Film Review: A Hard Day

Article by Kevin Young

A Hard Day, is an action packed thriller that entails the narrative of homicide detective Ko Gun-soo (Lee Sun-kyun) a cowardly yet intelligent man who runs a man over killing him. The detective already has his own problems at home from overcoming a recent divorce, grieving for his deceased mother, and supporting his young daughter and sister. The film starts off fast by putting viewers right into the action by having Gun-soo run over the man which puts him in a traumatized state since he is late to his own mother’s funeral.

He later has to deal with his police chief cracking down on him for collecting bribery money. In a state of panic Gun-soo disposes of the body by burying it in his own mother’s casket. He is terrified and feels intense guilt for soiling his mother’s last rite. Time passes yet Gun-soo starts to receive text messages about someone knowing about his dark deed.

The film has the theme of horrific blackmailing from the American teenaged cult classic, I know what You Did Last Summer. Gun-soo desperately works to conceal his secret and attempts to find out who is antagonizing him.

Later it’s revealed to be fellow police officer, Park Chang-min (Cho Jin-woong). Chang-min is regarded as an esteemed officer and mysteriously requests to have the body of the man Gun-soo fatally killed. This sends Gun-soo into a state of distress again as he finds it peculiar that Chang-min wants a dead man’s body. The two become bitter enemies from the point of revelation as Chang-min and Gun-soo nearly kill each other in a public bathroom stall.

Both rely on their cunning wit and intelligence to gain the upper hand against the other. The protagonist is sent in a thrilling spiral of events that involve hiding his secret, defeating his rival, and protecting his family.

The film is about a man in desperation when all he can rely on is himself. He can trust no one and must think on his feet and adapt to nearly every new challenge. The film maintains a balance of action scenes with slower psychological situations that make A Hard Day a film to watch.

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