Jin Hyun Pil runs ‘One Network Inc.’, a company with an extensive network covering Korea. The chief of the Intellectual Crime Investigation team, Kim Jae Myung, suspects One Network’s involvement in a fraud case of unprecedented scale. Kim tracks down the company’s IT architect and brain, Park Jang Gun, and attempts to persuade Park to hand over Jin’s secret ledger in exchange for a plea bargain. Feeling the police close in on him, Jin moves operations out of Korea. Kim nonetheless continues his investigation into Jin. 6 months later, news about Jin’s death stirs the country once again. (Source: CJ Entertainment) Edit Translation
Where to Watch Master
Cast & Credits
Maybe those are clouded my judgement.
But I admit, Master is not a perfect film. It certainly helps if you love the actors you are seeing on screen.
Cold Eyes (2013) director, Ui-seok Jo makes the style of Master, a reminiscent of his 2013 hit. Fast-paced, suspense and action-filled. I did enjoy Master a little bit more though, I felt like it has more substance, however questionable it may be.
Lee Byung Hun plays the bad guy (not a first), the CEO of a big company, One Network who is scamming their customers and is involved in fraud cases among others. Kim Woo Bin plays the section chief of communications/technology, a tech-whiz of some sort and Kang Dong Won plays the head of the investigating team. The three have good chemistry—each a talented actor on their own.
No doubt Lee has an actor. My first time to see Kang (and quiet guy during the premiere as well) and crime/action films are not new to him. Kim, this is probably his best role (for me) to date. Though, better characterization would work—given that we have 3 contrasting characters. But I think Ui suffers from that problem regardless.
Kudos though for showing us two badass female characters, played by Uhm Ji-won and Jin Kyung, though they deserve more screen time. And justice for Jin's character.
Master is messy. It starts strong—intriguing even, leading us on, much like Cold Eyes' exposition. But ultimately, things start to get a little bit out-of-place. There is little backbone or sense in how things escalated. They either seem ridiculous or just not how it's supposed to go.
Ui tries to back it up with comic relief which Kim does well and contrasts with Kang's serious demeanour. Lee does it well too.
Yu Eok does well with the cinematography, contrasting Seoul's tall buildings to the Philippines' tropical and cramped houses. Though as a Filipino, it's still a bit disappointing that Tondo (one of the largest squatter areas and poorest is the one chosen to showcase including the poor environment and such, there is so much more to show than that but okay).
Action-wise, it's more intense than Cold Eyes but the latter has better suspense and build-up though the former tried to throw a plot twist that seems wow at first but ridiculous the next...due to the lack of a backbone.
It's not the "exotic" place that would save Master. It's the cast. It's the reason that, despite all its flaws, that I ultimately still enjoyed this.
Very well written and directed by Ui-seok Jo, shows the protagonists getting themselves from subterfuge in search of power and salvation, on the other hand, is not an easy task but rather arduous with high price to pay. In this story we do not see "small fish", but a bunch of power-hungry sharks.
A film of many dialogues, yet it has fluidity, a film that makes us want to know more, and "mentions" Brazil at a certain moment.
What I think is cool, Korea has content, pity that our governments, operators and producers do not invest, the rights of a drama cost much less than the rights of a Globo TV soap opera for example. Another example is the shows, the value becomes insignificant to bring a group here, the problem is that they do not want to invest in the uncertain, after all, prefer content of which there are interested sponsors and the people have more is to fuck ...
And to finish "Master" is undoubtedly a good action movie and crime!