» » Nae-bu-ja-deul (2015)

Short summary

Lee Kang-hee is an editorialist of a influential newspaper in South Korea. With the power of the press, he makes the congressman Jang Pil-woo to one of the candidates of the next presidential election. That is the result of a secret deal between Lee and Ahn Sang-goo, a political henchman of Jang Pil-woo. But Ahn makes an almost fatal error, when he gets caught pocketing the record on the Jang's slush fund. The prosecutor Woo Jang-hoon is about to investigate and becomes absolutely determined, because the case would help him making big steps in his career. Ahn gets in real trouble, when he gets dropped by Jang and should have been killed, but is able to flee. Now a bitter war starts between one who is lusting for power, the one who wants vengeance and the one who is eager for success.

Based on webcomic "Naeboojadeul" by Yoon Tae-Ho (first published November 9, 2010 via website The Hankyoreh).

Movie was rereleased in South Korea on December 31, 2015 as "Inside Men: The Original." The rereleased version contains additional footage accounting for 50 more minutes (3 hour total runtime).

Filming began July 13, 2014 at a night club in Seoul, South Korea. The first scene filmed involved gang member An Sang-Go (Lee Byung-Hun) meeting newspaper writer Lee Gang-Hee (Baek Yoon-Sik).

User reviews

  • comment
    • Author: Castiel
    First of all, lets discuss what this film does right.

    The build up of the relationship between the two protagonists is well structured and is an amazing reenactment of Korean male social culture and how friendship is built among Korean men in film. Jang-hoon (the prosecutor, played by Seung-woo Cho) and Sang-gu (gangster turned whistle-blower, Byung-hun Lee) both put in a great performance that really bring out the writing of their characters' relationship. However, as far as compliments go I cannot find any more beyond the character development and the performances of the two actors.

    Another positive comes with the choreography in a few of the fight scenes and the cinematography involved in delivering the sequences. A stand out moment is the night fight sequence involving Sang-gu. The first half of the fight are rapid cuts of close ups mixed with full shots and 3/4s - this keeps the sequence's visual adrenaline while maintaining a sense of space for the viewer. The real cinematographic magic happens after Sang-gu destroys the only bulb lighting the area and gives himself the upper-hand by fighting in the dark.

    The scene is lit (or not lit) to perfection, giving the viewer just enough detail through character rim- lights and silhouettes from stray background lighting to comprehend what is happening in the scene but dark enough that the illusion of fighting in the dark is never lost. The sequence is also shot as a long(-ish) take in 3/4s that gives the viewer a clear view of the scene. This is an amazing spot of cinematography that deserves a point of commendation.

    The remainder of the film is standard business as there is not much to complain but, equally, not much else to commend.

    The first two acts of the film could use another visit to the editing room as the movie was paced too slowly for its own good. With a running time of over two hours, this is a rather standard story that drags on for far too long. Even Taratino's Reservoir Dogs, in which elements of the storyline reveal themselves and develop in regularly spaced intervals, has a run time of 99 minutes.

    The twist on the twist aspect in the ending of the script is a great attempt to finish the film with a 'bang', however, perfect happy endings of a protagonists' victory are far too common to make it a surprise.

    Overall, this movie leaves a feeling of "something that could have been". A brilliant movie in parts, yes. But primarily a visit to the editing room and a writers' session short of being a great film.
  • comment
    • Author: Jairani
    Note: Check me out as the "Asian Movie Enthusiast" on YouTube, where I review tons of Asian movies.

    A former political henchman seeks out revenge for being dropped by a ruthless politician. Meanwhile, a determined investigator tries to nail the politician himself, and a shady newspaper editor manipulates matters behind the scenes. This has a complex story that shifts back and forth in time, with a lot of maneuvering by a fairly large cast of characters, but the script is so cleanly written and presented that it is easy to follow after a brief period of adjustment by the viewer. It will take a bit of time, early on, to figure out which characters are aligned with whom, and how everyone is related. But that slight sense of confusion eventually dissipates and transforms into a totally immersive, entertaining experience because characters are properly developed, with decisions and motives that are fleshed out nicely.

