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Time To Hunt Netflix Review: Action Thriller That Keeps You Relentlessly Invested!

 Time To Hunt(Netflix, Korean)

Directed by  Yoon Sung-hyun,

Rating: ***
This is  a lean, taut, flab-free action thriller that  will have you on  the edge  of your seat  for  at least two  hours  of  the 134-minute  playing time. Time To Hunt is a film that gives us no time to think. It is relentlessly  on the prowl, sweeping us along in its heist-gone-to-waist plot with nary a pause to breathe.

 In fact  you would be well-advised to forget about  seeing director  Yoon Sung-hyun’s  sinewy  thriller in instalments. Like potato chips  once you start  you won’t be able to put it down before it finishes.

 The start  is  mundane enough. Jun-seok(Lee Je-hoon) comes out  of  jail and is welcomed by his  two partner-friends Jang-Ho(Ahn Jae-hong) and Ki-hoon(Choi Woo-shik). Before long Jun-seok  plans one  last  robbery with his friends. They recruit the services of a fourth  friend Sang-soo .

  It all looks like  a streamlined  set-up as  boringly  epic as Army Of The Dead,  except that the  dead army here could well be Jun-seok and his  friends who are chased  incessantly  by  a coldblooded assassin Han(Park Hae-soo) who is to this lean mean  plot what Gary Oldman  was in Luc Besson’s  thriller Leon which was as  sinuous  slim agile as this film.

Han’s mysterious  love for mayhem and murder haunts  the four men on the run, rushes them down to  a bundle of nerves. There are two major shootouts   in the plot,  one set in  a hospital(which is  surprisingly bereft  of patients) and an eerie abandoned apartment block where every sound is  an invitation to  death.

 The  shootouts are not just elaborate, they are also  acutely impressive. It’s been a while since  we saw a thriller so heart-in-the-mouth and  edge-of-the –seat,you can’t blink  or breathe. The sweaty anxiety  of  the  four fugitives, all played with  a contagious trepidation, is  impressively scaled up  as  Han the assassin closes  in on them with  a gravity-defying ferocity.

 A  thriller as  sophisticated as Time To Hunt would  not be what it  is  were it not for  the sound design  and  the cinematography. The sounds as the  four  heist survivors  flee their angel of death subsume  sounds ranging from  a footfall to a gunshot, all suggesting a deep  connection between  suspense and  sound effects.

 Lim Won-geun’s  stunning cinematography soaks the  frames in an  angry orange glow.The only  other time  I’ve seen the frames so inured in orange was  in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Devdas. Here  the colours are all close to death. A noisy violent brutal death. It is this that our four protagonists try to escape. Their smothered war cry  to live becomes the film’s  guiding force.

You will  find yourself praying for these  men’s lives. Their crime seems  way too small for the punishment  meted  out to  them.

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