The Gangster, the Cop, the Devil
A gangster, a cop, a devil… As Tony Shalhoub said to John Turturro in Barton Fink, “Whaddya need, a roadmap?” Almost every year, Cannes programs something crazy from South Korea to show in its midnight slot – last year was North Korea-set espionage thriller The Spy Gone North, the year before that, action films The Villainess and The Merciless – and this year is no exception. In The Gangster, the Cop, the Devil, there’s a cop, Jung Tae-suk (Kim Mu-yeol) and a gangster, Jang Dong-soo (the physically awesome Ma Dong-seok, aka Don Lee, the breakout star from zombie mega-hit Train to Busan). They don’t get along very well, but they’re on the trail of a devil, Kang Kyung-ho (Kim Sung-kyu), who just won’t stop stabbing people. And they won’t let a few fights stand in their way.
If you’ve got any knowledge about the kind of films the country tends to produce, you’ll know what to expect: violence, elaborate choreography, a tone that veers wildly between deadly serious and wacky slapstick, and, of course, violence, lots of violence. Much of the tension of the piece comes from the fact that cops and criminals are working together – the gangster is fending off a civil war of his own, while the cop is frustrated with the bureaucracy of a department that doesn’t let him do his job. But it’s all just table setting for some typically exciting bouts of action, including a showdown in a karaoke bar that makes ingenious use of a wooden door. Director Lee Won-Tae isn’t a master, but he’s good enough to make the punches and car chases count. And Don Lee is great as the Tony Soprano-esque gangster.
The Gangster, the Cop, the Devil does not have a UK release date yet.
Read more reviews from our Cannes Film Festival 2019 coverage here.
For further information about the event visit the Cannes Film Festival website here.
Watch the trailer and some clips from The Gangster, the Cop, the Devil here: