Although it could possibly be deemed a case of style over substance, Byun Sung-hyun’s The Merciless is an accomplished and well-structured South Korean noir thriller.
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It’s perhaps not a huge step-up to those already well-versed in recent Korean action cinema, but sturdy direction by helmer Jung Byung-gil, restrained hat-tips to genre films past and the well-paired male leads keep The Merciless from feeling like the summation of more famous films.
By the end of this relentless, sprawling and bloody crime opera it may be you who is on your knees, begging for the damn movie to just hurry up and end it.
An ultraviolent Korean crime film with plenty of swagger and visual brio, but still too generic to really stand out from the pack.
A minor addition to the Korean action cinema canon, The Merciless offers thin pleasures in a glossy package.