The Berlin File kicked off with an illegal arms deal involving a North Korean negotiator, Pyo Jong-seong, a russian firearms broker and an arab guy from a terrorist group with SoKor NIS and NoKor intelligence team eavesdropping the transaction. The deal was almost completed but an avalanche surged while the agreement was in motion. Gunshots were thrown sporadically, and then the mossad guy (israeli secret service) shouted their team’s scheduled clean up of the russian and the arab guy. The NoKor pretty boy agent escaped but was chased by an NIS agent, Jung Jin-soo and in the rooftop they played fastest guy to trigger the bullet first, but Jong-seong evaded the NIS agent who got scolded by his superiors on their failed mission.
Little did Jong-seong know that the failed illegal weapon transaction is a happening that will set an ordeal for him as a rival agent with notorious reputation, Dong Myung-soo, was sent by Pyongyang Security authorities to dig on possible swaying allegiance in the North Korean embassy unit. They incriminated Jong-seong’s wife, Ryun Jung-hee working as an interpreter to have been giving leaks of their operation to SoKor NIS but Jong-seong’s keen mind deduced that they were framed up by Myng-soo’s ambition to take over the consul office. Myung-soo’s father was in search of a secret fund targeted Jong-seong and the incumbent ambassador who knew the covert fund’s details.
Catch the presumed North Koreans traitors ensued and Myung-soo acquired the help of the Arab terrorist group by making them believe that Jong-seong was the reason why their brother was killed. They seized the couple hiding in a hotel and was able to get Jung-hee as hostage while Jong-seong was confronted by the NIS agent he encountered in the weapon’s deal – Jung Jin-soo, who supplied him the information path on how they were branded as traitors.
With nowhere to go and with his wife’s life at stake, he promised Jin-soo of his conversion to South Korean government if he will help him save his wife. Jong-seong and Jin-soo headed to the terrorists’ safe house and geared up to their rescue operation while waiting for their back up. Jong-seong feigned his capture to set up their counter-attack into action. Myung-soo ordered him to record his betrayal confession but Jong-seong pulled another card that he got from Jin-soo which was a recording of Myung-soo’s conversation with the Mossad who disrupted the weapon negotiation.
Bullet fight again unleashed as Myung-soo was determined to kill Jong-seong who was protecting his pregnant wife. Jin-soo launched a big fire triggering an explosion in the terrorist’s lair and the Koreans and Arabs entangled in the battle were all sent flying outside because of the tremendous impact. Myung-soo and Jong-seong engaged in their final showdown and the latter was able to stab a poisoned injection to the ruthless man who fatally wounded his wife.
Jong-seong was taken to South Korea but when Jin-soo learned that NoKor negotiated for his head, he let Jong-seong run loose to claim the life he wanted.
Engaging my romantic self with its dark tones, espionage twists and turns and consistently intense CAPSLOCK fight scenes, this North Korean war hero turned fugitive flick, I hope would have a second serving.
It got me hooked from its first five-minute showing and I feasted on the superbly orchestrated skin-piercing-gun-ruckus in unconventional battle grounds.
The characters immersed themselves in their roles while moving swiftly to the pit stops and thrills brought about by the conflict thrown to the main lead. Easily narrated but not losing the gripping feel and the inner struggles of the fervid North Korean agent who was betrayed by the country he loved more than his wife, this movie had me remembered the same feeling I had with Ajussi.
I would have wanted a more elaborate ending, meaning more gruesome I’ll-kill-you-for-killing-my-wife-ala-UFC closure brawl, but given the non-stop hyper feeling it gave me all throughout, I’ll take the sad ending and only because, at the dying scene of the wife when Jong-seong kept running while carrying his dead wife, I felt a twinge of pain to the couple who has been living their marriage life bound by their patriotic pledge and unable to express their love.
A polished action-spy film worthy of your weekend night, The Berlin File’s resonating characters, continuous fiery scene shiftings and the well-blended weaving of the story parading amazing action scenes which didn’t drown the organic essence of the film were some of the reasons why I really enjoyed watching it. While I want an action movie to be really brimming of skin rips, bone breakings, blood spatters and gun shots, it’s definitely a bonus if I get a nice story and a resolved conflict. -jediprincess