[Movie Review] Yoo Ah In Was Strong-headed by Being the Main Cast in the Film

[Movie Review] Yoo Ah In Was Strong-headed by Being the Main Cast in the Film "Tough As Iron"

Tough As Iron, Yoo Ah in, Kim Hae sook, Kim Jung tae, Kim Sung oh, Jung Yoo mi, Lee Shi un

General Information

- Genre: Drama, action

- Language: Korean with English subtitles

- Running time: 108 minutes

- Presented by: CJ Entertainment

- Produced by: Cinema service

- Distributed by: CJ Entertainment

- Original release: October 2, 2013

- US release: October 11, 2013


City Theater Released Date

Los AngelesCGV Cinemas10/11/13

Fullerton Regal La Habra 10/11/13

IrvineEdwards VTC 10/11/13

D.C. Fairfax Town Center 10/11/13

Atlanta AMC Colonial 10/11/13

Seattle AMC Alderwood10/11/13

Chicago AMC Showplace Niles 10/11/13

DallasAMC Grapevine Mills 10/11/13

New York AMC Empire10/11/13

HonoluluConsolidated Pearlridge 10/18/13


Yoo Ah In as Gang Cheol

Kim Hae Sook as Soo-ni

Kim Jung Tae as Sang-gon

Kim Sung Oh as Hwee-gon

Jung Yoo Mi as Suji

Lee Shi In as Jongsu

Characters Story

Gang Cheol is the unbreakable Busan guy that seems to have survived a youth fighting his way through the schoolyard and when he lost his father.In the present day, he labors all throughout the day as a longshoreman on the docks of Korea while spending most of his time caring for his mother who suffers not only from myriad physical ailments, but also develops serious dementia as well as often cannot recognize her son or even herself.Despite the situations, Cheol has managed to live up his name, whose characters are synonymous with "strong" and "iron."Throughout the challenges, he keeps his promise to his mother and hangs on doing the right thing as well as holds his ideals and humor in the face of difficult circumstances.

Soo-ni is the mother who loses her mind though never her love in the film.She is the number one source of Cheol's worries and his happiness.Soo-ni is not only physically ill, she is progressively losing her mind and gets into all shorts of trouble around the neighborhood.Her life is a losing battle due to her sometimes being unable to distinguish Cheol and her long departed husband.Her incredible zest for life and love for her son is the only thing that she does not lose among the hardships that the pair faces.

Films and Dramas Yoo Ah-in Has Been in


2011: Punch

2009: Sky and Sea

2008: Antique

2007: Skeletons in the Closet and Boys of Tomorrow


2013: Jang OK-Jung, Living By Love

2012: Fashion King

2010: Sungkyunkwan Scandal

2005: Sharp

Yoo Ah-in dropped out of high school to pursue acting and quickly gained various roles in film and television.His breakout role came in 2010 for the most popular drama Sungkyunkwan Scandal.

Films and Dramas Kim Hae-sook Has Been in


2012: Thieves and Vocal Clinic

2011: Wonderful Radio

2010: A Long Visit

2009: Thirst

2006: Sunflower

2005: My Girl and I

2004: My Brother


2013: I Can Hear Your Voice

2012: Without You

2010: Beautiful Life

2009: Cain

2000: Autumn in my Heart

Kim's acting career spans over 40 years which continues to stun the South Korean audience as it grows in-depth as well as variety through her numerous roles in movies and dramas.She is notable for playing as difficult characters, juicy roles which showcase strong-willed, funny, sexy, and audacious women.


So the synapsis for this movie is basically a melodrama that binds with a crime drama in this South Korean film.The movie "Tough As Iron" represents an unstable cocktail of unrelated genre styles that does not correlate.

The distributor is by CJ Entertainment and they are targeting a platform release in the United States which was following its Korean debut.Though the film had little likelihood of a crossover success due to the film facing limited prospects beyond the niche markets.


Twenty something Cheol (Yoo Ah-in) who is a longshoreman works at the docks unloading seafood from the fishing trawlers in Busan which is South Korea's largest port.While he is working at the port, Cheol cares for his mother Soo-ni (Kim Hae-sook) who suffers from dementia as well as has a variety of medical conditions which are undisclosed.

Then this is where the problem arises by Cheol's best friend who is Jongsu ( Lee Shi-un) serving as a down-low thug at the bottom of the organized crime food-chain by working with the Japanese Yakuza which is run by Sang-gon (Kim Jung-tae as well as his stuttering and sadistic brother Hwee-gon (Kim Sung-oh) which he owes his alliance or allegiance to mob leaders overseas.

Since Cheol's name means "iron," he spends most of his leisure time finding his mother due to her wandering and living home while Jongsu works on a harebrained investment scheme which is to corner offshore real estate.Though with Jongsu's terrible decision to borrow money from the bosses gang, the situation from bad to worse when the investment scam is exposed and Hwee-gon calls for the debt while Cheol finds out that his mother needs a surgery for an organ transplant which could save her life even though expenses is a key factor by them not having the money to afford the operation.

So in order to repay Jongsu's debt as well as secure the funds so that his mother can have the operation, Cheol must make a deal with Sang-gon by working with him which is to carry out a mob hit and visit a Japanese yakuza boss which will seal the ascension with the Korean organization.So by working with him, he sees the world of a Yakuza.The movie "Tough As Iron," deals with blood and money that ties the bind between every character.This warm-hearted dramatic action brings the audience to some surprising conclusions in the end of the film which I will not spoil.

Why the Director's Chose This Kind of Story

Ahn Kwon-tae who is the director and Lee Yeong-jong and Kim Sung-woo the screenwriters, wasted so much screen time to get the narrative up to speed by dwelling on Cheol's relationship with his mother as well as contrasting their fraught though loving relationship with Jongsu's tense home life with his father and then works with associates who are gangsters.

So it is clear that the filmmakers want to have things imaginable by the time the plot gets good which is to combine elements of melodrama, crime thriller as well as romance when Cheol meets a free-spirited young woman (Jung Yoo-Mi) that has a passion to travel which truly makes this film a chaotic genre mishmash.

Production Notes About the Film

Notes about the film is that viewers have gave this film positive comments.One is that the movie is a stellar portrayal of a Busan tough guy which they are referring to Yoo.They also explained about the relationship between him and his mother and how the film is a must see.

Location of the Film That Captured the Authentic Busan

The movie "Tough As Iron" was set in the rugged port city of Busan where people were like sea urchins which are sharp as well as spiky on the outside and tender in the inside.The film was entirely shot on location to capture how unique the city is.Locations were carefully selected in order to portray never before seen local Busan in-terms of scenes and culture.The locations featured were Yeongdo Sanbok Road, Sangdo Beach, and Yeongdo and Sangdo Streets.Finally, the locations showed actual day-to-day workers in the largest fish market in Asia which brought the scenes as well as setting to life.

Overall of the Film

The movie is great because it shows the loving relationship between son and mother as well as to care for your close friends by helping them in-times of hardship or problems.If you watch this film, you might get emotional because of the storyline between the main characters.

So if you have not seen the movie yet, go see it!!I think you will like it.


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