Money (2019)

money

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A young stockbroker gets more than what he bargains for in this Korean version that melds the likes of Boiler Room and Wall Street from director Park Noo-Ri.

Cho Il-Hyun is a rookie stockbroker for a firm that has thrived in making money for their clients. However, in his first year, Il-Hyun has made a series of rookie mistakes that threaten his job. Co-worker and higher up Yoo Min-Jae sees potential in the young upstart, so he begins to give him advice but when everything comes at a standstill. Yoo recommends that Il-Hyun begins to work with “The Ticket”, a mysterious person of interest who may be the key to help Il-Hyun succeed.

“The Ticket” is anonymous and yet, upon meeting Il-Hyun face-to-face, also sees potential. The following day, Il-Hyun makes his first successful run, surprising everyone in the office. As he begins to work more and more, Il-Hyun finds himself at the end of being one of the biggest successes in the company. However, with his newfound glory, things slowly begin to unravel. A mysterious man named Han Ji-Cheol begins to suspect Cho and investigates. Soon enough, two major stockbrokers from other companies are found dead. With Il-Hyun on the rise but learning the consequences that surround him, will he make the right decision, or will he fall victim to his own ego?

Remember the famous line by Michael Douglas’ Gordon Gekko in Wall Street, where “greed is good”? That pretty much is what this film from writer Park Noo-Ri conveys and yet there are dire consequences that come from that greed. It seems like Park perhaps may have been influenced from the likes of the 1987 classic along with Boiler Room, a 2000 film about a rookie broker who goes on the fast track to success only to question his morals. There are some twists to this particular story, but altogether, it is quite an interesting film about success and its price.

Ryu Jong-Yeol is great as young upstart Cho Il-Hyun, who suffers quite a bit in both his job and his dignity as he is at first the laughing stock of his company. However, it is when he meets the mysterious one known as “The Ticket” that he gains the confidence as he goes from rags to riches within a year of starting his position. However, much like Charlie Sheen’s Bud Fox and Giovanni Ribisi’s Seth Davis, Il-Hyun begins to question everything when circumstances force him to do so.

It seems like Yoo Ji-Tae is meant to play masterminds and criminals. While his performance in the 2006 Oldboy will forever be legendary if not controversial, his role as the “Ticket” is quite charming but when that halfway point hits, you know the sinister is coming. And who else but Yoo can pull it off nicely and does just that. As for Cho Woo-Jin’s Han, he comes off first as increasingly annoying. He makes no attempt to be nice or act all slick. From the moment he appears, Han is ruthless, and he only has one thing on his mind and that’s the investigation. These two characters are involved in the film’s twists and turns throughout the second half with an ending that is both predictable and surprising at the same time.

Money could definitely be part of a triple screening with Wall Street and Boiler Room with some really good performances from Ryu and Yoo with Cho coming off first as quite annoying but redeeming himself in the finale.

WFG RATING: B

CJ Entertainment and Showbox presents a Sanai Pictures and Moonlight Film production. Director: Park Noo-Ri. Producer: Yoon Jong-bin. Writer: Park Noo-Ri. Editing: Kim Sang-Beom and Kim Jae-Beom.

Cast: Ryu Jung-Yeol, Yoo Ji-Tae, Cho Woo-Jin, Kim Jae-Young, Kim Min-Jae, Chung Man-Sik, Wong Jin-Ah, Kim Jong-Soo, Son Jong-Hak, Im Se-Mi.

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