So the New York Times didn’t like the film, but I sure did. People are so invested into adrenaline-pumping films nowadays that slower-paced films are often blindly dismissed. Don’t do that to “Phantom Detective!”
Here’s a snippet of my HanCinema review:
Director Jo Sung-hee’s Phantom Detective is a play on the crime noir complete with anti-hero Hong Gil-dong (Lee Je-hoon), a decrepit town, deranged villains, and stylized filming that brings the world of the comic book to life. There are also two unlikely sidekicks, two little girls who rework Gil-dong’s damaged psyche over the course of the film.
Phantom Detective was released in Korea May 4, 2016 and 508,000 filmgoers (19.9%) sat down to watch a modern take of the classic Korean tale of “Hong Gil Dong”. Last weekend, May 13, 2016, the film premiered in Los Angeles and May 20 saw a wider North American release.