"It's a very fulfilling ending to a really great movie."
Crying Fist (2005)
Director: Ryu Seung-Wan
Writer: Ryu Seung-Wan
Producer: Park Jae-Hyeong, Im Seung-Yong
Cast: Choi Min-Sik, Ryu Seung-Beom, Im Won-Hee, Cheon Ho-Jin, Seo Hye-Rin, Byeon Hee-Bong, Na Mun-Hee, Gi Ju-Bong, Kim Su-Hyeon, Lee Jun-Gu, Oh Dal-Su, Ahn Gil-Gang
Running Time: 134 min.
Plot: The film follows the separate trajectories of two down-and-out men who look to boxing to change their lives, and their eventual collision.
Availability: This title is available at HKflix.com
EQUINOX21'S REVIEW: The problem with most, if not virtually all, sports movies is that you can tell who is going to win the big "game" at the end. Not so with Ryu Seung-wan's latest movie, Crying Fist. This is a movie focusing on two main characters who never meet until they face each other in the boxing ring at the end of the movie. Each is in the ring for his own reason, each a reason that makes you care, and yet you don't know who will actually win. It's like watching the lead up to a real boxing event.
Tae-sik (Choi Min-sik) is a down on his luck former silver medalist boxer. Just to make ends meet he takes to the streets to be a human punching bag for people wanting to relieve stress. It costs them 10,000 won for 2 or 3 minutes and can try to hit him as much and as hard as possible. All these beatings take their toll on his body, yet he has no real choice but to continue as he tries to make money to keep his family together, which is harder than it sounds.
Sang-wan (Ryu Seung-bum) takes up boxing after he's sent to prison for beating a man who dies of a heart attack, while trying to rob him. It's difficult on his family, but his father continually visits him and tries to let him know that people still care for him. While in prison he gets beat up and humiliated by another prison boxer, so he starts to focus himself to be the best he can be.
Along comes an opportunity for each of these boxers to prove themselves to their families and the world. They square off and one of them wins the competition. But, in the end, they really both win in their own way, by making their families happy. It's a very fulfilling ending to a really great movie. However, it wasn't perfect in the way it was made. I was confused for a good part of the movie, with the story jumping between the two parts of the story. No explanation was given as to why we were watching two completely distinct parts of a movie, and it wasn't clear that it would all come together until about 75% of the way through the film. This is just a minor complaint, however, because the rest of the movie was really entertaining.
This was a great follow-up to the Ryu brothers' previous movies, No Blood No Tears and Arahan. All three of these movies are completely different genres and it's nice to see how varied these two can be in their filmmaking. I highly recommend Crying Fist for everyone.
EQUINOX21'S RATING: 9/10