Woo Sung Jung Debuts A Man of Reason

man with gun on elebated platform A Man of Reason

A Man of Reason is the directorial debut of Korean actor Woo-Sung Jung and is full of clichés and archetypes of Korean noir movies to the extent that the director himself has mentioned that it is a clichéd film. The plot and setting of A Man of Reason are arguably monotonous, predictable, and simple. The rebellious main character Soo-Hyeok, released from prison after a 10 year sentence, unfolds his backstory as a past gang member. As is typical of any other noir film, his boss would not let him leave the criminal underworld, putting him at odds with the entire gang.

Nevertheless, what differentiates A Man of Reason from all others is Soo-Hyeok’s call to action of leaving the gang and living an ordinary life. Soo-Hyeok is neither just nor fool enough to risk death to defeat evil-doers. He is not a hero. But the sudden presence of his “child” from his beloved girlfriend turns his life and values upside down. Soo-Hyeok has nothing after his sentence of 10 years in prison, but his daughter, In-Bi, who brings him hope for the future and that perhaps a new chapter of his life has begun where he finds love from a genuine family. In other words, In-bi becomes Soo-Hyeok’s reason to become a better person and her “guardian”, which is a direct translation of the original Korean title of the movie “보호자”.

Long story short, Soo-Hyeok eventually succeeds in protecting his daughter. The whole process in which a man meets his daughter, steps out of his bloody past, and takes care of his daughter captures how a human being becoming a father.

Indeed, the downside of A Man of Reason is clear, as the villains named “The Washing Machine” do not contribute to any kind of suspense or tension in the movie. However, I view that such a direction of the film was intended because Soo-Hyeok’s purpose in fighting against them was simply to protect his daughter. All violence done in the film stems from his intention to keep his daughter safe from gang retaliation, making dramatic action scenes unnecessary.

A work full of clichés always stirs among its enthusiasts, and A Man of Reason is one such movie, worth watching to kill time. The camera work, computer graphics, colours, and acting skills of the actors are definitely of high quality. As both the visual and moral are very direct, A Man of Reason is an action movie that has no barriers.

A Man of Reason is out now in theatres.

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