Night in Paradise (2021) Review

Certificate: 18

Director: Park Hoon-jung

Screenwriter: Park Hoon-jung

Starring: Tae-goo Eom, Yeo-bin Jeon, Seung-Won Cha

Genre: Crime, Drama

Runtime: 131 Minutes

Language: Korean

Rating: 2.5 Stars

Reviewed by: Pearl

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Hiding out in Jeju Island following a brutal tragedy, a wronged mobster with a target on his back connects with a woman who has her own demons. – From IMDB

I wasn’t sure what I was expecting from this, but it certainly wasn’t what I got. When I hear the words ‘Gangster film’ I expect a lot of high action, some blood and guts and a lot of shoot outs. And while this film did have plenty of those things, it also had a lot of down time, and a lot of moments that were trying to be emotional and hard hitting. I found it hard to connect with these parts however as I found both main characters to be pretty unlikable. But they are beautifully shot, in fact the whole film is shot, and they offer a stark contrast to the over the top blood and violence of the gangster world, making the island life seem even more idyllic.

The plot is slow, especially the parts set on Jeju island. I know it is meant to be that way, but it makes the whole film feel way, way too long, as this part of the film has very little plot to it and so much of the film is set there. There are of course a good amount of melodramatic action scenes. One of the shootouts in particular that happens early on goes on for so long it almost becomes comical, and the over acting that follows from his distraught niece is a little too much. Whether for better or worse though, these action sequences are few and far between.

I think my main issue with the film is that it can’t decide who it’s audience is. Those wanting a hard hitting, gory crime thriller will likely be put off by the slogging pace and attempt at a emotional love story. And those drawn in by the emotional romantic elements of the island life, will likely be put off by the violence and bloody murder. I am not saying this is true of everyone, I am sure that this film has it’s fans, but sadly, I am not amoung them.

‘Night in Paradise’ is streaming now on Netflix

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