It’s often interesting in wondering how a director can conjure a mystery tale that keeps audiences guessing. Jang Chang-Won’s new film, The Swindlers, certainly lives up to the task with as much intricacy and detail as possible in its two hour duration.
Written by Jang for his own debut, the film sets its course with tragedy in its wake when a church learns it was swindled out of billions by Doo-Chil (Heo Sung-Tae), a schemer who fakes his own death while escaping from Korea. Eight years later, we meet Ji-Sung (Hyun Bin), a vengeful con-artist hunting Doo-Chil and eager to hatch a plan of his own until he’s forced to pair up with Hee-Soo (Yoo Ji-Tae), an ambitious prosecutor to help culminate more than enough evidence to catch the big fish.
The devil, of course, is in the details with a story that offers numerous moving pieces in its narrative. Developments unfold with a plot that hinges on some pretty familiar tropes moviegoers would find in other sting films. Steven Soderburgh and David Fincher come to mind, but you’re left more entertained than any thing as Jang’s script never veers off course.
Solid performances from the cast along with the essential placing of storied events in the film’s timespan is also a big plus. The most riotous moments go to actress Nana who plays Choong-Ja, one of the most cunning among the roster compared to Sung-Duk (Bae Sung-Woo) the slightly more brash of the bunch as Hee-Soo’s right hand man.
The rest of the film relies mainly on its acumen to keep up the various ruses that take place while never missing a beat. Indeed there is much more to The Swindlers than meets the eye, a fact that makes clear the homework Jang has done in service of a film a rewarding ending – one teeming with sequel potential as the credits roll.