“Cold Eyes” is a 2013 action movie centered around a special unit of the Korean Police Special Crimes Department. This group of highly trained officers seek to capture the most wanted, high profile criminals.
Each officer brings their own talent to the unit as they work together as a well-oiled machine. The art of true surveillance is the key to their success with attention to detail being their greatest gift.
The team is led by Department Head Lee, played perfectly by Jin Kyung. She leads her team with professional detachment and is motivated to keep her unit number one!
In the field, the team leader is Chief Hwang, played by veteran actor Sol Kyung Gu, who is part drill sergeant, part task master, and part father.
The movie opens with the training of the newest recruit, Ha Yoon Joo (played by Han Hyo Joo). She is put through her test on a crowded subway ride that spills into the busy streets of downtown Seoul. Her goal is to never lose sight of her suspect while paying attention to the dozens of people she passes along the way.
Ha Yoon is expected to remember the color of people’s clothes and what was in their hands, all while memorizing the tiny details of their faces. When drilled on her final test, she is led to believe that she barely makes the team, but Chief Hwang secretly knows that the new recruit has it all!
The team in the streets pose as taxi drivers, tourists, motorcyclists, delivery men, and pedestrians— all while staying in touch via radio and following the specific directions so their mark does not realize he is being watched. The team has a great mix of characters of all ages.
Squirrel— whose name describes his character— is played by Lee Junho, Sloth— who is the van driver for the moving headquarters— is played by Lee Tae Hyung, and Mole is played by Kang Shin Ha.
The other team members all have their own team name such as Scarecrow (Jang Won Hung) and Parrot (Lee Dong Hwi). Ha Yoon begrudgingly accepts her name of Piglet which is given to her by the chief, and together they round out the surveillance unit tagged The Zoo.
The team of criminals the investigative team searches for is led by James, played menacingly by renowned actor Jung Woo Sung.
James is cold and ruthless, always expecting perfection from his thugs. Jung Woo Sung is most often a leading man that is the good guy, but he plays this role wonderfully.
He is as convincing a murderer and thief as he has been in his previous roles as the hero of the stories. He is the brains behind the operations and plans them to the second. Although never involved in the actual robberies, he watches his crew from afar like a puppet master and brutally makes them pay for the smallest mistake.
The robberies are daringly carried out in broad daylight and start and finish within minutes. The thugs are as trained as the cops and watching them try and stay one step ahead of the other is an exciting ride!
Unlike most Korean cop shows, this movie has none of the fast car chases. There are a few scenes in the subway, but most of the intense moments are on foot which go in and out of busy office buildings and restaurants. It seems like a hard concept to make exciting, but film maker Jo Ei Seok (from the 2016 movie “Master”) builds the excitement until you’re on the edge of your seat.
This movie comes to a climax as James decides on one last job and the police team knows this is their last chance to catch him. Through a turn of events, it has become personal for the team. As such, they vow nothing will stop them from getting this mastermind and bringing him to justice. However, will they be able to succeed?
This is a good movie and well worth the watch. Fans of Jung Woo Sung will really enjoy this change of pace for him. The entire cast does a good job and plays each of their roles well. I give this movie 2.5 finger hearts . Overall, it was good, but it wasn’t great! Since action, crime, and police movies is something that Korea has become famous for worldwide, there are definitely police films that Korea has done better.
Which movie or K-drama should we feature next in our “Throwback Review” column? Have you seen “Cold Eyes”? If so, what did you think of the movie? Let us know your thoughts by tweeting to us @whatthekpop1!
DramaElf is a dedicated lover of K-dramas. Not a night goes by without finding her in front of her Kindle, eagerly watching the newest drama. She is a particular fan of Gong Hyo Jin and Shin Min Ah. Although dramas are her biggest fascination, she is also a fan of Kpop and particularly loves Super Junior and SISTAR. Despite being a mom of two and grams of three, she can still fangirl with the best of them when it comes to her ultimate bias Leeteuk.
Media: Next Entertainment World