Gareth Hunt. Now some may well remember the late actor for his lead role in the late 1970’s  reboot of The New Avengers and though he’s no longer with us it was rumoured that James Cordon believes he is often mistaken for him until it was pointed out to him that its more likely to be cockney rhyming…..but we digress because Hunt is not a bio-pic but a South Korean action film starring Lee Jung Jae best known for TV blockbuster Squid Game and this is his directorial debut.

Read about Hollywood’s The Hunt starring Betty Gilpin

A political espionage action thriller it’s set in the 1980’s starting in 1983 with a bravura opening sequence where he plays Park Pyong-Ho an agent of the Korean Central Intelligence Agency (KCIA) in Washington as part of an operation to prevent the South Korean President from being assassinated and what follows is a stunt driven gun fest as the assassins go in for the kill. The agency have been aware of a mole : codename Donglim,  that they have been trying to uncover for some years and Pyong-Ho paired with Kim Jung-Do (Jung Woo-Sung) to finally locate and uncover him. What should be a good working relationship is strained to breaking point by the knowledge Pyong-Ho was integrated by Jung –Do leading to permanent nerve damage. Hardly surprising as the interrogation, as seen throughout Hunt, is drive by the sort of extreme brutality that Wilko store detectives can only dream of perpetrating on shoplifters at the pick-n-mix.  Still suspicious of each other both go about trying to find out if their counterpart is Donglim.

Like the best spy thrillers this does get convoluted but here its gets so complicated that it’s far from easy to follow what is going on not helped by left field references to covert ops and frequent flashbacks. But that doesn’t spoil what are some hugely enjoyable action set pieces that include the raid on a house rigged with explosives, the pick-up of a defecting spy that soon becomes a furious street shoot out and of course a climatic Bangkok set finale that is ballistically bonkers. None of this is credible – a crucial witness under hospital guard is on clear view to the outside world through a huge ward window and the agents frequently carry out raids with no apparent plan protected only by the suits they are wearing but still leading firearms units rather than the other way round and

But if you can put all this aside Lee Jung Jae has put together a hugely entertaining, if overlong. action thriller that bodes well for future genre films he might helm

Here’s the trailer for Hunt…….

Hunt is in cinemas and available on Altitude.Film


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