Golden Slumber (2018)

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A courier’s dream becomes a nightmare in this Korean thriller from director Noh Dong-Seok.

Kim Gun-Woo is a happy go lucky courier who takes pride in his work. A one-time former band member during his university days, he spends his time listening to the traffic reports from old friend Jeon Sun-young. However, many know Gun-Woo because he was named a Model Citizen for rescuing a local pop star. While Gun-Woo may seem like someone who would relish fame, he just loves being happy. However, when an old friend, Shin Moo-Yeol arrives to once again see him, Gun-Woo will find himself in serious danger.

When Gun-Woo witnesses a bombing, which leads to the death of a presidential candidate, Moo-Yeol informs his old friend that he is going to be blamed for what has just transpired. Moo-Yeol gives him the card to a friend, Min, just before he is killed. As Gun-Woo learns that a conspiracy has arisen, in which a secret agent known as “Silicone” has posed as Gun-Woo to make him take the fall, Gun-Woo is shocked to learn that his old friend is actually a former agent along with Mr. Min. Together, Gun-Woo and Kim must clear his Gun-Woo’s name and uncover the conspiracy before more people turn up dead.

This Korean thriller, based on a Japanese novel, is quite an intricate look at conspiracies within the government and how one man goes through a radical change because of those consequences that plague him within the conspiracy. Director Noh Dong-Seok, who co-wrote the film with Lee Hae-Jun and Cho Ui-Seok, wisely adds intricate plot twists as well as important flashbacks in order to flesh out the central character of Kim Gun-Woo.

Kang Dong-Won is great to watch as Gun-Woo. We first see him as a happy man who loves doing his job and still gets recognized for his heroics, which is never depicted but more brought out when he is doing one of his deliveries and is asked to do a selfie of himself with a mother and son. However, it is when he sees his old friend Moo-Yeol, played by Yoon Kye-Sang, that things change for Gun-Woo.

We see Gun-Woo slowly transform from happy to scared to someone who just will not take it anymore. Kim Eui-Sung is great to watch as Min, a truck driver who seems to act like a double agent, first helping Gun-Woo, then kidnapping him, then ultimately being the most reliable ally due to his connection with Moo-Yeol. Han Hyo-Joo gives some support as Gun-Woo’s ex-girlfriend turned radio reporter Sun-Young, who does whatever she can to help Gun-Woo while Kim Dae-Myung provides some brief comic relief as another old friend, who has since become a lawyer and finds himself in one bind after another.

The action helps drive the many plot twists along the way as we see Kim doing what he feels is necessary and the flashbacks of him with his old friends, help drive the film even further as we see Kim embrace both his past and present, all in hopes to see what is in store for his future. The ones responsible for Gun-Woo’s frame-up are truly ruthless in their means to make sure they control the government and in turn, control the people, even if it means framing anyone and they do mean anyone. They don’t care who gets hurt as long as they get what they want and that is control. This sort of action just makes you want to keep rooting for our hero.

Golden Slumber is a thrilling film with great twists and turns that mold and flesh out a man who undergoes a radical transformation in order to stop a conspiracy. Driven by the performance of Kang Dong-Won, this is a pretty good conspiracy thriller.

WFG RATING: B+

CJ Entertainment presents a Zip Media film. Director: Noh Dong-Seok. Producer: Song Dae-Chan. Writers: Lee Hae-Jun, Noh Dong-Seok, and Cho Ui-Seok; based on the novel by Kotaro Isaka. Cinematography: Kim Jung-Wook and Kim Tae-Sung. Editing: Shin Min-Kyung.

Cast: Kang Dong-Won, Kim Eui-Sung, Kim Sung-Kyun, Kim Dae-Myung, Han Hyo-Joo, Yoon Kye-Sung, Lee Hang-Na, Park Ghoon, Kim Jae-Young, Jo Young-Jin, Jung Jae-Sung.

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