This action packed thriller from the director of The Terror, Live starts out a bit slow but picks up the pace as with some recent Korean films, two particular opposite sides join forces to stop a common enemy.
It’s the year 2024 and the U.S. presidential election is underway. The current Commander-in-Chief, President McGregor, is in line for re-election and yet, he has not exactly been popular amongst the people. The CIA has plans to keep McGregor in command by swaying the votes and to accomplish this, they must do the unthinkable. The plan is to target North Korea’s supreme leader but they can’t get just anyone to do the job. Instead, the CIA unleash their secret weapon, the PMC mercenary team.
A band of immigrants from all over make up the mercenaries, led by South Korea’s Captain Ahab, who is haunted by his past and has a prosthetic leg to boot. The mission is to kidnap the North Korean leader and escort them to a bunker below the Demilitarization Zone, the border between North and South Korea. However, en route, the group find themselves ambushed by Chinese military forces. In addition, one of the mercenaries double-cross Ahab. When Ahab learns that in the melee, the North Korean leader has been shot, he must rely on the aid of a doctor from North Korea to save him and together, these two unlikely allies must lead the way to safety before it’s too late.
In what can be said in recent years, the seemingly “cold war” between North Korea and South Korea, at least in films, has begun to cool down, no pun intended. Perhaps, it is the fact that the political standings have changed quite a bit, and thus, giving filmmakers a chance to envision what it could be like if the two sides were to potentially become an alliance with no quarrels despite their differences. Confidential Agreement can be said to be a prime example of this and now, we have Take Point, directed by Kim Byung-Woo, who gained rave for his previous film, The Terror Live.
To up the ante, Kim has made this quite an international action film. While the focus is on a South Korean mercenary and a sometimes unscrupulous North Korean doctor, who calls Ahab “southie” numerous times, there is mainly an international cast involved in the production. Ha Jung-Woo and Lee Sun-Kyun are great as the political rivals turned potential allies with the likes of Kevin Durand, Malik Yoba, and Spencer Daniels playing members of the PMC with Jennifer Ehle as their CIA contact, Mackenzie. Ha and Lee spend their on screen time speaking Korean while Ha would showcase his really good English language skills when it comes to his fellow mercenaries.
The film starts out a bit sluggish, but that doesn’t matter because once the fireworks start, then the pace picks up pretty quickly. With all of the action set inside this bunker, there are plenty of shootouts, mayhem, and even a bit of knife fighting. There are also some nice drone-camera POV shots when Ahab is stuck in a room alone with a wounded North Korean leader, forcing the doctor to give him advice on recovering. From there, the action gets more fast-paced with many casualties in tow.
Take Point may start a bit slow, but then it amps up with action and shows more proof that even the worst of enemies, under extenuating circumstances, can become allies. Ha Jung-Woo and Lee Sun-Kyun lead the international cast on a high note with this thrill-a-minute action film.
WFG RATING: B+
CJ Entertainment presents a Perfect Storm Films production. Director: Kim Byung-Woo. Producers: Jeong Tae-Sung, Kang Myung-Chan, Ha Jung-Woo, and Kim Young-Hoon. Writers: Kang Myung-Chan and Kim Byung-Woo; based on the novel by Park Sang-Yeon; based on the creation by Ha Hoe-Jin. Cinematography: Darius Khondji. Editing: Kim Chang-Ju.
Cast: Ha Jung-Woo, Lee Sun-Kyun, Jennifer Ehle, Kevin Durand, Malik Yoba, Spencer Daniels, Robert Curtis Brown, Ines Laimins, Jack Lyons, Paul Meixner, Jorge-Luis Pallo.
CJ Entertainment will release the film in select theaters across the United States and Canada on January 4. For a listing on theaters, go to CJ Entertainment’s official website.