Puzzle


This is a rather enjoyable little paranoid crime thriller even though it so obviously feels like the bastard offspring of a one night affair between Reservoir Dogs and the more mature The Thomas Crowne Affair. It feels so obvious in fact that one has to give the director Kim Tae-kyung the benefit of the doubt and call his debut a homage to those films rather than a rip off. He does a nice job with the material though Ė keeping the running time to a taut, crisp and suspenseful 92 minutes with no fat thrown in at all. Not only is the plot reminiscent of those two films, but so is the style Ė in particular Reservoir Dogs with itís quick cross cutting to individual flashbacks as the plot slowly comes together for us. It also has the quintessential cool bad guys who look like they should be on the cover of GQ Ė all things that could make you hate this film but the director keeps you entertained and keeps you guessing.

Five guys who donít know one another are brought together by a mysterious benefactor in order to rob a bank. They all have their reasons to do so. The robbery goes fine but when they return to their meeting point they discover that the senior guy they left behind to take care of arranging travel and unloading the stolen bonds has been killed. Not knowing what to do next, they stay put and try to figure out what is going on Ė who could have killed him and why? Are they next? As the night progresses their paranoia and suspicions of one another begin to surface and they are soon all pointing their guns at one another. There are reasons to be suspicious because everyone knows more than they are letting on. As the title implies, itís a bit of a puzzle but I have to admit that one piece of this puzzle didnít make sense to me and so I sort of figured it out way before the film reveals it Ė but then I am smarter than the average bear. If I hadnít felt that I had already seen this film, it would have impressed me as a really sharp clever little thriller Ė but as it is I just have to give it credit for being a solid knockoff and using two terrific films as its parents.

My rating for this film: 6.0

Trailer

Reviewed: 04/07