New World (2013 film)

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New World
New World2013-poster.jpg
Promotional poster for New World
Revised RomanizationSinsegye
Directed byPark Hoon-jung
Produced byHan Jae-duk
Kim Hyun-woo
Written byPark Hoon-jung
StarringLee Jung-jae
Choi Min-sik
Hwang Jung-min
Song Ji-hyo
Music byJo Yeong-wook
CinematographyChung Chung-hoon
Yu Eok
Edited byMoon Se-kyung
Distributed byNext Entertainment World
Release date
  • 21 February 2013 (2013-02-21)
Running time
134 minutes
CountrySouth Korea
LanguageKorean, Mandarin
Budget₩7.3 million
Box officeUS$31.7 million[1]

New World (Korean신세계; RRSinsegye) is a 2013 South Korean crime drama film written and directed by Park Hoon-jung.[2][3][4][5][6] Starring Choi Min-sik, Hwang Jung-min and Lee Jung-jae, the film is a melodrama revolving around an undercover cop who finds it difficult to play both a cop and a goon.[7][8][9][10][11] New World is the first entry in a planned trilogy.[12]


Chairman Seok Dong-chool of Goldmoon International, South Korea's largest corporate crime syndicate, is killed in an accident, and the possible successors are Jung Chung, Lee Joong-gu, and to a lesser extent, Jang Su-ki. Goldmoon is an amalgamation of several crime factions that were assimilated by the dominant Jaebum clan. Jung Chung was the former head of the Chinese-descended Northmoon clan, the largest of Jaebum's rival factions, until it merged, and has since become senior managing director of Goldmoon. Lee Joong-gu is the former second-in-command of the Jaebum clan, but was pushed down by Jung after the merging and serves as a managing director instead, despite being backed by the Jaebum faction, which as a whole holds the most power. Jang Su-ki, as the vice chairman of Goldmoon, is officially the heir apparent but his Je-il clan was dissolved during the merging and his position in the group is strictly a formality, with no real power or involvement in day-to-day operations of the syndicate. Although Jung has the highest chance of becoming the heir, Jung's right-hand man, sales director Lee Ja-sung (Lee Jung-jae), is really an undercover police officer. Ja-sung has been operating for eight years and is exhausted and constantly worried of being discovered. He was promised reassignment to an overseas position in the police force, but he is forced to keep working undercover with the threat of having his true identity leaked if he refuses.

Chief Kang (Choi Min-sik) and Director Ko wish to influence the succession to favor the weakest candidate, Jang, with the plan resulting in the syndicate being taken down before it grows too powerful for it to be contained by the police. They first ask Ja-sung to leak incriminating evidence about Jung. Then they go to Jung, and convince him to leak evidence about his rival Lee in exchange for not being prosecuted. Once Lee is in jail, they inform Lee that Jung betrayed him, the result of which is that Lee sends directions for Jung's murder.

Jung remains confused as to how the police got the evidence against him, and is insulted when Chief Kang refuses a bribe from Jung in a later meeting. He pays a large sum of money for Chinese hackers to investigate, which leads to the discovery of three undercover police within his staff, one of them being Ja-sung, the second being Ja-sung's Go instructor Shin Woo, who was actually his handler, and his own right-hand man Oh Seok-mu, to which Ja-sung was completely unaware of his real identity. He spares Ja-sung because they have become good friends to the point of Jung calling Ja-sung his brother, and proceeds to murder the other two. Shortly after, Lee's followers ambush Jung's faction, during which Jung, whilst killing most of his assailants, is mortally wounded. While lying in the hospital near his death, Jung tells Ja-sung that he needs to decide his loyalty, stating it will be the only way he can survive.

Chief Kang breaks his promise to Ja-sung once more by refusing to let him disappear, instead making him Jang's vice chairman upon Jang becoming chairman, thus giving Ja-sung more access to sensitive information that can take down the syndicate in the future. Moreover, Ja-sung's wife, who has been secretly spying on him on Chief Kang's behalf, was pregnant, but the stress from Ja-sung's profession and her own spy work, along the sudden shock of an attempted hit by Lee's men, results in a miscarriage. It also happens at this point that Lee is released from jail, due to the evidence against him proving to be insufficient. Lee will certainly seek the death of Ja-sung but Chief Kang shows no concern for this, due to Lee seemingly losing all his power after the attack on Jung's faction and the public fiasco afterward resulting in his entire faction being banished from the syndicate.

Jang is poised to succeed and attempt to kill Ja-sung, an event which Chief Kang anticipated but also did nothing to stop. However, Ja-sung had already secured the loyalty of Jang's men, along with Jung's faction, leading to Jang's own death, as well as Ja-sung's unanimous succession as chairman. Feeling deeply betrayed by Chief Kang's constant refusal to let him walk away, Ja-sung decides to become a full criminal. He orders the murder of Chief Kang and Director Ko so that no record will remain of his old identity. He also murders Lee, his only possible rival, as revenge for Jung.

