It has been a while since I have reviewed an Asian subbed movie, but here we are with a film from South Korea called The Prison. Disgraced detective Song Yoo-gun (Kim Rae-won) enters a prison as a convict in order to meet Jung Ik-ho known as The King among the inmates. Ik-ho runs the prison behind the scenes; even the warden is powerless against him. As Song is trying to reveal the truth about his younger brother’s death, he discovers that the prison is actually a front for a massive criminal enterprise trying to take over the prison system of the entire country.
The Prison is a brutal take on Korean authority and corruption. While you won’t see much gore on film, the violence is no less uncomfortable to sit through like such scenes of people getting their hands cut off with saw or people being run down by vehicles. The relationship between Ik-ho and Yu-gon carries the major load of this film as it shows Yu-gon is in over his head not only as an officer undercover pretending to be a hothead convict but as he slowly comes to the realization that the deepness of this corruption reaches a level that he himself is not prepared to deal with.
The film is a throwback to classic action crime movies meaning you won’t see anything you haven’t already seen before, plus the over the top ending takes away from an otherwise enjoyable film. For all it’s ups and downs, The Prison is a middle of a road action flick for people who favor crime and corruption films.