A fine balance between generic action flick and finely detailed character study about a transgender coming to terms with their sexuality is mostly well handled by director Jin Jang. There is a couple of unfortunate stereotypical moments (elevator sequence, club) but for the most part the study is well portrayed with sensitivity mostly due to the excellent turn by Seung-won Cha. Opening action sequence is stellar.
Despite a couple of expertly choreographed action sequences, this is one of the rare Korean thrillers that proves more successful as a character study than a piece of genre entertainment. The film weaves together personal anguish and hard-boiled melodrama in a way that feels reminiscent of early John Woo, while Cha Seung-won's superb performance suggests the genuine melancholy of someone denying their inner self.
Korean action films, despite their quality, tend to follow a similar pattern. Here we also have a steely, hard-boiled, cop, who, naturally is a master at martial arts. But the interesting twist here is that the invincible inspector dreams of becoming a woman, which gives the film a whole new dimension. Cha Seung-Won's gives depth and melancholy to his character.