What are we to make of the brooding central hooligan in Bad Guy? His name is Han-gi (Cho Je-Hyun), and he starts out by sexually assaulting a willowy college student (Seo Won) and then forcing her to work at a brothel. Once there, she sits alongside the other, hardened hookers at a windowed facade and forlornly takes customers, while Han-gi, in secret, views her activities from behind a one-way mirror. Despite its sleazy setup, the movie is punishingly sexless and diffuse. That’s a surprise, too, coming from the South Korean director Kim Ki-Duk, whose Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring was enlightened enough to confront the violent — and erotic — side of a monk’s progress. In Bad Guy, which was actually made in 2001, Han-gi’s victim despises what she’s doing, and so, apparently, does Han-gi, as he stares at her degradation in impotent agony. Really, who needs a bad guy who’s this guilty about being bad?
Genre: Drama, Foreign Language; Starring: Cho Je-Hyun, Seo Won; Director: Kim Ki-Duk; Author: Kim Ki-Duk; Status: In Season; Runtime (in minutes): In Season; Distributor: Lifesize
Posted February 23 2005 — 12:00 AM EST
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