The Yellow Sea is overkill in every sense.
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Like fellow countryman Park Chan-wook's vengeful epics, this man-on-the-run thriller knows how to deliver a rush; unlike those superior tales of lives on the edge, that's the only trick up its sleeve.
Gushing more blood and possessing more stamina than any number of Hollywood hack-'em-ups, writer-director Na Hong-jin's pulse-pounding, mordantly funny genre piece is at times messily convoluted, yet serious and full-bodied enough to achieve a genuinely tragic dimension.
More startling than an unexpected punch in the noggin, Na Hong-Jin's unusual thriller could have the highest knife count this side of Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares. A violent thrill-ride to a dark new corner of Asian cinema.
A rush of a movie from South Korea that slips and slides from horror to humor on rivers of blood and offers the haunting image of a man, primitive incarnate, beating other men with an enormous, gnawed-over meat bone.
If anything, Na's film is too much of a good thing, exceeding credibility too often (the punching-bag hero is far too lucky - good and bad - and absorbs a hilarious amount of punishment) in its pursuit of despairing violence. But that's the Korean way, and Na nails down the bottom feeder realism while slouching toward video-game hyperbole.
A deafening explosion of energy, gruesome violence and chaos.