Lee Jung-jae (left) and Hwang Jung-min in “Deliver Us From Evil” (CJ Entertainment)
Veteran actors Hwang Jung-min and Lee Jung-jae, who called each other “brother” in the crime-noir “New World” (2013), are reunited in the action-packed thriller “Deliver Us From Evil,” this time as bitter enemies.
The film revolves around hit man In-nam, played by Hwang, who finishes what he promised would be his last job before fleeing Japan, but unexpectedly gets mixed up in a case in Thailand. In Bangkok, a barbaric killer named Ray, played by Lee -- also known as “the butcher” -- chases In-nam down to avenge the death of his brother.
According to the film’s director-writer, Hong Won-chan, the film takes action scenes to the next level -- with everything from gangster fights to shootings, stabbings and bombings in three countries. Hong has written the scripts for several hit action thrillers, including “The Chaser” (2007), “The Scam” (2009) and “The Yellow Sea” (2010).
“I decided the climax of the action and the characters’ emotions had to come together, and that the veteran actors would control their emotions along such flow, even without my direction. I relied on the actors a lot this time,” Hong said at a press premiere in Seoul on Tuesday.
Hwang had more action scenes in this film than in any of his previous works. “In ‘New World,’ I would say there were many action scenes. We have hard-boiled chase-action scenes in ‘Deliver Us From Evil,’ and I can assure you, they are real. The amount of action scenes was incomparable to any other films, even compared to ‘Veteran’ (2015),” Hwang said in an email interview.
A chameleon of an actor, Lee has shown different facets of himself in his previous action movies, including “The Thieves,” “Assassination” and “New World.” Yet another undiscovered side emerges in the new movie.
“The script didn’t give much description about Ray, and as an actor, this meant that I could build the character as I chose. We narrowed down on different styles (for the characters’ costumes and appearance), and it was really fun. I think it was one of my most difficult yet fun characters,” Lee said at Tuesday’s press event.
Director Hong Won-chan (center) and lead cast members Park Jung-min (far left) and Lee Jung-jae pose at a press premiere event at CGV Yongsan I’Park Mall in Seoul on Tuesday to promote “Deliver Us From Evil.” (Yonhap)
Park Jung-min, who stayed away from the public for his transformation in the film, takes up the role of Yu-i, who assists In-nam in Bangkok.
“Yu-i has his own past faults and feels indebted to his family. I tried to understand the character focusing on this aspect,” said Park, attending his first press event for the film. “With that in mind, I concentrated on making my acting not too excessive or strange.”
Park had previously starred in Hong’s debut flick, “Office” (2015), a suspense thriller that was invited to the Berlinale that year.
“I didn’t give (Park) much description about the character because I felt it would limit his thoughts. I also knew that Park puts a lot of effort into understanding his characters and I was curious how he would interpret Yu-i. Park went way beyond my expectations. I’m very grateful.”
The director added that the film has its roots in the noir genre, a genre that he loves very much.
“The big plot of the story comes from the idea of a sinner saving another sinner, thereby redeeming himself. The title, coming from a Christian prayer, simply paraphrases this plot.”
The film opens Aug. 5.
By Choi Ji-won (firstname.lastname@example.org