Flashback from six years ago, when Ja-sung was still as an undercover cop. He and Jung successfully kill a much larger group of rival criminals, seemingly enjoying the process. This demonstrates Ja-sung's early corruption and also the depth of Jung's friendship with him.[13][14][15][16]


  • Lee Jung-jae – Lee Ja-sung
  • Choi Min-sik – Section chief Kang Hyung-cheol[17]
  • Hwang Jung-min – Jung Chung
  • Park Sung-woong – Lee Joong-gu
  • Song Ji-hyo – Shin Woo
  • Kim Yoon-seong – Oh Seok-mu
  • Na Kwang-hoon – Yang Moon-seok
  • Park Seo-yeon – Han Joo-kyung
  • Choi Il-hwa – Vice Chairman Jang Su-ki
  • Joo Jin-mo – Police Director Ko
  • Jang Gwang – Director Yang
  • Kwon Tae-won – Director Park
  • Kim Hong-pa – Director Kim
  • Kim Byung-ok – Yanbian hobo
  • Woo Dong-gi – Yanbian hobo
  • Park In-soo – Yanbian hobo
  • Jung Young-gi – Yanbian hobo
  • Park Sang-gyu – policeman
  • Ryu Sung-hyun – executive
  • Jung Gi-seop – executive
  • Lee Woo-jin – executive
  • Sung Nak-kyung – executive
  • Jung Mi-sung – detective
  • Ahn Su-ho – Choi
  • Son Byung-hee – taxi driver
  • Han Jae-duk – gang boss
  • Lee Geung-young – Chairman Seok Dong-chool (cameo)
  • Ryoo Seung-bum – Constable Kang Cheol-hwa (cameo)
  • Ma Dong-seok – Section chief Cho Hyung-joo (cameo)

Critical reception[edit]

The New York Times called the film "both less bloody and more thoughtful than most of its genre, the shifting-alliances plot becoming more engrossing as it progresses."[18]

Los Angeles Times wrote that "writer-director Park Hoon-jung tells this twisty story of internecine warfare within a Korean corporate crime syndicate with patience, elegance and no small amount of bloodshed."[19]

Salon said that "the rewards come from a satisfying plot, distinctive characters and a series of memorable showpieces, and Park handles all three demands well," and "no one in American movies has made a crime opera this good in years."[20]

Film Business Asia praised it as "the best played and most gripping Korean gangster movie since Yoo Ha's A Dirty Carnival. [...] not only showcases three of South Korea's best actors at the top of their game but also manages to sustain its 2 and a half-hour running time on sheer character drama rather than action or violence."[21]

The film also received many negative reviews as well. David Noh from Film Journal wrote "There's nothing wrong with reworking films like Election and Infernal Affairs. Scorsese won an Oscar for The Departed, his version of the latter. Sadly, Park doesn't bring anything new to the genre, apart from a lot more crane shots and one too many stoic grimaces."[22]

Linda Barnard from gave it 2 stars out of 4, writing "South Korean gangster film New World tries to expand the genre with nods to The Godfather but can’t escape the over-the-top acting, expansive violence and overdone story typical of Seoul-made crime dramas."[23]

Slant Magazine also gave it a negative review, stating "Bestowed with a somewhat novel twist, Park Hoon-jung’s New World employs the good-guy/bad-guy power dynamic of the typical cop-gangster flick and treats it as the primary source of the story’s intrigue. But the mole-imbedded gang war at the heart of this film plays out less like an organic round of Go between cops and criminals than the elaborate scheme of one character operating like a sadistic Creator and wreaking havoc in the lives of his ants."[24]

Box office[edit]

The film scored admissions of 4.67 million,[25][26][27] with a total gross of ₩34,831,698,405 (or US$31,212,801).[1]


After competing with DreamWorks, Paramount Pictures, and Warner Bros., Sony Pictures picked up the remake rights, reportedly in the mid six-figure range. The production company Vertigo Entertainment will handle the project with producers Roy Lee and Dan Lin, Jon Silk and John Powers Middleton as executive producers, and Will Fetters as screenwriter.[27][28][29] A Tamil movie Chekka Chivantha Vaanam (in a Telugu dubbed version named Nawab), found to be similar to this film was released in 2018 in India; but it's co-writer Siva Ananth has denied any influence of this film in a recent interview.[30]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Recipients Result Ref.
2013 Beaune International Thriller Film Festival Jury Prize (Second Place) New World Won
49th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actor Hwang Jung-min Nominated [31][32]
Best Supporting Actor Park Sung-woong Nominated
Best New Director Park Hoon-jung Nominated
Best Screenplay Nominated
22nd Buil Film Awards Best Actor Hwang Jung-min Won
Best Supporting Actor Park Sung-woong Nominated
Best New Director Park Hoon-jung Nominated
50th Grand Bell Awards Best Director Nominated
Best Actor Hwang Jung-min Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Park Sung-woong Nominated
Best Screenplay Park Hoon-jung Nominated
Best Lighting Bae Il-hyuk Nominated
Best Music Jo Yeong-wook Won
Best Art Direction Cho Hwa-sung Nominated
34th Blue Dragon Film Awards Best Film New World Nominated
Best Director Park Hoon-jung Nominated
Best Actor Hwang Jung-min Won
Best Supporting Actor Park Sung-woong Nominated
Best Cinematography Chung Chung-hoon, Yu Eok Nominated
Best Lighting Bae Il-hyuk Nominated
Best Art Direction Cho Hwa-sung Nominated
2014 9th Max Movie Awards Best Actor Hwang Jung-min Nominated
19th Chunsa Film Art Awards Nominated


