Screened as part of NZIFF 2019

The Gangster, the Cop, the Devil 2019


Directed by Lee Won-tae World

Bruising Korean box office star Ma Dong-seok is in full beast mode in this seriously entertaining action thriller, which pits a burly mob boss and an unhinged detective against a maurading serial killer.

South Korea In Korean with English subtitles
110 minutes DCP



Park Se-seung


Heo Sun-mi
Han Young-kyu

Production designers

Cho Hwa-sung
Jeong Yi-jin

Costume designer

Nam Ji-soo


Jo Yeong-wook


Ma Dong-seok (Jang Dong-su)
Kim Moo-yul (Det. Jung Tae-seok)
Kim Sung-kyu (K)


Cannes (Out of Competition) 2019

Action, thrills and humour collide after intimidating crime boss Jang Dong-soo (Korean star Ma Dong-seok, fast becoming Asia’s answer to Dwayne Johnson) survives a random roadside attack by a serial killer. The incident

seen as a sign of weakness by his peers, Jang is eager to earn respect back with his fists – deployed to staggering effect from the get-go – and teams up with a hot-headed cop (Kim Moo-yul) who’s on the trail of a series of murders. The deal? Whoever catches the perp gets to dispense their own brand of justice.

“Ma is ultra-lovable as the gangster with a heart of… well, not gold, but perhaps a blood-tarnished bronze. The burly Korean-American star, so good in the crossover hit Train to Busan, is a rumpled force of nature as a mob boss who’s forced to become a caricature of himself in order to save face in front of his rivals; you almost expect that you’d find pinstripes tattooed along his skin if Jang ever took off his Guys and Dolls costume.” — David Ehrlich, Indiewire

“As much fun as it is to watch [Ma] beat people up and strut around in shiny pinstripe suits, it’s just as much of a pleasure to watch him think it all through.” — Jessica Kiang, Variety