TIFF ’22: A Man of Reason

Korean film star Jung Woo-sung makes his directorial debut with the crime thriller, A Man of Reason. The story is a familiar one, but Jung’s style and performance make this entry exceptional, if a little off.

Su-hyuk (Jung) has spent the past decade in jail for his boss, he kept his head down, kept quiet, and did his time. Now that he’s out, he wants to connect with his old girlfriend and his daughter. He just wants to walk away and leave the violence behind, no matter how good he was it.

But, that’s not how things are going to play out. His old boss keeps an eye on him, and his lieutenant wants him out of the way completely, sending a pair of assassins after him. When the attempt goes sideways, his daughter is abducted, and a kidnapping plot overtakes the tale.

He’s going to get his daughter back.

The film is filled with eccentric characters, interesting set pieces, and some solid action beats. That being said, it may be the difference between Eastern and Western filmmaking, but the pacing doesn’t feel quite right.

The action scenes and the story could be a little tighter. The use of the odd characters, and fight sequences, are well-thought-out but my instinct tells me that there was a need for tighter shots, inserts, and quicker pacing.

Jung is fun to watch, and the audience is just waiting to see how far the character is going to be pushed before he strikes out and does what needs doing before he walks away from this life forever (sounds familiar right?).

As I said, it’s a familiar tale, but Jung tells it in an interesting way.

A Man of Reason screens Saturday the 17th and Sunday the 18th at Scotiabank Theatre.

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