Traffickers, Movie  » Movies  »
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  • Hampered only by a story that begins to test the limits of believability and an occasional weakness in Daniel Choi's performance, I think this film is going to divide opinion on whether or not you can stomach a bit of misery


    • by James Roberts

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      Korean thrillers rarely pull their punches, which can often make them deeply affecting - especially when they centre around some really dark subjects. Unlike popular Chinese and Japanese cinema exports there is typically much more favour for realism in Korean films, that only makes them more shocking.

      Traffickers is concerned with a group of characters who are all linked by their association to the murky world of illegal organ trafficking. Chang Jung Lim stars in the role that you could probably identify as the protagonist, Yeong-gyu, although the term anti-hero is slightly stretching the truth. He is a black marketeer with


      a history of organ harvesting and smuggling that is drawn back into the trade by a bad debt that needs clearing, despite the fact that the last job left ended disastrously. Jung Lim gives a sympathetic and engaging performances that leaves you a little uneasy about whether or not you ought to be rooting for him at all.

      The film also keeps changing gear and leaves you unsure as to what the story is about. Although the plot is fairly straight forward I kept looking for what they were trying to say about their characters. Was this a story of redemption or punishment, or was it another bleak horror movie designed to please fans of gore and torture.

      It was certainly filled with tension and had me on an emotional rollercoaster but by the end I wasn’t sure how I felt at all. I don’t know if that can be attributed to power of the film or if actually there may have been a lack of precision in the story telling.

      Obviously Korean films cater for their native audience who have different tastes to western cinema goers but I still think there are technical faults within this movie. Sure the directing ...


      • Traffickers, Movie
      is great and there are plenty of effectively emotive scenes played out exclusively through visuals, but the film suffers from too many contrivances in the plot. They try and tie it all up neatly in the end but the attempt at finally creating some clarity actually works towards the detriment of the film.

      By trying to stay within the bounds of reality, and by giving the characters more attention than the graphic violence, the film elevates itself far above what it may have been. Hampered only by a story that begins to test the limits of believability and an occasional weakness

      in Daniel Choi’s performance, I think this film is going to divide opinion on whether or not you can stomach a bit of misery.

      It certainly isn’t a bad film. On the contrary it is genuinely thrilling and moving but I’m just not sure it was for me, which is more of a reflection of my tastes rather than the quality of the film. Traffickers is very hard to summarise without giving too much away and you’re probably not in for too many surprises if you are familiar with Korea cinema but this one really did leave me feeling a little cold at the end.



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    The review was published as it's written by reviewer in February, 2015. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 117021641580428/k2311a027/2.7.15
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