Bloody Tie with Ryoo Seung-Beom

Ryoo Seung-Beom

Article by William Kustiono
Photo by Niko

The story of Bloody Tie revolves around Sang-do, a crystal meth dealer who considers his job similar to a businessman rather than a criminal syndicate. Sang-do has been involved all of his life. His uncle is the drug dealer who specializes in manufacturing crystal meth, as well as being responsible for Sang-do after the death of Sang-do’s mother in the lab explosion. Another character introduced in the story is Do Jin-kwang, a harsh detective who does not always use police rules of conduct. He is avenges his partner who died four years ago while tracking down the top drug dealer Jang Chul in Busan. When Do Jin finally meets Sang-do, he ‘blackmailed’ him and used him as a way to track down Jang Chul.

The character development in this film amused the audience’s expectation. Unlike the other criminal movies, as the story progresses the bad guy teams up with the good guy. Sang-do learns about Do Jin’s motive to catch Jang Chul. Both characters develop an emotional attachment towards each other in this movie, but the twist is Sang-do does not want to help Do Jin after being ‘blackmailed’ by him. Sang-do wants to leave the criminal life behind and start new. He found his life growing increasingly complicated as he tried to ensure his uncle’s safety from the law enforcement. He also begins to care more about his surroundings, as he helps a young woman get her life back on track.


Bloody Tie introduces the audience to the underworld, everything necessary for survival. Lies and betrayals are common terms among criminal organizations. Do Jin acts as a corrupt cop, always sticks to his guns and refuses to give the audience any kind of good guy figure. On the other hand, Sang-do only wants to avoid getting involved in criminal activities. He does not want to become like his uncle trapped in a criminal world. He only wants to set himself free from the burden.

The whole film has a brutality and violent theme; beatings and bloody shootings are in every single scene. Despite the brutality, the film also offers some comedic scenes that the audience can enjoy. Perhaps Choi wanted to lighten the action in the movie by giving some comedy instead of having a full action movie with bloody scenes all over the place. This movie surely gives the audience a harsh portrayal of the drugs trade in Asia, especially in Korea.

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