The Thieves

2012 [KOREAN]

Action / Comedy / Crime

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 67%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 71%
IMDb Rating 6.8 10 9730

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Uploaded By: FREEMAN
September 30, 2021 at 11:07 PM



Jung-jae Lee as Popie
Simon Yam as Chen
Soo-hyun Kim as Zampano
Ji-hyun Jun as Yenicall
1.22 GB
Korean 2.0
24 fps
2 hr 15 min
P/S counting...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by totalovrdose 9 / 10

Ocean's Eleven meets From Vegas To Macau meets Ronin meets The Italian Job: A Highly Intelligent, Sultry, Dazzling and Engaging Thriller

There are many aspects of this film that distinctly separates it from others. For one, the characterization - it's superb. Over time, through development and flashback, the characters become significantly fleshed out, and though the audience may initially appreciate a character at the beginning of the narrative, by the end, it might be an entirely different story, our loyalties continuously shifting, as do those of the individuals on screen.

Secondly, the stunts: the fact the feature isn't filled with continuous action sequences allows us to appreciate them so much more. They are brilliantly executed, highly exhilarating, and occasionally, even with suspension of disbelief applied, beyond fathomable. Thirdly, the script - characters are witty, sassy and subtly cutthroat. Never is the script reduced to slapstick or cliché one-liners, the well executed humor at the hands of the talented actors being as fresh and fluid as one could ever hope to witness.

Fourthly, the suspense. Alongside some of the hectic stunts, the film offers nail-biting entertainment as loyalties are tested and plans abseil out of control, to the extent, the question isn't so much 'who will walk away with the prize?' as it is, 'whose going to come out of this alive?' Fifthly, the music - it's rarely too serious or too laid back, immersing the viewer into the experience. Sixth, the visuals - their gorgeous. Macau and Hong Kong vibrantly come to life in a mixture of dazzling bright colors, supported by brilliant framing and directing that is truly captivating. In this sense, the feature isn't just an entertaining thrill ride - it's a gorgeous vacation - with guns, and thieves, and gold.

Yenicall (Gianna Jun, who is especially outstanding in this film) is a superbly athletic thief, working alongside a crew consisting of Chewingum (Kim Hae-Sook) and Zampano (Kim Soo-Hyun), the leader of their outfit, Popie (Lee Jung-Jae), finding them a job working with an old partner of his, Macao Park (Kim Yun-Seok), who he detests for reasons that are explained over the course of the feature.

Trust is a luxury that is unaffordable, and even less so when the South Korean team travel to Hong Kong to meet an equally talented group of Chinese thieves they will be working with over the duration of the job: to steal the Tear of the Sun, a prized diamond that can be sold for 20 million. Leading the Chinese team is Chen (Simon Yam), alongside Andrew (Oh Dal-Su), Johnny (Kwok Cheung Tsang) and Julie (Angelica Lee). The character who is most shocked of all however is Macao, to discover that Popie has brought with him an undisclosed thief, recently released from prison: Pepsee (Kim Hye-Soo), whose loathing of Macao's character, alongside her love for him, is explored throughout the film.

Though there are more men participating in the film than women, the story fantastically allows the women to continuously be at the forefront of the plot, each of them with sizable, engaging roles that occasionally overshadow their male counterparts. With each of the thieves having agendas of their own, and with nothing been too sacred, or too illegal to try, the ever continuous suspense constantly submerges the audience as they try to figure out who will experience, as Yenicall calls it, a 'happy ending.'

There's little else I can write to convince you, dear reader, to watch this particular film, except - you will be doing yourself a serious disservice by not doing so.

Reviewed by DICK STEEL 8 / 10

A Nutshell Review: The Thieves

The Thieves may look like Ocean's Eleven from the onset, with its star studded ensemble cast from South Korea and Hong Kong combining forces for the most parts in what would be a casino and jewel caper. But instead of having one primary heist as the central focus for all the characters, The Thieves present a whole lot more, used to introduce the different team's capabilities, and providing plenty of twists and turns as the story progressed. In short, it was a real treat and a wild ride to have the usual plot developments of the genre, with the betrayals and conflicting motivations all clashing together, and delivered with pin point perfection.

In the South Korean camp, there's Lee Jung-Jae as Popie, de-facto leader, who had assembled his team consisting of slinky cat burglar Yenicall (Jeon Ji-Hyun), veteran and linguist Chewingum (Kim Hae-Suk), and cable operator Zampano (Kim Soo-Hyun), to fleece a rich curator. They get contacted by Macao Park (Kim Yun-Seok), one time ex-partner of Popie, who had dangled an opportunity for a casino and jewel raid, and for the job, Popie brings along Pepsee (Kim Hye-Soo), recently out on parole, much to Macao Park's displeasure. The complex job also requires the team work with the Hong Kong camp, whom Macao contacted for assistance, which means an expanded motley crew comprising of leader Chen (Simon Yam), safe-cracker Julie (Angelica Lee), and regular goons in Andrew (Oh Dai-Su) and Johnny (Kwok Cheung Tsang). But there's enough to go around, since the plan is to rob a jewel in the premises of a casino in Macau, then sell it back to its original owner, the mysterious Wei Hong (Ki Guk-Seo).

