The South Korean film Commitment (동창생) from director Park Hong-soo is an action/spy thriller vehicle for K-pop boy band star Choi Seung-hyun, AKA T.O.P.
The story follows a once privileged young man named Ri Myung-hoon (Choi) in North Korea who is disgraced by association and sent into a labor prison camp along with his younger sister when their father, a spy in the South is branded a traitor. Offered the opportunity to get out of the prison camp and to save his sister, he is trained as an assassin and sent into South Korea as an undercover agent in the days leading up to the death of Kim Jong-il as an internal war in the North and South rages amongst different factions are battling for power and influence on the new government.
Taking on the name Kang Dae-ho, Myung-hoon goes undercover as a defector and high school student in the South, looking for the targets he is meant to wipe out in order to secure his sister’s release. What he doesn’t expect is to find a meaningful friendship in a girl at school with the same name as his younger sister, Hye-in (Han Ye-ri), and a much more deadly game of political chess than he was expecting.
The elaborate fight sequences in Commitment are well handled by Choi, although his emotional range seems to be stuck somewhere between a mollusk and a turtle. Meanwhile, Park’s direction manages to get a sleek-looking, slow-burning story churned out here, even with an ultimate outcome that we can see coming from a mile away.
Commitment looks good in this AVC/MPEG-4 1080p encodement to Blu-ray from Well Go USA. There are some places where one can spot some banding and noise, maybe owing to the film being wedged onto a single-layer BD-25 disc, but mostly we get crisp imagery with strong contrasts and good color reproduction.
The Korean DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/16-bit) soundtrack is generally good. There’s a good amount of heft in the low end and a good mix of sound across the front with atmospherics in the surround channels.
- Making Of
- Theatrical Trailer
The Definitive Word
A reasonably enjoyable thriller that could have been trimmed to a more manageable length and given a more charismatic protagonist, Commitment has some good fights and strong production values.
Additional Screen Captures