Conclusion: Park Hoon-jung's New World might not tread new ground in the realm of suspense-dramas centered on undercover cops that infiltrate the ranks of high-profile organized crime, but it does take the worn-out idea in an unorthodox, challenging direction by focusing on moral uncertainty and mental pressure.
Excerpt: For a decade, cop Ja-sung (Lee Jeong-jae in his film debut) has been undercover in Goldmoon, a massive crime syndicate fronting as a legitimate business. In that time, he worked his way up the ladder to become the right-hand man of the syndicate's second-in-command. However, he has a child on the way and he wants out.
Summary: New World 's title may be a bit ironic, at least insofar as it's revealed in the film's opening sequence which includes an interesting juxtaposition of situation and the name of the movie. The first thing the viewer sees in New World is the hideously disfigured face of an informant who has obviously been beaten (and perhaps tortured) to within an inch of his life in an attempt to get him to confess to having spilled the beans about a Korean crime syndicate.
Conclusion: 'New World' certainly isn't offering anything the world hasn't seen in terms of undercover cops and the criminal organizations they're attempting to infiltrate, but what it lacks in originality, it more than makes up for in style and presentation. This isn't a terribly poignant film, as it often favors telegraphed twists or shots of shocking violence over character development. Still, the movie manages to be engrossing and entertaining throughout.
Excerpt: Bestowed with a somewhat novel twist, Park Hoon-jung's New World employs the good-guy/bad-guy power dynamic of the typical cop-gangster flick and treats it as the primary source of the story's intrigue. But the mole-imbedded gang war at the heart of this film plays out less like an organic round of Go between cops and criminals than the elaborate scheme of one character operating like a sadistic Creator and wreaking havoc in the lives of his ants.