Q: What does your job include?
A: 70 hour work weeks.
Plenty of travel – you’re always on the road.
Constant job stress.
Opportunity for advancement.
Q: What about you and your work:
A: I’m a company man like any other. I ride the same subway to work as you do.
Except that my company is rather special.
I’m currently on assignment commissioned by a V.I.P.
Q: What do you do?
A: I work for a contract killing company. I’m an assassin.
Of course this interview never happened. It is just my idea and my choice as to how to best start this review. The film is called A Company Man. It is from 2012 and it is out of Korea.
If ever a film deserved to be categorized as an action thriller – this film is more than deserving. Yeah, it is about an assassin. Now I am fairly certain that becoming a hitman was never ever on my list of dreams jobs, and I think I can confidently say the same for you.
Yet, in this film, we learn that many who dreamt of exactly that are employed at this company. On its surface, it is a metals shipping firm – NCM – New Continental Metals.
Once your ID card gets you through the building security, you follow the throngs and take an up elevator. Not quite up to the clouds, but definitely high up in a downtown business high-rise. There’s a receptionist, and the office and work stations are through those doors. The men wear suits, starched white shirts, with ties, and the women are equally professional looking. They work in large cubicles, and their desks contain stacks of printouts and multi-screen computers.
Just like mine did, and I worked in financial services.
But there’s a secret sliding panel behind a particular copy machine which leads down some steps to the company core. Really, this is where the dark side of the operations division is housed.
This is where you go, if you are a field operative, you know – someone who does wet work, for your assignments. On this day, you will accompany a temp to a particular office tower.
You wait downstairs with the car. He goes up carrying a large parcel requiring a signature. Actually his mission is to take out the target and anyone else who might try to intervene.
Once his job is done, then you must do your job – which is to kill the temp. Only after you toss the temp over a back stairwell bannister and he has crashed to the steps below – he’s not quite dead. He asks for a favor. He describes a cache in his apartment where he’s stored a large sum of money. He wants our guy to give this money to his mother.
So because he’s a good guy, despite his job – he allows the guy to live, and makes the delivery. As he hands the money over, he recognizes the temp’s mother – a former pop idol singer who he was crazy about years back. And that gets him thinking.
He contemplates his own life, and what he’s missed. As in an epiphany, he decides he wants out. Only it’s not that easy to leave a job like this. First ne needs to get a lecture about how he mishandled that assignment by his obnoxious supervisor. Next he has to hand in his Notice of resignation. He gets advice from his old mentor who tells him to stick it out. Don’t quit.
From there, things will only get worse.
There’s your basic nuts and bolts of the story. Admittedly, it an old war-horse of a plot. Been done many times over. But what make the film first exciting, and second rewarding are the action set pieces that surround this plot. Don’t see this for a fresh plot, or character development – just see it you want that adrenalin rush that comes from films like these.
Just thrilling, exciting, well crafted, and superlative. They would have to be because the lead is a laconic. He says little and wields his Uzi to make his points. Watch for him driving a Maserati in the rain – and if you like guns and automatic weapons – this may be just what you will want to see.
I really know very little about the performers and the director, but I will praise the film. And recommend it. Available for streaming via Netflix or Amazon Instant Video. Or you can buy the Blu-Ray DVD. I’m scoring this actioner at three-point seven five.
Have a look at the trailer:
Which brings up the last question…are you thinking of leaving your job? There’s this firm in Seoul, Korea that has some openings….