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Issue #137a HOME E-mail: mail@dighkmovies.com BACK ISSUES December 9th, 2002

Two Cops
(1993; Kang Woo-suk Productions)

A Masterpiece
Highly Recommended
Very Good
Marginal Recommendation
Not Recommended
Definitely Not Recommended

Korean: Tukabseu

Bitwin's TWO COPS 2 & 3 disc set was covered in issue #126a and Cinema Service has now issued Kang Woo-suk's original 1993 hit. After somehow managing to escape prosecution for taking bribes, Detective Cho (Ahn Sung-kei) is assigned a new partner: Detective Kang (Park Jung-hoon), a by-the-book rookie who is Cho's polar opposite in every way possible. Despite the fact that he almost just lost his job, the veteran (who has a second house he keeps secret from the department) sticks to his old habit of shirking responsibility and collecting bribes from just about every establishment in his jurisdiction. When Kang catches Cho taking money from a perp during a gambling raid, he is determined to have his partner kicked off the force. However, Cho turns the tables with the help of a masochistic interrogation suspect (the funniest scene here and one that would be reprised in the sequels) and forces Kang to tear up his report. Intent on getting the young tightass to lighten up, Cho cooks up a scheme involving a beautiful prostitute, only to see the rigid boy scout prove incorruptible yet again. When Kang later saves the hooker from a slasher preying upon women dressed in red, she rewards him with a night of esctasy. To Cho's delight, this greatly loosens the rookie up but far too much as it turns out. Kang’s new devil-may-care attitude and subsequent acts of naked corruption end up making both men the targets of a drug syndicate.

As with the two follow-ups, crooked civil servants are the main target here and the satire is reasonably fresh, considering the familiar premise (lifted wholesale from Claude Zidi's 1984 French hit, MY NEW PARTNER). Ahn (possibly the most beloved Korean actor) and Park (one of the hottest local actors and probably the one most widely known in the West) definitely have the best chemistry of the series and their smooth interaction gives the so-so material just enough of a boost for it to work. In contrast to the sequels, the "Big Action Climax" here is static and awkwardly assembled, inadvertently reminding one of how much better Korean films have gotten in this regard, since the beginning of the New Wave in the mid 90s. Kim Bo-seong appears in the final minutes, perfectly setting up the first sequel.

Cover art courtesy Cinema Service.

Park Jung-hoon (left) and Ahn Sung-kei Image courtesy Cinema Service.

Park Jung-hoon. Image courtesy Cinema Service.
Cinema Service (No Catalog #) (South Korea label)

Dolby Digital 2.0

Sync Sound Korean Language

Optional Subtitles In English or Korean

24 Chapters Illustrated in the Menu With (Tiny) Clips

Letterboxed (1.66:1)

Coded for Region 3 Only

Macrovision Encoded

110 Minutes

Contains moderate violence, coarse language, mild sexual content, and drug use

DVD menu courtesy Cinema Service.

South Korea 15+

This Region 3 DVD offers a nice rendering from a mint condition source that is marred only by a couple bits of immobile dirt that seem to be a fault of the original processing (if the matting had been 1.85, they would not have been seen at all). The audio is passable, though it was derived from the optical track of a print and contains some crackle and hiss. Subtitle translation is okay but, when two people are speaking, their lines tend to run together and one gag involving a sign is lost since it has not been translated. Extras consist of cast and director profiles/filmographies (in Korean only) trailers for three other Kang Woo-suk films (TWO COPS 2, TO KILL MY WIFE, and THE ALIMONY SUIT), as well as SURPRISE and BREAK OUT.

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