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on August 3, 2013
You recall old myths, legends, or history that talks about power struggles? The old guy having poison poured into his ear? Well, this is an updated version of myths that show no matter where we are as a species, the same need to stay in power is there.

I enjoyed this movie because I saw a lot of corporate politics taking place. The kind of politics that seems to have gotten worse since the early 2000's when corporations stopped developing people and have turned a blind eye to bully a-holes.

Watched it twice, and more than likely will purchase the film. I especially enjoyed the character development between Ja Sung and Chung, b/c they were friends, but power and friendship don't really mix when push comes to shove.

I recommend it.
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on December 15, 2013
****1/2

Park Hoon-jung‘s “New World” is a top notch crime drama from South Korea. Its complex plot features Jung-Jae Lee as Lee Ja-sung, an agent who’s been undercover with the Goldmoon crime syndicate for eight years now and has managed to reach the position of second-in-command to the group‘s leader. When the latter is taken out in a hit, Jung-Jae naturally assumes that his assignment will likewise be terminated and that he’ll be allowed to return to a normal life with his pregnant wife. However, his actual boss, Police Chief Kang (Min-sik Choi), has other plans for him, namely to stay an active member in the gang and to eventually fill the vacuum left by the assassinated leader. This, however, will necessitate eliminating the top two lieutenants, Jeong Cheong (Jeong-min Hwang) and Lee Jung-gu (Seong-Woong Park), his two potential rivals for the throne.

At times brutal and bloody, “New World,” nevertheless, remains predominantly a drama of character and ideas, as the “good” figures in particular must find their way through the moral morass that is the world of crime, where the fine line between good and evil, right and wrong, often has to be crossed in order to secure a desired end. And somehow they must do so without losing both their humanity and their soul in the process. For the embedded Jung-Jae, for instance, there is the inexorable pull to the dark side as well as the inevitable shifting of loyalties that comes from immersing himself so deeply into this brotherhood of criminals, while Kang, the Javert-like figure of the piece, is so obsessed with bringing down Goldmoon that he is even willing to sacrifice some of his own operatives to bring it about.

Sharp writing, intense performances, excellent pacing, fine direction and an ironically preordained conclusion all combine to make “New World” a must-see film.
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on May 26, 2014
How a film of this caliber can go virtually unseen by the American film-going community saddens me deeply. It's an incredible film, get the hell out of the multiplexes you brain washed dung fed idiots, open your eyes and discover the true wonders of what cinema for grown ups is really all about.
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on July 14, 2013
Since The Departed, what has Hollywood given us in the realm of quality gangster films? American Gangster? That's a good flick. Public Enemies? Okay. Lawless? Eh, alright. Gangster Squad? Oh, wait, what? It just appears to keep getting worse in Hollywood. Not so much in South Korea. Between A Bittersweet Life, A Dirty Carnival, and now New World, these guys are on fire.

The film opens with the brutal dispensing of a rat within Goldmoon, the biggest crime syndicate in Korea. It is a cold, not-so-subtle warning of what happens to a rat and undercover police officer Ja-sung knows it: either via a pair of concrete boots or by concrete ingestion, you'll sleep with the fishes. After 8 years, he's successfully infiltrated Goldmoon and become the right hand man and "bro" of Goldmoon's 2nd in command, the half Chinese Jung Chung. The stakes are as high as he sees they can get, and for that reason, he wants out.

Meanwhile, after successfully being acquitted of all charges due to lack of evidence, Goldmoon Chairman Seok Dong-chul is killed in a mysterious car accident, throwing the massive syndicate into a succession crisis, with Ja-sung caught right in the middle of those loyal to his "bro" Jung Chung, those of the full Korean Lee Joong-gu, and those of his manipulative and lying boss, Police Section Chief Kang Hyung-chul, who seeks to influence the succession in the Police's favor. As you can guess from the title of my review, it may be needless to say I found the ensuing events in this Korean "Game Of Thrones" immensely gripping. I won't go in any further to avoid spoilers.

Written and Directed by I Saw The Devil's Park Hoon-jung, New World has convinced me that it's the best entry in the Gangster genre since The Departed. With the exception of the closing scene (which comes across as almost an afterthought), the film is an out and out masterpiece. It is very easy to see why Hollywood shelved out $600,000 for the remake rights. Impeccably acted, scripted, shot, and directed, the film is (edit: was) a major contender for the 'Best Foreign-Language Film' Oscar at the upcoming Academy Awards.

