Believer (2018) – English Review

A policeman tries to find the mysterious and powerful drug lord, Mr. Lee. He must work with a criminal man who’s seeking revenge. How will this end?

Believer is a remake of the Chinese movie Drug War from 2012, directed by Johnnie To. So this is a South Korean interpretation of that movie, and the question is whether this is a necessary remake or is it a miss?

I’ve only seen Drug War once, I remember I liked it, but it wasn’t a masterpiece. I feel the remake takes a few steps away from the original. It wants to be more like a crime movie than an action movie. The movie lacks proper nerve, and the runtime is too long. There’s not enough content here to defend a two-hour runtime.

The characters are mostly dull. There’s only one villain here with a lot of wild energy. Ryu Jun-yeol can’t be more boring. He has no facial expressions. You will fall asleep by looking at his tired and empty face! Get a new job, man!

This is a movie that never engaged me. I couldn’t root for anyone. I felt that the characters were poorly written and the elegance of Johnnie To isn’t found here. That said, the original movie is not a masterpiece since it has Louis Koo in it. But it’s much better than this half-tired remake that fails to engage with its dull characters.

Rating: 4/10

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