The Berlin File


Korean espionage thriller with Hollywood-lite production values Discuss this article

Where better to stage a tense stand off between a North Korean national hero (Ha Jung-woo) and his pregnant wife (Gianna Jun), a South Korean intelligence operative (Han Suk-kyu) and a ruthless fixer (Ryu Seung-beom) than Germany’s former epicentre of Cold War espionage? Filmmaker Ryoo Seung-wan (Crying Fist) has distinguished himself as a creator of slick, Hollywood-lite blockbusters full of quick cuts and itchy trigger-fingers. He’s more comfortable with choreographing carnage than maintaining a cloak-and-dagger narrative, which makes everything here, except the action scenes, feel sluggish and rote. Though the director includes a few brief humdingers – a fight that involves a Rube Goldberg–ish tangle of wires; some munitions-fuelled mayhem in a farmhouse – it’s not enough to keep viewers from wishing they were thumbing through a John le Carré novel instead.

By David Fear
Time Out Doha,

The Berlin File

  • Duration: 120
  • Released: Thu, 23 Oct
  • Classification: 15+
  • Language: English,German,Korean
  • Director: Seung-wan Ryoo
  • Stars: Jung-woo Ha, Suk-kyu Han, Seung-beom Ryu

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