November 3, 2013

A Company Man: Corporate Culture Will Be the Death of Everyone

Lim Sang-yoon's A Company Man is an allegorical action pic when you consider that dismal working conditions -- long hours, the inability to get any free time, the struggle to have a life outside the office -- can be an issue for gangsters as well white collar drones. Put the thug in a tailored suit and you wouldn't be able to tell the difference. So while poor Ji Hyeong-do (So Ji-seob) may have put enough money aside to start his own business (a lakeside cafe, perhaps), extricating himself from the biz isn't going to be as easy as handing in a resignation letter. You see, everyone wants him to be a lifer. According to upper management, a hitman's job is never done. Anything that humanizes Ji, like a pop-singing mom (Lee Mi-yeon), a good-natured temp worker (Kim Dong-jun) or a former staffer who wants to be free, only make him weaker and, by extension, the company weaker, too. Anyone who needs a change of scenery is out of luck. All roads lead back to corporate headquarters.

That's what Ji discovers when he tries to break loose from the Armani ties that bind. No one wants him to make a career change! No one sees a compelling-enough reason to pass up the regular paycheck! Not even the custodial lady who cleans the guns. That leads to Ji getting into some truly genius fights in a cramped SRO pad, a moving car, and a basement where his primary weapon is a rolled up calendar. A John Woo shootout in his office is uproariously glorious as he takes down his co-workers one by one by one by one by one. The nearby Neiman Marcus only had one bullet proof vest on the racks. Credit Ji with knowing how to dress for the occasion. Even after he leaves the staff massacre, he takes the time to tighten the designer noose around his neck, stylishly splashed with blood. He may have blown his references here but his ability to set and meet goals sure earns my respect.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful main actor.He was also in Road Number 1.This movie got the desired effect from me.I didnt know if to laugh or cry.