Review: The Thieves [2012]

The Thieves (2012)Alternative Title: The Professionals
Director: Choi Dong-hoon
Screenplay: Choi Dong-hoon/Lee Gi-cheol
Release: 07/25/2012

Cast:

Kim Yeon-seok as Macao Park
Lee Jeong-jae as Popeye
Kim Hye-soo as Pepsi
Kim Hae-sook as Chewing Gum
Oh Dal-soo as Andrew
Jeon Ji Heon as Anycall
Kim Soo-hyeon as Jampano
Derek Tsang as Johnny
Angelica Lee as Julie
Simon Yam as Chen

Synopsis (hancinema):
In order to let things cool down from their latest heist, Popeye and his group of thieves go to Macao on a job. But the mastermind behind this job is none other than Popeye’s old partner Macao Park, who escaped with 68kg of gold several years ago on their last job together. Macao Park brought Chinese thieves as well but little did they know what Macao Park planned for each one of them. But his plan takes an unexpected turn when Popeye brings Pepsi, an old flame of Macao Park, to settle the old score. The thieves’ target is a $20 million diamond known as ‘Tear of the Sun’, kept safely away in a casino, brought there to be sold by a notorious Chinese fence. While working together to steal this fabled diamond, they all have their own agenda to keep the diamond for themselves. But who will succeed and live to see another day?

I Say…

The movie is excruciatingly good… I chose contradicting adjectives there. It’s going to leave you on the edge of your seat. As I thought the conclusion is near, I was only halfway through the movie, which lasted more than 2 hours… with all the “wire walking” scenes and “almost caught” moments. Of course, as expected, Koreans love melodrama infused into their story lines all the time. The Thieves didn’t escape that.

thethieves_poster2This movie is like the Asian counterpart of Ocean’s Eleven, with an all-star cast that must’ve cost it a fortune already. Jeon Ji Heon and Lee Jeong-jae alone can gather up more than enough audience. Although Jeon Ji Heon aged a bit, she still carried the same sexiness and poise. And there’s Kim Soo Hyeon too, one of Korea’s newest heartthrobs.  But the movie proved its worth to be more than having an all star cast.

For the longest time, Asian action films have stereotyped Jacky Chan and Jet Li… combatting fire-armed men with their age old martial arts. I like Jacky Chan and Jet Li very much too, they’re great martial artists, no question asked. But the viewers evolve too, and I think The Thieves is like a breathe of fresh air to Asian action films. It can match Hollywood’s fame with the traditional”Asian” plots and stunts.

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