Saturday, May 24, 2008

Undoing: Grade B

Undoing (2006)
Sung Kang, Kelly Hu, Russell Wong, Tom Bower; Writer-Director Chris Chan Lee.

This crime drama is set in Los Angeles’ Koreatown. Sam (Kang) returns after being on the lam for a year, to try to reestablish his life (although we don’t know what that was – drug dealer?). A year ago his best friend was shot to death in a drug deal gone bad. Why he feels guilty about this is unknown. His girlfriend has moved on in a year and rejects him at first, although she eventually comes over to him (although my wife said that character wouldn’t do that). Sam does a drug deal to get the girlfriend out of debt to her boss/suitor, but somebody, possibly at the order of a dirty cop, is trying to kill him, thinking he has the drugs or the money from the year-ago deal. It’s unclear if he does or not. The story is confusing but it limps darkly along. There isn’t anything particularly Korean about the project except some of the actors. The acting is good, especially by Kang and Bower, and the cinematography is stylish and thoughtful. The music is enjoyable and unintrusive. The characters do not develop and there isn’t much narrative drive, but the film is pleasant to look at, the actors are attractive, and there is just enough interest.

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