The story by Choi Dong-Hun and Lee Gi-Cheol is kept extremely tight despite the myriad of characters involved, with director Choi expertly cutting through characters and their respective story arcs, with flashbacks used to introduce each and every one of them, coupled with surprises that throw up individual character motivations. This adds an extra spice to the proceedings, because like a poker game, we are the only ones who had a sneak peek into their respective roles, and what their intent is from the get go, with an expectation that things aren't always what they seem. We're lulled into complacency that we know it all, until another surprise gets thrown up to knock us off our balance. And doing so without cheating - which involves randomly or forcefully including unbelievable or illogical moments - was something of a feat.

Which is pretty amazing, because the pace of the narrative is never let down, interspersing adrenaline pumping moments with quieter scenes, and the usual heist film montage expectation where the Plan gets played out as the team embarks on their surveillance and preparation work, before the real thing. And that only covers less than half the film, with the second half trading characters for more stunt work and action, and given that it's a Korean film after all, had its focus shifted back to the Korean actors. The way that characters come, go, and the narrative bringing up sub plots, work wonderfully well, especially in setting up what were to follow from surprising moments.

But in a cinematic world where there is no honour amongst thieves, a romance also got thrown in to shake things up a little, especially when emotions play a key role in the building of various alliances and plans that each individual sets in motion in pursuing their self interests. It plays with what you know and have established, feeding you with new facts that would make you change your opinion about someone or some situation, and then decide who you would root for in this bunch of ten skilled professionals. They slag each other when there's opportunity to, backstab and form new partnerships, some even quite moving, especially when you know that Trust amongst the players is really a rare commodity.

No effort got spared in designing the action and heist sequences in the movie, making it a delight to watch since things are kept relatively fresh. Tom Cruise's building climbing escapade is well documented in M:I: Ghost Protocol, and while they aren't scaling the highest building in the world here, the film more than made up for it in the frequency, number of people involved, and at a much faster pace thanks to technology being unavailable other than a strong cable, a threaded indication, and lots of guts.

It's no surprise that this film has so far been South Korea's box office champion, given the slick execution of its action, and an all round good story involving boring cops and sexy/suave robbers. The handling of the languages here - Cantonese and Korean - in the way the characters interact, is a definite draw, as something that was handled close to perfection, because in the real world accents will come to play, and this one had attention to detail.

Reviewed by cremea 8 / 10

Impressive and Enormously Entertaining!

The Thieves is a 2012 Korean heist/caper film. Here's your story: Gather a bunch of thieves & criminals together to hatch a plan to steal a diamond. That's it!...Well, Almost!


The comparisons to this film being a Korean version of "Ocean's Eleven" simply can't be avoided. And, if you're asking "Why should I waste my time watching that?" The answer is because IT IS a KOREAN VERSION!

When you watch "Ocean's Eleven", you know the worst thing that will happen to Clooney & Pitt & the Gang is a couple of punches in the face and/or slaps on the wrist, or maybe some minimal jail time. There's nothing wrong with that; it can all be great fun when done well. But, this is a Korean production, so, Anything Goes Here!!! (and, it certainly does Go!).

This movie has a quite a bit going for it. First & foremost, the acting is top notch throughout, and, each of actors and actresses they gathered together here get their chance to strut their stuff. The cast is packed full of talented stars (in Asia anyway), and it's really hard to take your eyes off of any one person when it's their time to step to the plate (regardless of age, sex, or role). Everyone really plays off each other quite well, so much so that it seems they've been working together as a cohesive unit for some time; this is even all the more impressive when you consider this is a Pan Asian ensemble cast that has to overcome language barriers while snappily working their way through some well scripted, and witty dialogue. The film eventually tightens its focus more on the Korean stars for the most part, but this is a Korean production, so that is to be expected.

The story is pretty decent overall; nothing fancy or overly challenging (at least until your figure out who's doing what to whom and what everybody's motives are). The first half of the film primarily brings everybody together to work on the plan to steal the diamond, while revealing their past histories and present interpersonal relationships. The second half ultimately brings all their story lines and individual objectives to a head under a heavy dose of fairly impressive action scenes.

Production values are quite high here, and, it might be the most slickly made and stylized film I've ever seen come out of Asia. I'm used to seeing increasingly high production values from Asian cinema over the last decade plus, but this film is really pushing the limits of what an Asian "Big Picture" can be. If this is what bodes for the future of this type of Asian action cinema, then I'm on board 100%! (PROVIDED, they don't lose their heart & soul along the way, which is what made films from this part of the world so enticing to begin with).

Perhaps what I like best about this movie is that it is just flat out sexy, and, I don't mean that in a 'let's get naked & have sex kind of way'. It just oozes a certain kind of sex appeal and undercurrent throughout as a result of its stylized story arcs, character back stories, and star performances. It's also quite romantic at times, and, is not without its comedic moments. For what is essentially a 'popcorn action flick' with little room for excess, it does make a solid & effective effort to infuse a sexy/romantic/comedic aspect, which it pulls off quite well.

This is by no means what I would consider a great film, but it is just a crap ton of fun, and I loved just about everything about it. It's solidly made and quickly paced (despite its 2.25 hour run time), and, it is often incredibly entertaining. There's really very little not to like here in all honesty. If you're looking for a high octane action caper with a decent enough amount of substance behind it, you might want to check this movie out pretty soon.

So, from a reasonable and realistic prospective, this film should probably rate at about 7 out of 10 stars or so overall. But, I liked this flick way better than that, so I'm bumping it up to 8 out of 10 stars. Totally Recommended!

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