A festival the likes of Fantasia is not to be tread lightly. For a variety of evident reasons it is a behemoth of an event, lasting far longer than the vast majority of other movie festivals and offering a slew of genre features and shorts ranging from lighter fair some may deem to be mainstream to supremely hard core, provocateur material. As with any event of similar ilk, not everything showcased earns the passing grade.
The one popular term to describe the picture is ‘badass’. It isn’t a very professional or literarily apt word to summarize what a film comes across as, but as a succinct bit of praise it fits the bill perfectly. One has to be especially averse to modern filmmaking techniques in order to come away disliking the directorial choices exercised in Cold Eyes. Yes, the editing is as rapid as that of so many of today’s thrillers, but the key is know why to cut to another frame and how. Judging by this film, Cho Ui-seok and Kim Byung-seo know just how to proceed. Cold Eyes is easily one of the year’s best action films.