REVIEW: Bad Guys Always Die (2015) – ManlyMovie

REVIEW: Bad Guys Always Die (2015)


Starring: Chen Bolin, Son Yejin, Qiao Zhenyu, Shin Hyunjoon and Jang Gwang

Director: Sun Hao

Four Chinese friends are all set to enjoy a lads’ holiday on the idyllic Korean island of Jizhou, when they happen upon Korean babe Ji-yeon (Son Yejin), who’s unconscious, having had a car accident on a secluded stretch of road. They decide to help by taking her to the nearest hospital, but it’s not long before they start to regret it. The first thing she does when she comes to is gun down a police officer and take Qiangzi (Chen Bolin) and his little brother hostage, leaving the other two to fend for themselves.

That isn’t easy given that they can’t speak Korean, have no money and are being pursued by hitmen as well as the police. The film develops into a pretty interesting action-comedy with some fun, if not particularly shocking twists leading to a cool little stand-off at the end. The evil-eyed, but singularly unlucky hitman ‘Killer’ (nicely played by Shin Hyunjoon) and the blunderingly incompetent ‘Old Policeman’ (Jang Gwang) are especially good.

There’s some typically goofy Chinese humour, but it’s sufficiently violent (though by no means excessive), with some sniper-rifle action, one guy’s brains splashed across the wall (what I like to call a Mr Takagi off-camera head-shot special) and somebody else squashed against a building by a speeding car. I guess the title of this film is true then… Kudos to them for not watering the proceedings down too much. I perceive this to be the Chinese answer to a Coen brothers crime-thriller, which is of course not to say it’s as good as a Coen-brothers film. Still…

– Jake