Synopsis. Paraphrasing Shakespeare…”it stinks when there’s no honor among thieves” but that’s the best part of The Technicians, a 2014 Korean movie about a thieves that get hired by a crime boss for a big heist.
More Detail. Ji Hyeok (Kim Woo Bin) is a stylish thief, safe cracker and counterfeiter. His partner in crime is Koo In (Ko Chang Seok). When they need a computer whiz who can hack into CCTV systems and other computer they turn to young hacker Jong Bae (Lee Hyun Woo). They devise a plan to steal diamonds from a ritzy jewelry store. The plan works and they get the diamonds. They attract the attention of the police who discern the truth but cannot prove it. They also attract the attention the jewelry store owner and crime boss President Jo (Kim Young Chul). President Jo’s henchman (Lim Ju Hwan) is faithful and mean. President Jo engages them steal millions of dollars housed in customs area in the Incheon airport. Trust issues arise immediately. Can our trio trust their new partner? Can our trio trust each other?
What I liked about the Technicians:
* Ji Hyeok was played by Kim Woo Bin. He was cool, smart, and willing to take risks. Prime example of risk taking was the opening scene, when Ji Hyeok is detected after cracking a safe, pursued, and he must jump off the rooftop of the building to avoid capture. The downside of being cool is an unseen barrier between you and the Ji Hyeok. He was not very vulnerable though you did learn in the end that he was motivated by love. If you are a Kim Woo Bin fan, you would enjoy his portrayal of Ji Hyeok.
* Evil dudes had an edge. President Jo, played by Kim Young Chul, was cold and willing to use anyone to get what he wanted. “It’s all about me” must have been his life motto. His henchman, played by Lim Ju Hwan, had an interesting horizontal slash on his face that let you know right away he was the muscle. He wielded a wicked stick and taser when he fought.
* The story tied in the initial material into the end story. The plot points from the beginning of the film were woven together in the end and made sense.
What I did not like about the Technicians:
* The story was uneven. Initially Ji Hyeok and his buddies did not enthrall me. Once the evil dudes were inserted, it got better. Good versus evil (nicer criminals versus evil criminals) gets me every time. At the mid point of the movie there was a flurry of revelations that let us know that trust among the partners and more importantly trust among our trio was not going to hold. I wish those reveals had been spaced a bit more to increase the impact. With the trust sliding into the abyss, you knew the what you saw as the truth would not necessary be the truth. That is the way it played out. The reveals of what really happened unfolded at the end. Then you saw the beginning plot points tied into the end plot points. I appreciated that the first half of the movie was tied in. Bottom line, the story was ok, but not riveting.