Bitwin's TWO COPS 2 & 3 disc set was covered in issue
#126a and Cinema Service has now issued Kang Woo-suk's original 1993
hit. After somehow managing to escape prosecution for taking bribes, Detective
Cho (Ahn Sung-kei) is assigned a new partner: Detective Kang (Park Jung-hoon),
a by-the-book rookie who is Cho's polar opposite in every way possible.
Despite the fact that he almost just lost his job, the veteran (who has
a second house he keeps secret from the department) sticks to his old
habit of shirking responsibility and collecting bribes from just about
every establishment in his jurisdiction. When Kang catches Cho taking
money from a perp during a gambling raid, he is determined to have his
partner kicked off the force. However, Cho turns the tables with the help
of a masochistic interrogation suspect (the funniest scene here and one
that would be reprised in the sequels) and forces Kang to tear up his
report. Intent on getting the young tightass to lighten up, Cho cooks
up a scheme involving a beautiful prostitute, only to see the rigid boy
scout prove incorruptible yet again. When Kang later saves the hooker
from a slasher preying upon women dressed in red, she rewards him with
a night of esctasy. To Cho's delight, this greatly loosens the rookie
up but far too much as it turns out. Kangs new devil-may-care attitude
and subsequent acts of naked corruption end up making both men the targets
of a drug syndicate.
As with the two follow-ups, crooked civil servants are the main target here
and the satire is reasonably fresh, considering the familiar premise (lifted
wholesale from Claude Zidi's 1984 French hit, MY NEW PARTNER). Ahn (possibly
the most beloved Korean actor) and Park (one of the hottest local actors and
probably the one most widely known in the West) definitely have the best chemistry
of the series and their smooth interaction gives the so-so material just enough
of a boost for it to work. In contrast to the sequels, the "Big Action
Climax" here is static and awkwardly assembled, inadvertently reminding
one of how much better Korean films have gotten in this regard, since the
beginning of the New Wave in the mid 90s. Kim Bo-seong appears in the final
minutes, perfectly setting up the first sequel.
Cover art courtesy Cinema Service.
|Cinema Service (No Catalog
#) (South Korea label)
Dolby Digital 2.0
Sync Sound Korean Language
Optional Subtitles In English or Korean
24 Chapters Illustrated in the Menu With (Tiny) Clips
Coded for Region 3 Only
Contains moderate violence, coarse language, mild sexual
content, and drug use
DVD menu courtesy
BOARD RATINGS AND CONSUMER ADVICE
South Korea 15+
This Region 3 DVD offers a nice rendering from a mint
condition source that is marred only by a couple bits of immobile dirt that
seem to be a fault of the original processing (if the matting had been 1.85,
they would not have been seen at all). The audio is passable, though it was
derived from the optical track of a print and contains some crackle and hiss.
Subtitle translation is okay but, when two people are speaking, their lines
tend to run together and one gag involving a sign is lost since it has not
been translated. Extras consist of cast and director profiles/filmographies
(in Korean only) trailers for three other Kang Woo-suk films (TWO COPS 2,
TO KILL MY WIFE, and THE ALIMONY SUIT), as well as SURPRISE and BREAK OUT.
TWO COPS is available
at Poker Industries.
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© John Charles 2000 - 2002. All Rights Reserved.