Korea’s Ryoo Seung-wan Reinvents the Cop Movie Genre with “I, The Executioner”

Ryoo Seung-wan, acclaimed director known for action films such as “Veteran” (2015) and “Escape from Mogadishu” (2022), has once again pushed the boundaries of the cop movie genre. His latest work, “I, The Executioner,” premiered at the 77th Cannes Film Festival, earning unanimous praise from critics.

Ryoo’s journey to Cannes began in 2005 with the gritty boxing drama “Crying Fist.” Although well-received, it wasn’t screened in the prestigious Grand Lumière Theater. Now, almost two decades later, “I, The Executioner” finally graced the same giant screen, marking a significant milestone for the director.

Sequel to “Veteran”

“I, The Executioner” is a sequel to Ryoo’s 2015 blockbuster “Veteran,” which became Korea’s fifth-highest-grossing movie of all time. The first film featured Hwang Jung-min as a determined police detective taking on a corrupt tycoon. In the sequel, the ensemble cast reunites to track down a suspected serial killer.

A Balance of Style and Innovation

Ryoo’s success lies in his ability to balance established film style with fresh ideas. “I think there is nothing more dangerous than repeating yourself,” he says. With “I, The Executioner,” he reinvents the adventures of Detective Seo Do-cheol, delivering a gripping narrative that captivates audiences.

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