When an urgent command to mobilize and seize a factory on stake out obliterated the assigned Special Investigative Force led by Captain Im Cheol Ryeong, he earns the ire of the Republic’s high officials while grieving for the death of his comrades and wife. He is tasked to apprehend the runaway comrade, Special Force Commander Cha Ki Seong, by tracking his whereabouts while a joint Korean summit is being held in Seoul. At the expense of betraying his country, Ki Seong pulled a heist to obtain master plates that can produce fraud bank money which would instigate international conflict if it gets traced back to North Korean soil.
Cheol Ryeong is given three days to put a collar on the rogue officer who is in negotiation with a South Korean conglomerate company to invest on mass manufacturing of the fake dollar notes through the master plates that he stole from North Korea.
Enter Kang Jin Tae, a clumsy street cop who is thrown to spy on Cheol Ryeong’s mission details since the North Koreans appear fussed about the insurgent officer. The two work in tracking Ki Seong’s follower but lost him so he is able to alarm the villain that he is being trailed. Unable to trust each other, the two constantly banter, but eventually reach an agreement to work on the case when Cheol Ryeong revealed how his friends died because of Ki Seong.
The South Korean police obtain an intel about the company Ki Seong is communicating with and alert the detective duo stalking the antagonist. They engage in a thrilling car chase where Ki Seong is trapped without any weapon to defend himself, but Jin Tae halts Cheol Ryeong who is about to shoot the villain. Ki Seong takes advantage of the interruption to jump on the nearby river. Furious on Jin Tae’s meddling he uncovers how Ki Seong killed his wife and their unborn child. Guilty on his uncalled for act and losing their target, Jin Tae urges Cheol Ryeong to take off with the master plates.
Just as Cheol Ryeong preps up to go back to his country, Jin Tae calls him to inform that Ki Seong survived and abducted his family. Cheol Ryeong sought permission from his Commanding Officer and heads to the rendezvous set by Ki Seong. Jin Tae finds his family tied by metal chains with a ticking bomb nearby. Ki Seong orders his sniper to kill the family but Cheol Ryeong shoots the marks man to signal the final showdown with the nemesis.
Cast and Conflict
We got a yin-yang officer combo who provide the charm for the story while the mischief-making villain balances it with his sporadic angst and greed. Hyun Bin personifies a stoic North Korean detective against Yoo Hae Jin’s free spirited police officer. Both are compliant of the orders given to them and are vigilant in trying not to expose the furtive orders attached to their missions. When their connection hit the bromance point they defy the orders given to them and stick to their convictions as upholders of law. ‘Kim Joo Hyuk’ projects your usual action film rival with his ability to outwit the protagonists for the most part of the story until hitting the conclusion when he is finally subdued. ‘Hyun Bin’ is far from his usual debonair vignette and is ascetic all throughout the story. That unfortunately played at his disadvantage because he is not required to unleash his acting prowess and goes like a textbook action hero in the story. Park Hae Jin as usual nails his character role giving the zest and humor in the story.
Story and Screenplay
‘Confidential Assignment’ relies on hurling heightened action scenes through its modest writing. The Korean unification themed plot maintains the intensity for most of its run albeit a little emotional frames that did not suit the flow of the story. The pinches of humor inserted every now and then, function as resting points while the protagonists go to a gripping roller coaster ride to pin down the anti-hero.
Review and Recommendation
‘Confidential Assignment’ delivers in showcasing high octane action sequences and easy to follow narrative. That being said having one central conflict I think helped a lot for its easy to digest storyline even when it moved to a rapid pacing. Action films tend to work well with minimal dialogues and straightforward approach and that was achieved well by ‘Confidential Assignment’.