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article imageReview: Cop thriller Cold Eyes keeps the tension tight and fast-paced Special

By David Silverberg     Sep 13, 2013 in Entertainment
Toronto - How do you make a standard cops-and-robbers film a riveting suspenseful 120 minutes of intrigue and action? Just ask the filmmakers behind Cold Eyes, a Korean film screening at the Toronto International Film Festival.
A surveillance state becomes the framework behind the story of a police unit tracking down criminals like the ultimate Big Brother watching over its citizens. Almost every block of Seoul is under the eye of CCTV cameras, and these sharp-witted cops also have an uncanny memory for every movement their targets make.
When a bank robbery is pulled off with barely a clue available, the team works overtime to catch the culprits. Seol Kyung-gu plays the chief who mentors a young woman (Han Hyo-joo) hoping to make her mark as a surveilling specialist. wWhen the targets begin to endanger the lives of the officers, the drama ratchets up several notches and the cat-and-mouse game gets so intense you can't look away (well, we literally can't, thanks to subtitles).
Cold Eyes could have been predictable and Hollywood, but there's a slick feel to this film you'd recognize if you ever enjoyed an Asian feature. We see Seoul as almost another character both hiding and revealing the targets, giving us an inside look of what a surveillance would truly look like from the police POV. You might get uneasy to learn how exposed we all can be when cameras track our every step.
The violence is brutal and bloody, but never gratuitious. It comes and go in spurts, much like some of the martial arts action. Instead, the chase acts as the central battle. And the ending is a whole faceful of wow.
Cold Eyes is definitely worth seeing if you like an outstanding thriller. We're also treated to some outstanding acting courtesy the two leads.
More about Cold Eyes, Cops, Seoul, Korea, South Korea
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