  1. ^ a b "Shin-sae-gye (New World) (2013)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 23 April 2013.
  2. ^ Lee, Eun-sun (26 February 2013). "PARK Hoon-jung of NEW WORLD "A Film About Gangsters in Politicians' Suits"". Korean Cinema Today. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
  3. ^ Baek, Jong-hyun (18 January 2013). "NEW WORLD Witnesses the Growth of Intense Desire". Korean Film Council. Retrieved 21 January 2013.
  4. ^ Lee, Rachel (21 January 2013). "3 actors to show off talent in Sinsegae". The Korea Times. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
  5. ^ Park, Eun-jee (8 February 2013). "Three macho guys find a balance in Park Hoon-jung's latest thriller". Korea JoongAng Daily. Archived from the original on 16 February 2013. Retrieved 11 February 2013.
  6. ^ Lee, Claire (11 February 2013). "New World a well-made noir with superb acting". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
  7. ^ Paquet, Darcy (8 March 2013). "In Focus: New World". Korean Film Council. Retrieved 26 March 2013.
  8. ^ Kim, Hyun-min (7 January 2013). "NEW WORLD Is a New Kind of Korean Crime Drama". Korean Film Council. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
  9. ^ Suk, Monica (22 June 2012). "A-list Korean actors gears up to bring new film noir action pic". 10Asia. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
  10. ^ Son, Jin-ah (20 September 2012). "'New World' cranked up". StarN News. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
  11. ^ Lee, Hye-ji (21 September 2012). "Top Film Stars Wrap Up Shooting New Noir Action Pic". 10Asia. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
  12. ^ "[스크랩] 영화 `신세계` 3부작이래! (+추가)". Archived from the original on 8 April 2014.
  13. ^ "New World". Finecut. Retrieved 5 February 2013.
  14. ^ "New World (2012)". Korean Film Council. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
  15. ^ "New World (2012)". The Chosun Ilbo. 22 February 2013. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
  16. ^ Yun, Suh-young (20 February 2013). "Facing the blood-drenched mirror". The Korea Times. Retrieved 25 February 2013.
  17. ^ Lee, Mi-ji (18 January 2013). "The New World Lee Jung Jae talks about difficulties he had to overcome". StarN News. Retrieved 17 April 2013.
  18. ^ Catsoulis, Jeannette (21 March 2013). "In South Korea, Gangsters in Good Suits". The New York Times. Retrieved 28 March 2013.
  19. ^ Goldstein, Gary (21 March 2013). "Review: New World a tense crime-syndicate showdown". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 28 March 2013.
  20. ^ O'Hehir, Andrew (21 March 2013). "Pick of the week: A Korean mob thriller that could teach Hollywood a thing or two". Salon. Retrieved 28 March 2013.
  21. ^ Elley, Derek (6 June 2013). "New World". Film Business Asia. Archived from the original on 11 June 2013. Retrieved 10 June 2013.
  22. ^ Film Review: New World
  23. ^ South Korean gangster movie New World falls flat: review
  24. ^ New World Review
  25. ^ "Ticket sales for New World pass 4 mln mark". Yonhap. 19 March 2013. Retrieved 20 March 2013.
  26. ^ An, So-hyoun (19 March 2013). "The New World Hits 4 Million". enewsWorld. CJ E&M. Retrieved 20 March 2013.
  27. ^ a b Frater, Patrick (12 April 2013). "New World sold for US remake". Film Business Asia. Retrieved 23 April 2013.
  28. ^ Conran, Pierce (12 April 2013). "New NEW WORLD on the Way from Sony". Korean Film Council. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
  29. ^ Lee, Claire (15 April 2013). "Hollywood buys rights to remake New World". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
  30. ^ Siva Ananth Interview
  31. ^ Conran, Pierce (9 April 2013). "49th PaekSang Arts Awards Nominations Revealed". Korean Film Council. Retrieved 11 April 2013.
  32. ^ Hicap, Jonathan M. (5 April 2013). "49th Baeksang Arts Awards nominees revealed". Manila Bulletin. Retrieved 11 April 2013.

External links[edit]