Drawing over five million admissions at the box office, blockbuster thriller Secret Reunion is one of the biggest and best Korean movies of 2010. North Korean spy Ji Won (Kang Dong Won) has been sent over the border to take out a defector with veteran hitman Shadow (Jeon Gook Hwan).
Where the film does falter slightly is in its depth, which eschews anything challenging for common, safe cinema values. Please enable JavaScript in your browser to experience all the custom features of our site, including the ability to make a purchase. Please enable cookies in your browser to experience all the features of our site, including the ability to make a purchase. When North Korean secret agent Ji-won (Kang Dong-won) crosses the 38th Parallel on a mission, the National Intelligence Service (NIS) led by Han-gyu (Song Kang-ho) intervenes, and a shooting rampage ensues in the heart of Seoul. For more details, please refer to our return policy.This product will not be shipped to Hong Kong.
After garnering much attention and accolade for Rough Cut, up-and-coming director Jang Hoon takes his gripping themes of brotherhood and rivalry to a larger stage in his outstanding second feature. Hot-tempered NIS agent Han Kyu (Song Kang Ho) catches wind of the operation through his informant, but both Ji Won and Shadow manage to escape after a bloody shootout. Song and Kang get to be both allies and antagonists during the film, and their dynamic is strong enough to carry the film past its obvious commercial concessions. Ideology, politics a€“ these things matter little, with human understanding between the two lead characters taking center stage.
Two of Korea's most bankable actors, Song Kang Ho (Thirst) and Kang Dong Won (Jeon Woo Chi) deliver both tense action and aching humanity as former agents from opposite sides of the parallel who develop an unlikely friendship. Six years later, Han Kyu has left the agency and is now running a service to help people find runaway wives.


From Rough Cut director and Kim Ki-Duk disciple Jang Hun, Secret Reunion presents a whopper of a male star pairing.
North Korean agent Song Ji-Won (Kang Dong-Won) becomes a man without a country when he makes a moral choice frowned upon by his North Korean superiors, and is soon on the lam from both North and South Korean authorities. Nope, the film goes super situational with the two embarking on a false partnership where each is aware of the other's identity while thinking the other isn't aware of his. What starts as a spy thriller morphs into something resembling a buddy film, but it's an entertaining one, with Song and Kang nailing their characters' suspicious, two-faced relationship. Both Ji-Won and Han-Gyu are presented with seemingly tough choices, but neither truly strays from the righteous path, making them both admirable and more than a little predictable.
During one of his cases, he crosses paths again with Ji Won, who was labeled a traitor after the leaked mission and has been left stranded in South Korea. In this corner: Song Kang-Ho, probably Korea's best actor and easily its most humble and self-effacing.
Ji-Won crosses paths with South Korean agent Lee Han-Gyu (Song Kang-Ho), but they don't meet directly, with Han-Gyu getting only a small glimpse of Ji-Won's face.
Now working and even living together, the two hide their agendas from the other while alternately helping and hindering the other from achieving his goals. No stranger to sloppy but admirable dopes, Song Kang-Ho inhabits his character exceptionally, and does so without overshadowing his co-star, who obviously has the cooler role. Despite the overly commercial screenplay, the film is solidly entertaining, thanks to Jang Hun's sharp, disciplined direction. Song is such a pro that he seemingly cares nothing for image, and will even cede the meatier or cooler parts to better looking or more popular co-stars. The botched operation leads to Han-Gyu's dismissal, but years later Han-Gyu crosses paths with Ji-Won again, now hiding in plain sight in rural South Korea.


In Han-Gyu's case, he wants to use Ji-Won to bust a North Korean spy ring and get back into the good graces of his former employers. Kang Dong-Won gets to brood charismatically as the steely Ji-Won, and his action sequences are good too. Jang doesn't bog down his film with too many plotlines and agendas; the film possesses a clear story and two charismatic lead characters, and Jang paces the film crisply and efficiently.
Harboring agendas of their own, Han Kyu and Ji Won end up working and living together, but they develop an ambiguous camaraderie that throws their contending missions into greater doubt and greater danger. His opposite here: Kang Dong-Won (Duelist, Woochi), a tall prettyboy with solid acting chops who gets to play a haunted, cooler-than-cool North Korean spy cut off from his homeland and his handlers.
When roughhousing, Kang's fighting style is sharp and quick compared to Song's sloppy punches, but both hold their own quite well.
Instead, he worries about the safety of his family back in North Korea, and is willing to do whatever it takes to make sure he sees them again.
Jang Hun is an ace at putting together fun onscreen action, with rough brawling, solid impact, and strong editing all adding to the effect. Anyway, if the viewer finds the whole thing a little too agreeable for their edgy cinema needs, they can still fall back on the actors, whose cinema coolness is never in doubt.
If it's just to get Song Kang-Ho, Kang Don-Won and Jang Hun back together, then they should start working on that film.



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