A Hard Day ★★★★

or Run Crooked Cop Run. In this Korean thriller, a cop accidentally drives his car into a person. He then improvises a most unusual way to hide the body. But someone saw his crime and blackmailed him, not for money, but for the body he's just hidden...

The film is pure exercise in style, lacking the dark psychological edge often found in recent Korean thrillers. That may sound like a drawback, and indeed there's nothing of depth to linger on when all is said and done, but it also means that A Hard Day is one of the most pure fun thrillers to come along in quite a while. Director Kim Seong hoon is extremely skilled when it comes to investing the usual thriller tropes with an extra kick. There's the car chase, but with a welcome relentless urgency. An explosion is also present, but the director has us know it and draws it out so long that anticipation is almost unbearable. And there are more than a few fight scenes, but the characters seem to know, for once, that if they fail they might actually die, so their mano-a-manos are some really drag-out, ferocious affair. You might leave the film a little exhausted in the end, but the rush it provides is quite exhilarating.

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