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The Berlin File (2013)

Bereullin (original title)
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Jong-seong, a North Korean ghost agent, interrupts an illegal arms sale in Berlin. A notorious North Korean agent tests the loyalties of everyone involved as Jong-Seong prepares to make the ultimate sacrifice.

Director:

Seung-wan Ryoo

Writers:

Ted Geoghegan (english dialogue), Stefanie Y. Hong (translation) | 1 more credit »
9 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jung-woo Ha ... Pyo Jong-sung
Suk-kyu Han ... Jung Jin-soo
Seung-bum Ryoo ... Dong Myung-soo (as Seung-beom Ryu)
Ji-hyun Jun ... Ryun Jung-hee (as Gianna Jun)
Kyeong-yeong Lee ... Ri Hak-soo
John Keogh ... Marty
Numan Acar ... Abdul
Pasquale Aleardi ... Dagan
Moo-Seong Choi Moo-Seong Choi ... Kang Min-ho
Do-won Kwak ... Blue House Investigator
Seo-hyeong Kim ... North Korean Embassy Secretary
Thomas Thieme Thomas Thieme ... Sigmund
Tayfun Bademsoy ... Asim
Werner Daehn ... Yuri
Sinja Dieks Sinja Dieks ... Restaurant Waitress
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Storyline

A North Korean agent in Berlin is betrayed and cut loose in the midst of a financial espionage intrigue. Together with his wife, a translator at the North Korean embassy in Berlin, they try to escape being purged, as North and South Korean operatives relentlessly pursue them. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

When your country betrays you, who can you trust? See more »

Genres:

Action | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

South Korea

Language:

Korean | English | German

Release Date:

15 February 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Agent See more »

Filming Locations:

Berlin, Germany See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$9,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$665,210, 21 November 2013
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ryoo shot the film almost 100% on location in Europe. Filming began on April 16, 2012 on a film set in Namyang, south of Seoul, in Gyeonggi Province. After wrapping there, cast and crew relocated to Berlin, Germany and Riga, Latvia in early May 2012, and among the locations were the roof of Berlin's Westin Grand Hotel, in Schoneberg, at the Hackescher Markt, and on Pariser Platz in front of the iconic Brandenburg Gate in full view of the American and French Embassies. The shoot involved a 15-person German crew from Film Base Berlin, but the majority of production elements and talent were Korean, including around 80 crew members who brought their entire equipment. Observing that Ryoo did the recces of the locations with the actors so that they could get used to the settings, Film Base boss Mathias Schwerbock described the director as "very thorough and precise in his preparations. They are fast at shooting and very efficient." See more »

Goofs

When the North Korean agent was travelling to Brandenburg Gate, she appeared to have boarded the S-Bahn at Friedrichstraße on the elevated platforms. However, the S-Bahn travelling directly from Friedrichstraße to Brandenburg Gate is actually underground. The carriage that she and the agents travelled from Friedrichstraße to Brandenburg Gate is an U-Bahn as depicted by the kaleidoscopic pattern on the vinyl seat covers. S-Bahn Berlin uses the green cloth seat covers. The line graph showing the stations is for S1 line that stops in Friedrichstraße and Brandenburg Gate rather than the U-Bahn as depicted in the film. See more »

Quotes

Dong, Myeong-soo: Revenge... is a dish best served cold!
See more »

Connections

References Black Rain (1989) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Nothing more than a good average international conspiracy action-thriller
28 March 2014 | by klusebaSee all my reviews

"The Berlin File" is a South Korean version of action-thrillers with conspiracy and spy elements and twists in the key of "The Bourne Identity". The entire movie takes place in the German capital Berlin which gives the whole thing a more international flair even though some parts were clearly filmed in Latvia's capital Riga which feels a little bit goofy.

The strongest points of the movie are the action scenes and in particular the brutal hand to hand combats. The special effects are also decent. The fast paced fighting sequences, the intriguing locations and the overall rather dark atmosphere of the movie quickly get you hooked.

The acting is of an average quality. While the actors are good, the characters lack depth due to an average script quality. My favourite character is the evil North Korean agent because he really incarnates an unpredictable psycho that has a unique way to act and talk. The two main characters including a loyal North Korean agent and a rather straight South Korean agent are rather faceless on the other side.

The weakest part of the movie is the conspiracy plot. The first thirty minutes of the film are pretty much confusing and introduce us to too many random different characters and stereotypical organizations: snobbish CIA agents, corrupt German politicians, brutal and closed- minded Islamist terrorists, intimidating Mossad agents, emotionless, loyal and silent on one side and loyal and pitiless North Korean agents on the other, bitter anti-communist agents from South Korea, Russian arms dealers and so on. The high amount of characters hides the fact that there isn't all too much going on concerning the story itself. The first half of the movie seems really promising but especially the last forty-five minutes are rather weak and mix overlong chasing and shooting scenes with wooden tearjerker moments.

In the last five minutes, the movie pulls out a twist like a rabbit out of a hat. Usually, I like twisted endings and especially the South Korean cinema has come around with some promising closures in the past. This one here feels pretty much constructed though and only seems to be there to give some room for a possible sequel. I hope South Korea won't go this stretched Hollywood way.

In the end, I expected a much more original and twisted conspiracy thriller from a country that has come around with the world's most innovating movies in the past fifteen years. "The Berlin File" is though only a good average to good action-thriller that can't mess with the status of the James Bond or Jason Bourne series. The clash between North and South Korean agents has been portrayed in more detailed and convincing ways in movies such as "Shiri", "Joint Security Area" and "Typhoon" for example. These three films are all above the quality of this one. I would still recommend this movie to faithful fans of international action-thrillers but this film had the potential to be much more than just easy entertainment. My final rating would be situated somewhere between six and seven points.


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