Heartthrobs Run 'Wild'

kwon Sang-woo, Yoo Ji-tae Team Up for Crime Thriller 'Running Wild'

By Kim Tae-jong
Staff Reporter

Just hearing the big names starring in a film creates a high expectation of commercial success because of the response of teen fans to those names.

But stars kwon Sang-woo and Yoo Ji-tae emphasize that their upcoming film "Running Wild (Yasu)" is a serious movie and not just a trendy film relying on their popularity.

"The movie will not appeal to audiences by satisfying trends through the popularity of Kwon and myself", Yoo said Tuesday during a news conference after the preview screening of "Running Wild" at Megabox theater in Seoul. "The movie itself is worth watching because of its own attractions".

As the movie received a rating of over 18, it is now obvious that the film's success will not be decided by teen fans of the two stars but its quality, Yoo added.

The two actors have proven their star power through they portrayal of various characters in hit movies and television dramas.

Yoo, who debuted with the 1998 movie "Bye June", starred in such films as "Attack the Gas Station!", "One Fine Spring Day" and "Old Boy". Kwon showed up in movies targeting teens such as "Love, So Divine" and "My Tutor Friend" as well as TV dramas since he made his debut in a television drama in 2001.

With a production budget of 8 billion won, "Running Wild" is a story about how men can be ruthless, violent and self-destructive.

It revolves around tough detective Jang Do-young (played by Kwon) and intelligent and cool-headed prosecutor Oh Jin-woo (Yoo), who team up in an attempt to take godfather of a gang Yu Kang-jin (Son Byung-ho) to jail.

Despite their efforts in a hard and long investigation, they slip into trouble and face a crisis as Yu uses his numerous connections with politicians and sets a trap for the two.

"The film has certain conventions, but it emerges from the typical pattern in the end, which makes the film so attractive", Yoo said.

Its Korean title "Yasu" means beast. Kwon said that all people have a beast within themselves, which comes to life when they are forced to the edge.

"I decided to star in this movie because of its ending when the three men are destroyed. The unexpected ending may seen empty but at the same time, I think, can touch audiences", Kwon said.

As Kwon's character in "Running Wild" is different from his previous roles, he had to do his best to emerge from his previous images, he said.

Regarding the rating, he jokingly said, "The rating gives the impression that we got something in the film. The film "Friend" got the same rating".

But director Kim Seong-soo was upset by the film's rating, saying that the movie should be actually seen by teens. The filmmaker thinks that the high rating of the film is due to the film's portrayal of corrupt politicians who help criminals.

"If the movie's portrayal of corrupt politicians is a problem, how can television news programs be aired?" Kim said. "Not just for the commercial success of the film but I wanted to show teenagers the reality and the dark side of the society through this film".

The movie will be released on Jan. 13.
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