By: Addison Wylie
A hard day is right. Nothing appears to be going well for Detective Gun-soo (played by Seon-gyun Lee). On the eve of his mother’s burial, he hits a drifter with his car while a corrupt operation to which Gun-soo was deeply involved with crumbles away. The sudden hit-and-run has the unconventional homicide detective thinking on his toes. He stows the body in the trunk of his car and brainstorms a connecting idea that allows him to dispose of the corpse while keeping an innocent appearance.
A Hard Day packs in a lot of darkly humourous deception and nail-biting moments for the movie goer. It’s like watching the latter half of a greatly thrilling television series where other vulnerable characters discover the truth behind the main character. In fact, A Hard Day starts off exactly in the middle of the chaos as if its picking up mid-season. However, the audience doesn’t feel overlooked. We can just as easily keep up with writer/director Kim Seong-hun’s fast-paced story.
The filmmaker has Gun-soo mapping out an elaborate plan, and then gives him a reason for having to trace back his uncovered footprints. And, just when everything seems to be winding down for our anguished anti-hero, another variable – a seemingly small detail or a meaningless witness – returns everything to madcap disorder.
Seong-hun keeps A Hard Day moving and involving, and he doesn’t shy away from featuring extended fight sequences. The film features the best household brawl since the Bride fought Elle Driver in Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill Vol. 2. But, it’s the shocking, action-packed narrative gasps that steal the show and make up for some otherwise skimpy character development towards the film’s paper-thin criminals.
If none of the Summer blockbusters entice you, buy a ticket for Kim Seong-hun’s A Hard Day. It’s entertaining as hell!