A Korean box-office hit which featured in the 24th Hong Kong film festival, Kim Sang-Jinís film presents anarchy, Korean style.Four juvenile delinquents, whose leader is played by Yoo Oh-Sung, decide to rob a gas station, and hold the employees hostage until the proprietor can come up with the amount of money they want. Meantime they extort money from drive-in customers and attract the attention of the local Mob, gangs of delivery boys and high-school youths, and the police, as news of the siege spreads.
Initially, the actions of the thugs staging the hold-up seem to be without cause; but eventually we learn theyíre depraved on account of theyíre deprived, via flashbacks, somewhat delayed in the course of the story, to past events in the lives of the four indicating the foundations of their grudges against society.
The final 20-30 minutes of Kim Sang-Jinís 109-minute film, when it settles into comedy (and continues with the end credits), achieves the pace and level of interest the film apparently didnít have for those members of the audience who left the cinema before that point.This suggests to me that the film could be tightened considerably for a foreign release, without losing its main attractions. For example, the main body of film, re-edited to accord with the tone of the last half hour or so, could lose up to 15 minutes of the first two acts. Additional close-ups to clarify plot points might also help more of the foreign audience to stay the distance.