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The Chaser (2008)
Director: Na Hong-jin
Tagline: "I feel so safe with you standing there with that hammer..."
Joong-ho (Kim Yun-seok) is a former cop turned pimp who is more concerned about stopping his girls from running away. When another one goes missing, he thinks she has been sold off and tracks down the man responsible Young-min (Ha Jung-woo).
What he doesn't know is the most recent woman who has gone missing Mi-jin (Seo Yeong-hie) is lying bound and bleeding in Young-min's bathroom while he and the killer are hauled into the police station for questioning.
I've never known a movie about a serial killer to have so many laughs. The police get into a fight over who is going to book Young-min and it does make a big difference that you already know who the killer is, but the police only have 12 hours to prove it before they have to let him go and he can go back and finish the job on Mi-jin.
Joong-ho is like a dog with a bone chasing Young-min, and although it takes him a while to realise that he is not looking for a business rival, but a murderer. Things take a turn for the heart-rending when he comes across Mi-jin's daughter who turns out to be really smart "what are you taking my mum's hair for, is it a DNA test?" I cried in a couple of scenes with the little girl as she is so cute and she works out what is happening to her mother so quickly.
It's hard to believe that this is the director's first feature, I hear that it did really well in South Korea and it reminded me of Memories of Murder with the police station scenes and also having someone actually having to fight against the police to get things done.
While not the easier movie to watch at times, I would recommend it if you are a fan of police or murder mystery type stories and want something different from the usual stories where the police always get things right and the killer always gets justice.