    Most of the players here are quite shady, so it's almost like rooting for the lesser of all evils, but it works really well because a few of these characters become more appealing as the film progresses. And that's one of the big positives that can be found in "Inside Men" – there's some multi-dimensionality to enjoy, which makes it easy to root for the protagonists that emerge from the pool of corrupt characters. On the other hand, you will find some of the others to be very dislikeable. The newspaper editor – in particular – is a real snake, and I was rooting against him the entire time.

    This is one of those films that gets more gripping and intense as it moves along. It just gets better and better, with the entire final hour being flat-out awesome. There is a lot of dramatic tension that is earned and I was glued to my television screen to see what would happen next. I have seen a few online movie reviewers criticize the film for being conventional, which is true to a degree. It is a crime drama, after all, and it has some similarities to films that came before it. With that said, however, the nuance and complexity that is presented keeps the viewer off balance. I wasn't entirely sure how things were going to play out during the second half of this movie, which helped to keep things fresh.

    There are a few recognizable faces here, but the big-man actor is Byung-hun Lee – who I'm sure you've seen elsewhere. He's been in popular Korean films such as "A Bittersweet Life", "The Good, the Bad, the Weird", "I Saw the Devil", and "Masquerade." His performance in "Inside Men" is one of his better outings, in my opinion. He's successful at portraying his character as intimidating, flawed, and endearing all at the same time. This guy is really good actor, but I wish he would stop wasting his time in American movies. I'm sure it's beneficial for him to try to break into Hollywood, but every single time I've seen him in a Hollywood film, he's been wasted. For example, I was looking forward to seeing him play the Terminator in that stupid Genisys movie, but he only had like 5 minutes of screen time. It's ridiculous.

    In any case, I definitely recommend "Inside Men", which is one of the better crime dramas of the past decade. I did watch the 3-hour extended cut, which is 50 minutes longer than the theatrical cut. I'm not exactly sure what scenes are included in one but not the other, but I can say that the 3-hour cut is really good. There is a Region 3 DVD available with English subtitles, and that release includes both the theatrical and extended cut.
  • comment
    • Author: Dandr
    Do you want to know more about Korean actors? Then this movie is exactly what you've been looking for. Including Hollywood-famous Byung-hun Lee, Korean actors in this movie presents overwhelming performances. However, this is the movie's strength and there's obvious downsides too (a lot). First, the storyline has a wrong tempo. Sometimes, it's too slow and sometimes it's too sudden. This causes a lack of suspense. Second, the clichés in this movie are quite troublesome. I don't know how foreign people would feel about them, but to Korean people those clichés are definitely overused and used only in one pattern in this movie. This makes the story quite predictable. Third, the message of this movie is in vain. The director should have given more thought about how to resolve social corruption or how to give an alert about it more effectively. Since the resolution shown in this movie is so simple (I won't tell more specifically. Just watch the movie), it sounds so empty. It just doesn't resonate in my mind Yes, in conclusion this movie is quite cheesy and has many flaws. But still, actors' performances are so amazing that they make this movie look well-made Crime/Thriller movie with authentic aura. Should you watch it? Well, if you are into Korean movies I would say 'definitely!'
  • comment
    • Author: Dilmal
    Movie: Inside Men

    Rating: 4/5

    Lee Byung-hun impressed me when I last time watched his action-thriller I SAW THE DEVIL, which happened to be one of the best South Korean films I had seen. Now he comes with NAEBUJADEUL, or better termed INSIDE MEN, a political crime/action film which has plenty of material to keep you engrossed.

    Not going into too much depth, I would just like to say that INSIDE MEN is really entertaining. For the first time I watched a 3 hours long movie with so much interest. Yes, it's the director's cut I watched. Long, but no dull moments. The performances of all actors, including my favourite Lee Byung-hun are excellent. He rightly won the best actor award for this movie.

    The film's visuals need a special appreciation as we hardly come across political thrillers with good visuals. Surprisingly, INSIDE MEN has terrific visuals that keep you engaged. The story and screenplay are excellent, the dialogues are too good. The action scenes are well filmed and executed. Cinematography is top notch and many beautifully filmed shots will be in your mind forever.

