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Film / A Hard Day

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Homicide detective Ko Gun-su is having a hard day. His mother has just died, and he and his colleagues are being investigated over bribery charges. Then on his way to his mother's funeral, he drives recklessly and commits a fatal hit and run. He covers up the accident. Then, Gun-su begins getting calls from a person claiming that he was the sole witness to the crime. What does the man want?

A Hard Day is a 2014 South Korean crime action thriller film written and directed by Kim Seong-hun, and starring Lee Sun-kyun and Cho Jin-woong


This movie provides examples of:

  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Gun-su learns the hard way that Lieutenant Park Chang-min is more than a match for him in close combat.
  • Affably Evil: Park is quite jovial and sociable when he's not in the mood to beat up and kill people.
  • Black and Gray Morality: One one side, we have a corrupt police officer who takes bribes and hides a body after accidentally running over it. On the other side, we have a Lieutenant who runs a drug-trading business and casually kills people who gets in his way.
  • Combat Break Down: The fight between Park and Gun-su in the climax. Both sides are physically and mentally exhausted, so the fight doesn't look pretty in the slightest.
    • Wimp Fight: At one point, they just lying there, grunting and pushing each other's faces.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The confiscated Improvised Explosive Device is demonstrated early in the movie. It gets used again at the lake.
    • The showerhead that always pumps out hot water in Gun-su's bathroom is mentioned offscreen. It gets used in the final fight.
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  • Cringe Comedy: Much of the comedy in the first third is watching Gun-su digging himself out of the situation nobody wants to be caught in.
  • Dirty Cop: Pretty much every named officers in the movie are involved in shady businesses or looks the other way.
  • Disposing of a Body: Gun-su's biggest problem in the first part of the movie.
  • Drama-Preserving Handicap: Park can easily kick Gun-su's ass in a fair fight. However, before the final fight, he is already wounded and exhausted, giving Gun-su a fighting chance.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Det. Choi is horrified to learn that Gun-su killed a person and hid the body.
    Choi: We're no model cops, but you've gone too far!
  • Genre Shift: The first 30 minutes is Black Comedy, then it changes to thriller and action by the end.
  • Locked in the Bathroom:
  • Man Bites Man: Park briefly bites on Gun-su's calp on the final fight. It's not really effective.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Park delivers one on Gun-su in the final fight.
  • Nobody Poops: Subverted by Park before the No-Holds-Barred Beatdown.
  • Reality Ensues: Gun-su is arrested for his crime. Then, his superios decide to keep things quiet to protect the department's reputation.
  • The "Fun" in "Funeral": See Disposing of a Body above.
  • The Reveal: The man harassing Gun-su turns out to be a Lieutenant. And then we learns why he wants the dead man's body.


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