THE SWINDLERS – A Review by Cynthia Flores

 
THE SWINDLERS – A Review by Cynthia Flores
 
Most of the time, good sting (con job/ heist) films are hard to make well.  They tend to be predictable or just plain boring.  It’s hard to be original or come up with twists that the audience doesn’t see coming a mile away.  Now add to the challenge that it's in a foreign language and it just got a hundred times harder to sell to an American audience.  It’s not even in an easy language to follow along with like Spanish, French, or even German; no The Swindlers is in Korean.  Not the easiest tongue to tune your ear to in a film.  So the fact that this movie can suck you into it’s high stakes and fast talking crime caper speaks volumes to how good it is.
 
The film tells the story of the world’s most legendary con artist, CEO Kang (Cha Soon-bae), who had been reported dead after committing a massive fraud along the lines of a Bernie Madoff, who is rumored to be alive.  A prosecutor, Park (Ji-tae Yu), who was in collusion with the con man, needs to eliminate him to avoid a corruption scandal.  When tracking down the felon, he uses his own street team of con artists consisting of Go Seok-dong  (Bae Seong-woo), the muscle, Lee Kang-suk (Choi Deok-moon), the brains at the computer, and Choon-ja (Nana), the beautiful femme fatale.  While on the hunt, Park meets another conman named Hwang Ji-sung (Hyun Bin) who is also after the same man but for personal revenge.  Realizing their common goals, they decide to team up.  It’s an uneasy alliance between unscrupulous people from different sides of the law.  Each member of the team has their own motives ranging from greed to revenge, but they’ll have to work together to successfully trap CEO Kang.
 
The Swindlers is shot well and the actors have great chemistry together.  The pacing is steady and puts you on the edge of your seat at the very end.  It’s laced with humor that keeps the film from being just a mash up of chase scenes or flippant dialogue.  The only real nitpick I have against the film is it’s score.  It’s really loud and a bit cheesy.  It’s influenced by Korean Pop music, which I’ll admit I’m not used to hearing so it plays well in other parts of the world but most American audiences may have to get used to it in the beginning.  Other than that I think that The Swindlers is a fun caper movie worth a solid B rating.  So, catch it at the theaters or VOD.
 
                                                                       
Directed by Jang Chang-won
Rated NR
Selig Rating B
Running Time 1hr 57min
Crime / Heist
Limited Release Dec 1st AMC Grapevine Mills 
Starring: Yoo Ji-tae, Hyun Bin, Bae Seong-woo, Park Sung-woong, Nana, Ahn Sae-ha
 
The Selig Rating Scale:
 
A – Excellent movie, well worth the price.
B – Good movie
C – OK movie
D – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
F – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn't paid for it.
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