The Rules of the Game
Directed by Jang Hyun-soo
, starring Park Joong-hoon, Lee Gyoung-young, Oh Yeon-soo.
Film genre: Noir
Distributed by Seyang Film
From its big-synth opening chords you know you’re in for a bit of an early 90s treat, whether it’s the conman with a Filofax or sleazy shots of fishnet tights. In this world of boxy suits and hair scrunchies, a small-town thug travels to Seoul with the intention of joining the most violent and feared of the mobster gangs. As he struts the streets winding everyone up with absurd braggadocio, there is violence but it reads as stagey and camp, and indeed the main pleasure of this film is its absurdity and period charm – especially when you realise that the reference points are 1930s Hollywood meshed with 1980s TV. Lead actor Park Joong-hoon is something of a national treasure in South Korea and has been tipped for a starring role in the forthcoming season of local TV hit Bad Guys.