What's bad? Aside from the closing scene feeling like an afterthought, I really can't think of anything. Is it too violent for kids? Yes. Is there a lot of bad language? Yes. Is there a whole lot of sex? Not really. Is it really the best Gangster film since The Departed? Yes. And that's pretty much all the reason a real movie lover should need to check out this wonderful gem.
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on July 2, 2013
This is a well-done movie about people you REALLY don't want on your bad side! Though not shown in explicit detail, these bad guys know how to make their enemies "feel the pain!" Even the supposedly "good guys" have their bad side, when it comes to fighting crime, but this story is more believable than the typical what you might be expecting. Entertaining and thought-provoking film, but definitely not for the kids.
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on March 11, 2014
“New World” (2013) – not to be confused with Terrence Malick’s “The New World” – is a South Korean gangster movie directed by Park Hoon Jeong, writer of Kim Jee-woon’s “I Saw the Devil.” Now, those who like Korean crime movies know that Park Hoon Jeong’s sophomore film as a director is going to be very intense. Yes, it is intense, and bloody, too, but what is most impressive about “New World” is a moral question that the film raises.

Head of Goldmoon, the country’s biggest crime syndicate, is killed in a car accident, and a power struggle to succeed his position is about to begin. Higher level police officers including Police Chief Kang (Choi Min-sik) take that as a chance to weaken the crime organization by using an undercover agent that has been inside the syndicate for eight years. But what if he is tired of his mission? Or worse, if he has developed a rapport with the very person he was to bring down?

That’s all I can say without spoiling much about the unpredictable story. Certain sections of the film may remind you of a Hong Kong crime noir “Infernal Affairs” (2002) – or its Hollywood remake “The Departed” (2006) – but similarity ends when the protagonist is forced to make a more drastic move.

The crime drama is notable for the superb acting from the stars. The characters are memorable, including the syndicate’s hot-tempered second-in-command Jung Chung (Hwang Jung-min), his faithful right-hand man Lee Ja-sung (Lee Jung-jae), and of course Choi Min-sik’s disillusioned Chief Kang, who uses his agent as bait, but not without a conscience. I think the film is a bit overlong and some part of is incredible (even by the standard of the genre), but “New World” is engrossing nonetheless.
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on February 14, 2015
This film has to be one of the best Gangster movies of recent years. "New Wolrd" keeps the viewer engaged throughout the flim. The acting is superb, the script is awesome! As one of the reviewers mentioned that they may as well do a prequel and sequel to this, I hope they will too!
The story revolves around an undercover police officer, who is used as a mole, not knowing exactly what his chief's final plans are, he is constantly to told to just follow orders. There isn't a whole lot of action in this film, but to me it was well balanced between story and action.This is probably Lee Jung Jae's best performance that I've seen him do, maybe he has evolve over the years, or maybe the director had something to do with it.
Watch this film, if you enjoyed infernal affairs/departed and similar movies. Heck watch it even if you enjoy other types of movies. Excellent film!

(side note: I thought I had a defective disc because the audio and subtitles were out of sync, after contacting well go USA they suggested that my blu ray player might need a firmware upgrade. But with my situation it wasn't the case, in the end, by switching audio tracks back and forth, everything was working fine after that)
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on August 15, 2013
What if criminals organized themselves like corporations? 'New World' starts with that premise as a power struggle ensues upon the death of the chairman of the organization that resulted from uniting three factions. Very interesting dynamics as heirs apparent scheme to take the top spot. Throw in an undercover cop who is no longer sure of his identity and ambitious and ruthless police chief who wants to control the top dog at any cost, and a tightly constructed drama-thriller is born. Superb acting by all players. Apparently this is a part of a trilogy, and a prequel might be in the works soon.
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on August 20, 2013
A hard core crime thriller about survival being a undercover cop and his rise in the underworld and decisions he made to keep his cover and deal with a dirty superior.This movie remind me of other films previously made like the Departed and Deep Cover,but the slick direction and crafty editing turns this movie into a violent and thrilling roller coaster ride that will keep you guessing until the conclusion,this movie and Johnnie To's Drug War are currently the best crime thrillers out there to me right now! Both are must haves in your collection!
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on March 15, 2015
Thank you to all the reviewers of "New World". I loved the movie because of its unexpected twists and tragic characters. The character of Lee Jung-Jae was incredible and his decision to preserve himself towards the end at no costs was not what I was expecting. If you like gangster movies, New World is right up there with "The Departed" and series such as "The Sopranos" and "The Wire".
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