Gang Tae-shik (OldBoy’s Choi Min-Sik) is screwed. Moderately famous for winning a boxing silver medal at the Asian games, he’s now middle-aged and soaked through with booze and debt. On the other side of town, delinquent Yoo Sang-hwan (Ryu Seung-bum) lands himself in prison, having grown up constantly letting down his father.
Both desperate for redemption, they enter the same boxing competition... While most boxing films wallow in the glamour of pro pugilism, Korean writer/director Ryoo Seung-wan’s tale is more focused for playing out in the earthier world of the game. Neither protagonist is loveable but their predicaments are torrid and touching, and by the time the two meet for a bruising but uplifting finale, you’ll feel like you’ve done 10 rounds along with them. The boxing may be small-time, but the emotional battle is titanic.