Time to Hunt review – a serviceable South Korean thriller more or less worth the wait

April 23, 2020
Jonathon Wilson 0
Film Reviews, Netflix


A handsomely produced if slightly overlong South Korean thriller with just enough going on to be worth the wait.



A handsomely produced if slightly overlong South Korean thriller with just enough going on to be worth the wait.

This review of Time to Hunt (Netflix) is spoiler-free.

It took a while to get here thanks to some legal disputes and a court order delaying its worldwide release, but Yoon Sung-hyun’s heist thriller Time to Hunt hit Netflix today. As ever with South Korean productions it’s a handsome endeavor that’s much too long for the story it’s telling, which is about four useless thieves in a dystopian near-future South Korea who try to bump off an underground casino and find themselves being pursued by a relentless hitman.

Jun-seok (Lee Je-hoon), fresh out of prison in the first place, proposes knocking off an illegal gambling den in the city’s underbelly to his pals Jang-ho (Ahn Jae-hong) and Ki-hoon (Choi Woo-shik, late of Parasite and Okja). The heist, which enlists the help of an arms dealer and an inside man, Sang-soo (Park Jeong-min), goes off okay – at least initially. But the gang making off with bundles of U.S. currency and tell-all surveillance footage puts them on the radar of Han (Park Hae-soo), a terrifying and well-connected enforcer.

This is a solid thriller premise and Time to Hunt makes the most of it, with plenty of unexpected double-crosses and twists to keep viewers on the edge of their seats – provided they can sit in them for long enough to see the ending. While the cast does more than adequate work, it’s almost a relief as the film transitions from a story of inept buddies pulling off a robbery to those same idiots being steadily pursued and offed by a seemingly unstoppable killer. The film works much better in that mode, and to say this is only writer-director Yoon Sung-hyun’s second feature, we’re probably seeing the beginnings of a very impressive career.

Despite some length and pacing issues, Time to Hunt was just about worth the wait.

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