Film Review: Hunt

The political situation in a modern East Asia always seems to be a little precarious, but it’s often tensions between South Korea and North Korea which set nerves on edge. Not a year goes by, it seems, without Kim Jong-un launching a missile test and there are always citizens of the DPR looking to defect. These perennial tense relations have led to a raft of mainstream which imagines ‘what if?’. Hunt embroils itself in intrigue and power struggles.

South Korea is in the grip of political turmoil. While the authoritarian regime attempts to maintain its hold over the people, protests are now commonplace. KCIA Foreign Unit Chief Park Pyong-ho (Lee Jung-jae) and Domestic Unit Chief Kim Jung-do (Jung Woo-sung), two old enemies, are tasked with safeguarding the President. Intelligence has come to light pointing to a North Korean mole, codenamed Donglim, operating in the highest echelons of power and a plot to assassinate the leader.

The 1980s were a tumultuous decade in Korean history. Hunt revels in this atmosphere of suspicion and fear to create an entertaining espionage thriller. In essence, it’s a battle of the two big (intelligence) beasts and they do not disappoint. At times, fast-moving events are little more than an arena for their combat. It can sometimes feel fanciful, but much of Lee Jung-jae film is based on historical record. While Hunt might not quite have the hook to become a classic, it’s certainly a welcome addition into this fascinating sub-genre.

Hunt is out in UK cinemas on 4 November.

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