The City of Violence

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The City of Violence
Poster for the Korean film The City of Violence.jpg
Film poster
Revised RomanizationJjakpae
Directed byRyoo Seung-wan
Produced byKim Jung-min
Ryoo Seung-wan
Written byKim Jung-min
Lee Won-jae
Ryoo Seung-wan
StarringRyoo Seung-wan
Jung Doo-hong
Lee Beom-soo
Music byBang Jun-seok
CinematographyKim Yeong-cheol
Edited byNam Na-yeong
Distributed byCJ Entertainment
Release date
  • May 25, 2006 (2006-05-25)
Running time
92 minutes
CountrySouth Korea
BudgetUS$2.7 million
Box officeUS$6.2 million[1]

The City of Violence (Hangul짝패; RRJjakpae; lit. "Partner" or "Pal") is a 2006 South Korean action film co-written and directed by Ryoo Seung-wan, who stars in the film opposite action director and longtime collaborator Jung Doo-hong. The story re-unites three former childhood friends for their friend's funeral, which prompts two vowing to find his murderer.[2][3][4][5]


Ex-gangster Wang-jae (Ahn Gil-kang) chases a gang of punks into an alley where he's fatally stabbed. His four childhood friends reunite, first time in nearly twenty years, at Wang-jae's funeral.

Up to then, each has gone their own way: Tae-su (Jung Doo-hong) became a Seoul police detective. Pil-ho's (Lee Beom-soo) taken over his brother-in-law Wang-jae's throne as a mobster. Seok-hwan (City of Violence director Ryoo Seung-wan) who works as a debt collector while his older brother Dong-hwan struggles as a math teacher. A flashback reveals a pact they made on School Picnic Day before they fought with other youths. After the funeral, Tae-su decides to investigate the murder within a week before he would return to his job in Seoul. Meanwhile, Seok-hwan decides to find and kill Wang-jae's murderers.

While investigating, Tae-su is attacked by youth gangs, who use an array of weapons including baseball bats, hip hop, bikes, hockey sticks, and yo-yo's. Tae-su barely escapes with his life after Seok-hwan's unexpected arrival. They decide to work together. After hunting the gangs, they discover Wang-jae's death isn't a random mindless attack. It was a planned murder. The revelation leads them to Seok-hwan's own brother, who confesses a secret. It's Pil-ho who was behind the plan, which was hatched after Wang-jae disapproved Pil-ho's plans to turn their city into a tourist district.

After strangers tried to kill him as part of tying up Pil-ho's loose ends, Wang-jae's young murderer agrees to testify against Pil-ho. A killer douses the young murderer in gasoline and sets him on fire. When Tae-su realizes there's no legal way to take Pil-ho down, he confronts Pil-ho, but he ends up badly beaten. Meanwhile, Seok-hwan, Dong-hwan and their mother are on their way to a restaurant when a truck smashes into their car. After Dong-hwan and his mother's funeral, Seok-hwan and Wang-jae's widow leave the funeral house and sees Tae-su waiting outside. Tae-su persuades Wang-jae's widow into revealing information on her brother Pil-ho's whereabouts.

No longer bound by law, Tae-su and Seok-hwan storm Pil-ho's fortress where they fight their way through swarms of armed cooks and bodyguards until the banquet room. They witness Pil-ho killing a Seoul president, which prompts all guests to leave just Tae-su, Seok-hwan, Pil-ho and his four elite guards alone in the room. The elite guards immediately take Tae-su and Seok-hwan on.

Two men, victorious but exhausted, set to take on Pil-ho, but Pil-ho takes them by surprise by attacking Seok-hwan, who loses his fingers. Pil-ho turns and stabs Tae-su's stomach, ignoring Seok-hwan who's binding the katana to his hand with torn table cloth. Tae-su informs Pil-ho that the last man who stands last wins. Before Pil-ho could react, Seok-hwan stabs him through the chest, killing him.

As Tae-su bleeds to death, he recalls the day he and his childhood friends walk home from the School Picnic, talking about future. Seok-hwan says they didn't win, but his older brother Dong-hwan says they did. Seok-hwan insists they have nothing to show for it. Wang-jae disagrees, pointing out they have the snake tonic. They will drink it in twenty years' time when they become rich men. One wonder what would happen if it didn't work out. "Doesn't matter," Wang-jae says. "We won't amount to much, anyway!"

Back at Pil-ho's place, the exhausted Seok-hwan glances around, noting the carnage he and his late friend Tae-su had created, and sighs heavily. Finally he says, "Fuck it."


  • Ryoo Seung-wan ... Yoo Suk-hwan
  • Jung Doo-hong ... Jung Tae-soo
  • Lee Beom-soo ... Jang Pil-ho
  • Jung Suk-yong ... Yoo Dong-hwan
  • Lee Joo-shil ... Yoo Suk-hwan's mother
  • Ahn Gil-kang ... Oh Wang-jae
  • Kim Byung-ok ... Youth president
  • Kim Shi-hoo ... Yoo Suk-hwan (young)
  • On Joo-wan ... Jung Tae-soo (young)
  • Kim Dong-young ... Jang Pil-ho (young)
  • Jung Woo ... Oh Wang-jae (young)
  • Kim Seo-hyung ... Jang Mi-ran
  • Jo Deok-hyun ... Boss Jo
  • Kim Gi-cheon ... Sal-soo
  • Kim Kkot-bi ... high school girl with razor blade
  • Kim Su-hyeon ... Seoul detective
  • Im Jun-il ... Team leader Im
  • Lee Na-ri ... Miss Bae
  • Park Young-seo ... Yoo Dong-hwan (young)
  • Park Ji-hwan ... teen gang boss
  • Lee Hong-pyo ... Onsung area cop
  • Oh Joo-hee ... hanbok-wearing woman in special room 2
  • Kim Hyo-sun ... secretary

Awards and nominations[edit]

2006 Chunsa Film Art Awards

2006 Busan Film Critics Awards[6]

  • Best Cinematography - Kim Yeong-cheol

2006 Blue Dragon Film Awards

2006 Korean Film Awards

2007 Grand Bell Awards

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The City of Violence". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2012-03-04.
  2. ^ "시사회 - PRESS SCREENING: 짝패 (The City of Violence)". Twitch Film. 10 May 2006. Retrieved 2014-03-17.
  3. ^ Lee, Hoo-nam; Lee, Min-a (15 May 2006). "Film noir showcases duo's martial arts skills". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2014-03-17.
  4. ^ "A Trip Inside The City of Violence: Ryu Seung-Wan and Jung Doo-Hong Talk 짝패". Twitch Film. 27 May 2006. Retrieved 2014-03-17.
  5. ^ Kim, Kyu Hyun (5 February 2008). "City of Violence: Lean and Mean". OhmyNews International. Retrieved 2014-03-17.
  6. ^ "The City of Violence - Awards". Cinemasie. Retrieved 2012-03-04.

External links[edit]