TIFF 2013 Review: Cold Eyes
As Cold Eyes opens with a handful of characters subtly gesturing and eying their surrounding while riding the subway, there is sense that you are in good hands. This stylish South Korean hi-tech spy thriller of sorts is plenty fun, smart, and entertaining – but don’t blink.
One of those leering passengers is Ha Yoon-Ju, a feisty and keen new rookie on a crack surveillance team working in the bustling metropolis of Seoul. Another along for the ride is the leader of the squad, a master of sorts with a Mr. Miyagi sense of humour and the same amount of wise skill. Codename Falcon, he and his menagerie set out to uncover a string of curious and cunning robberies.
With quick editing and beautiful panoramas, you’re immersed in a world that instead dwelling too much on hi-tech gadgets focuses on characters that jump off the screen. They are far more interesting and likeable than they should be, and the dynamic between Falcon and his young protégé is especially charming.
There exists too a brooding, menacing antagonist, a man who carries a small knife but wields it with stealthy dexterity. Played by Jung oo-sung, this coldblooded killer is slithery and ruthless, and his deadly stare and deadlier hands make every moment a tense one.
Cold Eyes floats along, perfectly-paced and subtly teasing what’s next, putting you in the centre of the chase. A thrilling conclusion awaits but the ride beforehand is full of immense pleasures and excitement. It is so simply, cool.