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I was expecting a total cheesefest in the lines of John Woo's Bullet in the Head, but instead I got a gritty, sweeping and fairly smart periodic drama. Only in the end it gives in to the cheese.
I am not normally into the whole "friendship is forever"-wash but this is such a top-notch production and the acting is so tremendous that in the end I was relatively satisfied.
However, I can't help but to feel that something is missing. One might say that the sometimes overly romantic male-bonding is the substance of the film, but I wanted more meat around the bones, especially when the generic basis of the movie is taken into consideration.
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In 2 official lists
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This movie ranks #30 in 100 Korean Masterpieces by Film 2.0 (2008 Edition)
This movie ranks #498 in Asian Cinema: A Field Guide