Neugdaesanyang [Project Wolf Hunting] (2022)

Project Wolf Hunting
Director: Hongsun Kim
Writer: Hongsun Kim
Cast: Seo In-Guk, Dong-Yoon Jang, Gwi-hwa Choi, Dong-il Sung, Park Ho-San, Chang-Seok Ko, Jang Young-Nam, Son Jong-hak, Lee Sung-wook, Moon-Sung Jung, Ji Yoon Hong
Part of: SLASH Filmfestival Christmas Party
Seen on: 15./16.12.2022

The Philippines have always been the go-to destination for Korean criminals, but a new treaty is cutting through that. After a deadly prison transport via plane, Korean police have decided to opt for transporting a big group of dangerous prisoners with a freight ship instead. But an escape plan is already waiting. And then there’s the mysterious cargo on the ship that is bound to wreak havoc.

Project Wolf Hunting was introduced as probably the bloodiest film of the year. And it certainly is bloody and extremely violent. It’s also a narrative mess that never manages to make the blood count for something. That’s just a little boring.

The film poster showing the main characters' faces as if stitched together.

Project Wolf Hunting has a giant cast of characters – so many prisoners and police men, plus a few assorted others that we barely have time to remember all of them before they start dying. And while I can find the entertainment in a gory death even without an emotional connection, the film gives us basically nothing to hold on to emotionally and that is definitely a problem.

A problem it tries to hide with all the blood but that’s not a fix for this. Half the characters would have probably provided us with enough cannon fodder and still gave us a chance to at least connect with some of them, or remember who they are, but as is, they kind of blurred together with only a couple of stand-outs (much like with all those dwarves in The Hobbit), but they didn’t get enough time to leave much of an impression either.

Park Jong-doo (Seo In-Guk) talking to his brother.

And the bloodshed and gore was frankly rather unexciting, with a few exceptions. Maybe I’ve grown too old or seen too many gory films, but I would like a little bit of creativity in the kills and not just fountains of blood and rather stereotypical characters that die left and right before you barely realize what’s happening. There is a certain monotony to the film, despite it’s frantic tone. I actually fell asleep for a bit. I probably missed the big reveal/explanation in the plot, but I can’t really bring myself to care about it. It didn’t feel like the film cared much either.

Maybe I just wasn’t in the right mood for a film like it, but really, I don’t think there could have been better circumstances for me to see it than with a cinema full of SLASH Filmfestival audience. But I got the feeling that I was far from the only one who had this almost bored reaction to the film. It’s a pity.

Park Jong-doo (Seo In-Guk) taking pleasure in killing a ship worker.

Summarizing: oh well.

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