After his father, a North Korean spy, ends up caught and killed during a mission in Seoul, Ri Myung-hoon (Choi Seung-hyun) and his sister, Hye-in Ri (Yoo-Jeong Kim), get sent to a labor prison camp. His sister can be freed from prison under one condition: he must become a spy himself by joining Unite 8, infiltrating South Korea as a high school student and killing agents from Unit 35. Any deviation from that will put Hye-in-Ri's life at risk. At the school, he befriends a classmate, Hye-in Lee (Ye-ri Han), and helps to defend her against her school bullies. Little does she know that he's actually a spy. Will she find out the truth? Will Ri Myung-hoon succeed in his mission and come out of it alive? The answers to those questions won't be spoiled here.
Commitment combines action, suspense and melodrama smoothly for the first hour or so, but it soon evolves into contrivance and gets less clever as the plot transpires. Debut director Hong-soo Park should be commended for the solid, intense action sequences that provide some palpable thrills. The film's star, Choi Seung-hyun, a famous rap singer in Korea, is well-cast and has just the right amount charisma and suaveness---almost as much as Daniel Craig does as James Bond.
By the time the end credits roll, so many subplots, double-crossings and twists rise to the surface that it makes the later part of the second act feel over-stuffed and not quite believab. It feels as though something happens merely to move the plot from point A to point B. You can feel the wheels of the screenplay turning and, therefore, you might be able to predict some of the surprises and twists. Yes, Commitment is an entertaining, well-cast action thriller, but one that grows increasingly mindless, pedestrian, contrived and convoluted.
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