A Hard Day, a crime caper/comedy combo from South Korea, opens today, Friday, July 17, 2015 in New York City at the Village East Cinemas with a national release to follow. (Info on other cities, venues and opening dates is available here.)
Things aren't going well for homicide detective Go Geon-soo, played by actor LEE Sun-kyun. (Note: in subtitles at the press screening I attended, the character's name was spelled Ko Gun-su; in some press materials it's spelled Go Gun-soo. Take your pick.)
One night while driving to the funeral home where his deceased mother is awaiting burial the following day, the divorced cop hits and kills a male pedestrian. Panic stricken, he decides to hide the victim in the trunk of his vehicle. Meanwhile, investigators from I.A.D. (Internal Affairs Division) have shown up at his office and uncovered incriminating evidence of embezzlement by him and his coworkers. After narrowly avoiding detection and arrest by police at a road stop to detect drunk drivers, the increasingly desperate Go reluctantly decides to place the corpse in his mother's casket.
But things continue to go badly for Detective Go. It seems that someone is fully aware of the hit-and-run and demands -- for some unknown reason -- that Go provide him with the deceased's body. Meanwhile, one of GO's coworkers is seeking a criminal who is wanted for at least two murders and is uncovering leads that might tie Go to the fatal accident.
A Hard Day is the sophomore directing effort by Kim, who also wrote the screenplay. It's a brilliant blend of black comedy and thrilling suspense. It's sharp, smart and extremely well-paced, one of the best films I've seen in quite awhile, and a definite "must-see" as far as I'm concerned.
AsianCineFest Rating: 3.5 out of 4 stars, very highly recommended.