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‘The Roundup’ banned in Vietnam

A scene from the Korean crime film “The Roundup” starring Korean-American actor Don Lee. (ABO Entertainment)
A scene from the Korean crime film “The Roundup” starring Korean-American actor Don Lee. (ABO Entertainment)

“The Roundup,” a Korean action comedy that topped 10 million admissions in local theaters, will not be screened in Vietnam, officially because the film is considered “too violent.”

Looking to distribute the film in the Southeast Asian country, Korea’s leading entertainment company Lotte Entertainment had applied for film certification for “The Roundup” from the Vietnamese Film Department, an organization affiliated with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Vietnam, in May.

“Despite the effort, ‘The Roundup’ has been banned by Vietnam for presenting too many violent scenes,” Lotte Cinema official told The Korea Herald on Thursday.

The 106-minute action film centers around a beast-like detective called Ma Seok-do (played by Don Lee, better known as Ma Dong-seok).

“The Roundup,” a sequel to the hit crime film “The Outlaws” (2017), presents a cop’s journey to extradite a suspect, who has been committing crimes against Korean tourists in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam.

Though a few of the scenes were shot in Vietnam, most of the movie was shot in South Korea.

Ho Chi Minh City being shown as a lawless city may have influenced the Vietnamese authorities‘ decision, a film industry insider who wished to remain anonymous told The Korea Herald on Thursday.

The action flick recorded 10 million admissions on June 11, becoming the first South Korean film to achieve the feat after Bong Joon-ho’s Oscar-winning “Parasite” in 2019.

Selling 10 million tickets is considered the benchmark for a big success in South Korea, which has a population of around 50 million.

“The Roundup” became the 28th film to reach the milestone of 10 million ticket sales in South Korea.

By Lee Si-jin (sj_lee@heraldcorp.com)
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