Notable Cast: Yoo Hae-jin,Choi Seung-hyeon, Shin Se-kyung, Kwak Do-won, Lee Ha-nui, Kim Yoon-seok, Lee Geung-young, Kim In-kwon, Oh Jung-se, Park Hyo-joo, Go Soo-hee
The hilarious, and wild-ride of a follow-up to 2006's Tazza: The High Rollers a.k.a The War of Flower, which was delivered via director Choi Dong-hoon (The Big Swindle, The Thieves), is this time around, brought to us via Kang Hyeong-cheol (Speedy Scandal, Sunny) and complete with his visual flair and unique sense of comedy. But, you're not here for my bragging of a filmmaker (though it will be brought up again, I'm sure), so is the film good? No... it's great!
Tazza: The Hidden Card is set X years after the events of the first film (I can't really remember the years said or shown), in which we see the return of Go Gwang-ryeol (played wonderfully by character actor Yoo Hae-jin), though this time in flashback form, talking to a little boy whilst visiting so and so's house (sometimes the details slip you, damn it). Anyway, point being, we see this little boy get handed money from Go due to his polite manners. The boy goes on and on stating different reasons why Mr. Go should be handing him more and more money (not cheating, being respectful, and so on), and Go chuckles and refers to the kid as a 'tazza' (hustler or player)... and BOOM... title screen!
|Knights of the round table...or something.
I really, as usual, don't want to get too much into the actual plot of the story. It's simple in the means that it's a bunch of people in the corrupt world of gambling, backstabbing and quadruple-crossing everyone in their realm, but it is more than just a cash in on the first film. It was 8 years before this sequel ever came along. As mentioned before, I planned to bring the director of the film up, and now here we are.
This man made two of my favorite Korean films of all time... Speedy Scandal (2008), and Sunny (2011)... I was in.
Now with that out of the way, and getting back on track to actually reviewing the film, I want to mention the film has Kang's unique way of doing visual jokes via camera movement, and editing. It's difficult to explain, but if you have seen either of his films, you will know. He is here full-on in this movie, and that was something I was absolutely worried about. I know Korea isn't quite as company controlled when it comes to the bigger studios, but since this is a property, all sorts of red flags were raised knowing one of my favorite directors was in.
The film does go from being quite funny and a bit silly to being very dark and very serious, which is something some people may not like about this film. It never bothered me at all due to the fact that even in the more serious moments, Kang manages to still throw in even the tiniest of jokes and they still work, giving you a moment to laugh even though every character on screen may be just one wrong look away from being slaughtered. For that, I have to give this movie total props.
This review is ultimately long-winded, but to condense down in a short recap... here: The film looks wonderful and moves along at a brisk pace. The acting is spot-on from everybody. Everyone in the film has wonderful comedic chops and presence (when needed). When the film goes dark, it doesn't go stupid, and stays fully intriguing and keeps you on your toes. It's nice to see some of the characters come back from the first film and to see them be important this time around as well.
|He thinks you should see the movie too.
Written By Josh Parmer