James Mudge’s Best and Most Disappointing Films of 2011

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The Yellow Sea (2010) Movie Image

Yellow Sea

Equally brutal and setting a cinematic world record for its sheer number of knife and axe fights is Korean thriller “The Yellow Sea”, director Na Hong Jin’s follow-up to his modern classic “The Chaser”. The film follows Ha Jung Woo (who won Best Actor at the 5th Asian Film Awards for his sympathetic performance) as a desperate man up to his neck in debt, who takes on a shady job to assassinate a South Korean businessman in China. Needless to say, complications ensue, everything goes wrong, and he finds himself on the run and targeted by gangs, the police, and other killers. Na Hong Jin is quickly proving himself a master of tension, and despite a running time of over two and a half hours, “The Yellow Sea” is a breathlessly fast moving piece of hardcore action cinema, filled with intense chase scenes, mass brawls and wickedly vicious choppings and beatings. Grim, downbeat and believable, the film stands out not only due to its exhilarating set pieces, but its wonderful collection of offbeat, dog eat dog characters, Na Hong adding a cruelly humanistic edge to the proceedings and painting a tough, though not hopeless picture of life in the gutter.

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Author: James Mudge

James is a Scottish writer based in London. He is one of BeyondHollywood.com’s oldest tenured movie reviewer, specializing in all forms of cinema from the Asian continent, as well as the angst-strewn world of independent cinema and the plasma-filled caverns of the horror genre. James can be reached at jamesmudge (at) btinternet.com, preferably with offers of free drinks.
  • X_p

    ive tried to watch “drive” three times and it always either puts me to sleep or i find something more entertaining than Goslings wooden performance. also its the transporter with no sense of humor. not very interesting.

  • http://twitter.com/BrentMMcKnight Brent McKnight

    Great list.

    I was floored when I saw REVENGE: A LOVE STORY. Who thought you would ever root for a guy cutting babies out of pregnant women, but holy shit, that movie brutalizes you until you can barely take it any more.

    YELLOW SEA and DRIVE are also two of the best movies I saw in 2011.

  • Wildgullagow

    Warrior. THE END