WTK REVIEW: Why “The Outlaws” Is An Action-Filled Film Sure To Please Viewers

Ma Dong Seok, one of the most-loved action stars in Korean films, takes center stage in Director Kang Yoon Sung’s newest film, “The Outlaws.”

The movie is based on the true story of the 2004 Chinese-Korean gang mop-up operation conducted by Seoul Police.

‘’The Outlaws’’ follows the story line of an existing fiery war of local gangs of the Garibong neighborhood and a Chinese gang called Heuksapa from Yanbian. Local police officers were given the task to bring peace to the neighborhood and shut down any illegal works of the gangs.

Ma Seok Do (Ma Dong Seok) is the fearless leader of the Serious Crimes Unit in Garibong-dong in the Guru District in Seoul. His team is tasked to take down the entire illegal network of Chinese-Korean gangs in Seoul’s Chinatown.

Yoon Kyun Sang plays Jang Chen, leader of the Chinese gang, who goes to Seoul to collect debts. He is known for brutally cutting off arms, legs, and fingers of those who are not able to pay their debts on time. He is surrounded by his henchmen Wei Sung Rak (Jin Seon Kyu) and Yang Tae (Kim Sung Kyu), both of whom kill their enemies using knives and sledgehammers.

Jo Jae Yoon plays President Hwang, the head of the Korean gang that originally ruled the area.

From beat-downs in an alley, intense car chases, and rumble-and-tumble action, the movie is pretty much fun and thrilling to watch as it moves at a fast pace with amazing action scenes. Less fun, however, are the morbid, brutal murders. It also shows how police officers sometimes use tough measures to interrogate their suspects and get the truth out of them.

The main element that takes “The Outlaws’’ from ordinary to special is Ma Dong Seok himself. He is very fun to watch. Just like in the movie “Train to Busan,’’ he manages to take the spotlight in every scene. A former mixed martial arts trainer who has the appeal and guts to intimidate anyone, he has already filmed six movies this year. His versatility is impressive to watch as he throws himself fully into any role he plays.

Ma Dong Seok’s character has a very tough personality, but he also has a soft spot in his heart for innocents. A cop who doesn’t care about doing things the right way, he visits underground gambling spots, hostess bars, and other gang hideouts just to gather information. His main goal is to catch culprits by any means possible. He’s like the Sylvester Stallone of Korea. He suffers from being stabbed, hit by a car, and smacked with a frying fan, but all he complains about is his irritatingly dry skin. The plot lies in the attempt and determination of a leader’s strength to solve the case.


The film succeeds in showing a familiar story line through a different view. Director Kang Yoon Sung deserves the ‘’Best New Director’’ title for having turned the ordinary street into a vibrant action set that highlights the actual events that many people don’t seem to know existed in this neighborhood. With the use of simple tones but on-track events, Director Kang surely knows when to transition the tempo to surprisingly on-the-hook action scenes. Along with the gang warfare comes the awakening call to the innocent vendors in Chinatown who are afraid to cooperate to the police.

Overall, this film satisfies viewers’ taste with the genre itself. With the addition of punches and comedic gigs, this film truly deserves its rank as the third highest-grossing domestic film in South Korea of 2017, as well as the third best-selling R-rated Korean film of all time.

If you haven’t watched this movie already, check the trailer below!

ging1030 is a multi-fandom fan of Kpop since 2010. She enjoys watching Asian dramas and variety shows like “Running Man”. She is an avid fan of Song triplets and Song Joong Ki.  For her, Kdrama is life. They are her inspirations in life so she can live on and do what her heart desires!

Media: Mega Box Plus M

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