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공공의 적 | Kang Woo-suk, 2002
South Korea | Korean with English subtitles | 135 minutes
Q&A with actor Sol Kyung-gu.
Kang Chul-joong (Sol Kyung-gu) is a bad cop, and in typical bad cop fashion he is stealing from drug dealers, taking bribes, ignoring his family, slapping suspects upside the head, and trying to get internal affairs off his ass. Cho Kyu-hwan (Lee Sung-jae) is a remorseless killer. After a meet cute in which Cho (fresh from his first murder) slashes Kang with a knife in an alleyway, the rest of the movie finds Kang relentlessly pursuing Cho, no matter the lack of evidence or the cost to his career and personal safety. In addition to all of the graphic violence are equally graphic jokes, and the audience comes away with one of the grittiest social satires to come out of Korea. Both characters are the titular “public enemy,” and Sol Kyung-gu’s dedication to the role (he gained over 40 pounds) and his easy chemistry with Lee Sung-jae carry this fiercely intelligent, darkly funny, and well-crafted film into classic territory. Presented with the support of Korean Cultural Service in New York.