Review- Korean director Dong-Hoon Choi who I am not too familiar with his earlier work takes the Oceanâ€™s Eleven story and takes us to Macau and the pursuit of the Tear of the Sun diamond which is worth around 20 million dollars. The outline of this caper film is pretty well established, all the way to Popeye and his crew and their split second timing. Popeye and his crew travel to Macau to do a job that is masterminded by Popeyeâ€™s old partner Macau Park, who we learn escaped a job they did together with around 60 plus k of gold. Macau Park has a plan for the gang, but Popeye brings a woman named Pepsi along for this job who is a genius at cracking safes and also the old lover to Macau. As you can guess with most caper films, they are all working together but each one has a separate agenda to keep the diamond for them. The Thieves I really had fun with it, it took the look and feel of Oceanâ€™s Eleven but did something different with it. I guess it was the location and some of the situations they get into that really gave this film that difference. While Oceanâ€™s and its sequels to me were ok at the start then each one was worst then the last one, The Thieves outshined it because it did not have all these big names hamming the screen or trying to sell you on a film that looked like they only did it for the payday.
Also another difference, this film did not have the central focus being the jewel heist, it gave it to the characters. We got to know their stories, what makes them tick, what they can do and gave us a well thought out and written script. The only downfall to this film is the running time, it is almost 2 hours and 20 minutes and I feel this story could have been told around the 2 hour mark or even less, that at times the film seems to be so character and dialogue heavy that maybe they should have thrown us a curve ball and made it a little more action. Now, the film has plenty of breathtaking shots and great suspenseful moments, but I feel they needed more. Though again, the film is not bad and it is so well worth seeing, just for the moments that will get your attention and keep you glued to the screen and even the usual heist montage that felt fresh in this film. The film also throws you some twists and swerves that you may not see coming, and to see how emotions play a part in building trust and establishing alliances, this film offers you something that I think fans of these kinds of films will enjoy. I am glad Well Go USA finally gave us an opportunity to see the film that is a major film for South Korea. The film is in subtitles and they talk in Korean and Cantonese. ( I had to look at the languages on the blu ray to know this..I cheated) All in all, this weekâ€™s trip to your local video store would not be complete without this one in your hand. You will enjoy it and have a good time, for the only negative in the film being the time and length, the positives so outweigh it.
8 out of 10