Review. Veteran follows a detective as he fights to bring a rich powerful man to justice.
Synopsis. What if you were a smart determined detective that KNEW the rich guy was getting away with a crime? What is the rich guy’s team thwarted you at every turn with his power, influence, and fixers? Would you give up or fight even when everyone wanted you to stop? This is the basis for Veteran.
More Details. Veteran is a 2015 Korean film about pursuit of justice between two central characters – the good cop and the bad wealthy guy. The central players – Detective Seo Do Cheol (Hwang Jung Min) refused to succumb to pressure to walk away from nailing teflon coated Vice President Jo Tae Oh (Yoo Ah In). Can Detective Seo piece together the truth? Will Jo Tae Oh elude justice by utilizing the network of the powerful and a team of fixers?
What I liked about Veteran:
Well written and produced. Ryoo Seung Wan wrote a compelling story of the “untouchable” rich guy that believed he was above the law and the detective that wouldn’t give up on justice. If you’ve watched Korean dramas or movies, you’ve seen this story. This version told it well and with more depth than expected. Ryoo Seung Wan was also the director and shined in this role. The construction of the scenes, the pace, the immersion into this gritty corner of Seoul was a crucial component along with the story and acting that brought it to life.
Hwang Jung Min as Detective Seo Do Cheol. Detective Seo was the protagonist with a tribe of fellow officers that had his back. I liked his drive to see justice be served. I liked his tribe of fellow officers that had his back. Hwang Jung Min let Detective Seo be exuberant and determined, his portrayal was not boring. There was humor among his tribe. His wife had a great line “after marrying you, my whole life is a regret”. I chuckled when the police officers “one upped” each other with scars.
Yoo Ah In as Vice President Jo Tae Oh. He was the antagonist with wealth, power, and a tribe to clean up his messes. He was brutal, thoughtless, cruel, and protected by a loyal team. The scene were Jo Tae Oh emasculated and humiliated a regular guy was disturbing and effective. Yoo Ah In let Jo Tae Oh relish his power and “go there” in moments of rage. Yoo Ah In is a beautiful man and having his handsome face front this character you’d not want to spend time with once you peeled back the facade brought to life the phrase “Beautiful People Are Not Always Good”.
What I did not like about Veteran:
Didn’t start humming until the antagonist engaged. The initial 15 minutes set up the protagonist and his tribe. Once the antagonist and his tribe inserted their will, it grabbed me.
Final Thoughts: Veteran was violent (but not gory), funny (but not comedic), and hopeful (but not sappy). I rooted for the protagonist and his tribe. I wanted to see the antagonist and his tribe get theirs. Once engaged me, I enjoyed all the film offered.