    Overall, INSIDE MEN is a film which is highly recommended. Needless to say, South Korean filmmakers prove themselves great yet again.
  • comment
    • Author: Agamaginn
    Story itself is fairly boring, tired, overdone, practically cliché corporate corruption nonsense. The kind of film nobody needs to be making in a market flooded with far superior choices.

    Then it goes from bad to worse.

    Bad camera angles, horrid lighting, predictable ending. Frozen acting, emotionlessly delivered lines.

    I'd actually give it a 3/10, basically +1 point for each of two scenes I found passable, but too many obviously fake reviews making this films score 7.1 force me to lower mine to counteract abuse of rating system here.
  • comment
    • Author: Kirizan
    This is actually a dragged out story that is more about the cinematography and the style of it all over a deep story that intrigues. It's a watchable movie but it does feel like the plot is really drawn out. It is a a movie with high quality cinematography for a Korean movie. With some topnotch actors, that really bring a bit exaggerated and yet it works when it comes to the style of this movie. When it comes to the plot it delves in the nasty side of politics, the corruption within it and how some old farts take advantage of the system. While screwing young women during there meeting together and giving idealistic speeches. Lee Byung-hun is a good actor but not really a guy that has integrity in real life. So he puts on a believable performance as a thug that built his way up to the top by doing errands from top officials. He sort of reminded me of the character he played in "A Bittersweet Life" except not as charismatic. Anyways besides the style of this film and some nasty underground stuff that happens in Korean night life. This is actually a forgettable film. The end has the typical clean wrap up that works but isn't all that impactful. Mainly because the build up wasn't all that interesting. It's watchable and I was able to sit through it without checking my time but again it's still a forgettable movie.

  • comment
    • Author: Manemanu
    Money can grind the devil. Under the Western-style electoral system, the political circles can not rely on the restraint of capital. The theme of this film is that evil is more than right, so the protagonist shines and incarnates Xiaoqiang. In addition, political opponents are deliberately ignored. In fact, it must be capital and politics, not underworld and law, that can defeat capital and politics. The description of several villas in this film must be very attractive to otaku men.
  • comment
    • Author: Steelraven
    Or hacksaws, bricks, plant pots. Its seems that anything can be used as a weapon In Korean films. This one has corrupt politicians (is there any other kind) doing shady deal with a newspaper boss for re-election. Corruption is embedded deep in every corner. Like sauna rooms. Or hostess bars, where slimy politicians perform sex acts involving escorts and soju glasses.

    When an ambitious prosecutor gets on the case , he teams up with a crippled gangster (Lee hyung Byun) to break open the whole sordid business. It could have been so clichéd and this story has been seen many times over. Still. it has been directed with style.

    Recently I watched Asura as part of the London Korean fIlm festival, and i questioned why they would want to promote such a wrong-headed and pretentious film when they could have chosen so many others. This was a much better choice and a good showcase for the actor Baek Yun-shil.

    A word about the title: it really is all men, apart from a small part for Lee's actor girlfriend. It really is a shame that they didn't give her more to do.
  • comment
    • Author: hardy
    I personally think, if this movie was translated into English or other language in t he world, it would be pretty hard to deliver the message. It goes pretty deep that you would understand if you know the language and the culture. I see it could be boring and too stretched out but if you can't see the details, you should just stop watching this. You have to know the culture in order to understand this movie
  • Credited cast:
    Byung-Hun Lee Byung-Hun Lee - An Sang-gu
    Seung-woo Cho Seung-woo Cho - Woo Jang-hoon
    Yun-shik Baek Yun-shik Baek - Lee Gang-hee
    Kyeong-yeong Lee Kyeong-yeong Lee - Jang Pil-woo
    Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
    Seong-woo Bae Seong-woo Bae - Park Jong-pal
    Deok-jae Jo Deok-jae Jo
    Jae-yoon Jo Jae-yoon Jo - Bang
    Woo-jin Jo Woo-jin Jo - Jo Sang-moo
    Dae-Myung Kim Dae-Myung Kim - Go (as Dae-myeong Kim)
    Hong-pa Kim Hong-pa Kim - Oh (as Hong-Fa Kim)
    Jong-hak Son Jong-hak Son
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