Sometimes a movie can be very bad, but still be enjoyable to watch because of an actor that plays a fantastic role. At times the movie is even saved because of that particular actor or actress. It takes a very special talent to pull something like that off. One of the best actors from Korea, at least in my humble opinion, is Lee Byung-hun. His natural charisma and incredible acting skills turn even mediocre movies into gold. One of those movies for instance was Memories of the Sword (you can find my review for it right Here ). Even though that movie wasn’t spectacular, his role alone made it worth your time. But sometimes even an actor of his calibre is not enough to turn a movie into something that is at least above average.
In the movie Inside Men, Byung-hun plays the role of Ahn Sang-goo, a criminal who is caught embezzling campaign funds. Because of this, he receives a very brutal punishment: his hand gets chopped off. The two people responsible for this are the ambitious and ruthless politician Jang Pil-woo, and Lee Kang-hee who works at a very influential conservative newspaper. Ahn is ofcourse hellbent on revenge, and he soon finds an ally in the form of a prosecutor called Woo Jang-hoon. Their relationship starts on very rocky ground, but soon they join forces and devise a plan to bring down the two corrupt men. However both Pil-woo and Kang-hee have enough tricks up their sleeve to not go down easy. Who will win this war of revenge and politics?
Sounds like a great story right? Revenge, political intrigue, corruption, all the ingredients for a terrific movie one would say. Unfortunately this movie is a complete let down. The script and editing of this movie are a mess, and not even Lee Byung-hun was able to save this one. There is a certain scene in this movie where a few of the power hungry men play golf in a, well, pretty disturbing way. At this point I was ready to switch it off, but I decided to stick with it. It did not get any better from there, and the so-called twist at the end, one could see coming from miles away. At times the movie also seems to have trouble deciding what it wanted to be: action movie, drama, or political thriller. I had high hopes for this one, because of the story and being a fan of Lee Byung-hun. It goes to show that not even a great actor is able to save everything. A real shame, and a movie that is best avoided if you ask me.
I give Inside Men a 3 out of 10 score.