to keep you at the edge of your seat from the very beginning, this isn’t the film for you. Time to Hunt takes its own time to take off, and it reserves for the best moments to take place after the heist. Invest in the film for a good half-hour without cribbing about its pace, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the end. The multiple shootouts after the heist really enable the film in delivering a solid punch, and the ultra-violent action strongly makes up for the initial lulls in the narrative.
Time to Hunt is built on psychological terror, and no other film in recent years has built terror as effectively as this one. After Han’s first encounter with the gang, each shoot-out literally leaves one trembling in their seat. There’s a scene where the boys plead for their lives and even agree to give up everything they’ve robbed, but Han isn’t interested in stopping without putting them to rest. To accentuate the terror, the plot is supremely aided by the thumping music track and exquisite cinematography.
The performances are raw and believable, especially from the boys after they realise there’s a killer on their trail. Park Hae-soo, who plays the stone-cold killer Han, is a very interesting character to follow. We don’t get to know much about him except that he collects ears (of his victims) and won’t stop until he kills his target.
If you’re in the mood for a heist thriller that turns the genre on its head, this is a film you should check out.
The pace is a major concern, especially for those who expect the plot to progress at breakneck speed.
Did I like it?
Absolutely! It’s easily one of the best Korean films of this year. It isn’t perfect, but it manages to surprise with some thrills and suspense.