Reviewed by Alicia Glass
Review Rating: 7
Hyeon-su is a stocks genius looking for that big score when he gets recruited by a former gangster, turned shady businessman Hwang, to pull off a scam worth somewhere in the neighborhood of 60 billion. Unknown to Hwang however, is the scams going on inside the big scam, leading everyone to turn on eachother at the last moment!
Alright, yes, this movie is in Korean with English subtitles and it’s about stocks, of all things. Both those things make the film a little hard to understand, especially at the breakneck pace it moves, and they make assumptions that you the viewer have at least a minimal understanding of the way the stock market works. So if you don’t, I don’t recommend frustrating yourself with this movie. However, if you loved movies like Boiler Room and Snatch, then The Scam is totally for you!
For the gang trying to pull off the heist, I’m going to give them gangster titles rather than trying to puzzle my way through their actual character or given Korean names. First we have the Leader, the former gangster who turned his sights to sharking in the business world, but still has razor sharp teeth and a hell of a temper, especially when things start going wrong. Then we have the Second, the guy who spends most of his time with the Leader and apparently knew Hyeon-su from school or something, who delights in telling our whiz-kid that he’s only there for his luck and generally making a nuisance of himself. We have the Investor, the one who controls the money the gang is gathering and hides it til the last second. The Investor makes the mistake of trying to take the money and run when it all goes sour, and the Leader does not take kindly to that. Then there’s Brian Choi, the Socialite we’ll call him, who speaks Korean just fine but for a good portion of the movie speaks English with no accent whatsoever too. The Socialite blows my mind, and I know I’ve seen that actor in other movies. And of course we have the Token Woman, an investment banker with all sorts of shady characters, from politicians to war generals. Round it all together with the New Guy, the stocks genius who just wants to make his money, save his family from ruin and keep his head attached to his shoulders in the process!
If you can find it, The Scam is a fine way to watch a bunch of great Korean actors attempt to take the money and run!