“Thieves” (도둑들)

Thieves

By Jae-Ha Kim
jaehakim.com
March 9, 2016

2 stars

Yenicall (played by Jeon Ji-Hyun)
Popie (played by Lee Jung-Jae)
Zampano (played by Kim Soo-Hyun)

I really wanted to like this film. But aside from some fantastic chase scenes, it was much ado about nothing.

A blockbuster hit in Korea when it was released in the summer of 2012, the movie features an all-star cast that includes Jeon Ji- Hyun and Lee Jung-Jae. (The duo shared the big screen in “Il Mare” — the 2000 film that was later remade as “The Lake House” with Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock.)

They play Yenicall and Popie, respectively. Popie plans the heists and Yenicall uses ariel artistry to break into buildings from the outside. Popie is intent on getting even with his former partner, Macao Park, who ran off with a boatload of gold from their last heist. He thinks he’ll get that chance when his team is hired to steal a $20 million diamond necklace.

Zampano (played by Jeon’s future “My Love from Another Star” co-star Kim Soo-Hyun) serves as Popie’s righthand man. And, like most men, he has a huge crush on Yennicall. The two set out to a casino, where Yennicall plans to seduce a man so Zampano can “borrow” his keycard. Though she brings her A-game, the mark makes it clear that he’s much more interested in Zampano.

With one or two exceptions, there is no honor among these thieves. Their double-crosses are filled with double-crosses.

Shot on location in Hong Kong, Macau, Seoul and Busan, the movie is both scenic and frenetic. Near the end of the film, there is a chase scene along the exterior walls that reminds me of the airborne fight choreography in “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.”

But, scenes like that were all too rare. Frankly, I found this trailer to be more interesting than the actual film.

 

Spoiler alert:

Kim Soo-Hyun fans shouldn’t go into this film expecting to see too much of him. His role is secondary and he disappears fairly quickly. While trying to escape from the police after the casino heist, he is almost out the door when he sees that Yenicall is about to be nabbed. He sacrifices himself so that she can get away. I have no idea why he would do this. Nothing in the plot showed that the two loved each other or that he felt responsible for her. The smile that he had on his face led me to believe that he had a way out. But nope. He didn’t.

Release date: July 25, 2012.

Running time: 136 minutes.

@2016 Jae-Ha Kim | All Rights Reserved

Comments (8)

  1. Kim Soo-hyun fan says:

    I’m loving all these reviews. Looks like you’re off your So JiSub kick now. 😛

  2. Jimin Han says:

  3. Pat Lewis says:

    This was the first Kim Soo Hyun film I saw where I realized that he was c-u-t. Those abs!

  4. Ara says:

    You didn’t like this? I loved it! I thought it was so much better than all those movies (Ocean’s 11) that it was compared to!

  5. Jessica Walker Daniel says:

    Haven’t watched this one yet….

  6. Maggie Pak says:

    The Moon Embracing Sun is my favorite….

  7. Kathy Hewett Tsudama says:

    My first introduction to Soo Hyun and Ji Jun! He was so cute-she was great as always! Their chemistry was so great they had to be cast in MLFAS!

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