A Company Man movie review

Like the office worker he appears to be, Ji Hyeong Do (So Ji Sub) is due for a promotion, and must suffer an asshole of a middle manager. As a hit man, Ji Hyeong begins to rethink his career when he is ordered to eliminate colleagues, and reunites with a first love. When evidence of Hyeong Do’s insubordination comes to light, his plans for retirement and a normal life are jeopardized.

Junggugeo Kaenada 중국어 캐나다: ★★★★
Only 만: ★★★.5

Side dish: Since hit man Hyeong Do is a typical office worker, he probably has a typical office worker lunch. Here are some choices for mid-day takeout from around the world from Saveur magazine, including kimbap.

Junggugeo Kaenada 중국어 캐나다: For me, A Company Man was the most satisfying movie we have reviewed, yet. Granted, we have only reviewed four films thus far.

Only 만: It’s the best out of all the films we’ve reviewed for sure. That said, I found that my attention wandered more than once, though that’s not saying much given my laughable attention span.

Junggugeo Kaenada: Actually, I found myself transfixed by the visuals and So Ji Sub’s sad face. Plus, I don’t think there was a wasted scene. Was there anything you liked about the movie?

Only: So Ji Sub’s sad face is always a bonus, and I thought he turned in a good performance as a hit man office worker becoming disenchanted with his job. The visuals were great, and I enjoyed the satire on office life. It was surreal watching details like the company retreat, or the paperwork, or Hyeong Do (So Ji Sub) coming in to work.

Junggugeo Kaenada: Yes, I enjoyed hating that middle manager played by Kwak Do Won. It amused me that even a hit man must suffer a micromanaging boss, and bad florescent lighting. However, on the home front, did you find the hit man’s reunion with his first love, now a harried single mother, believable?

Only: Not really. The idea that the singer he liked as a kid was the impoverished mother of the temp hit man (another fun detail) he was supposed to kill was a little too convenient. But, the whole story was unbelievable, so I didn’t nitpick the finer points.

Junggugeo Kaenada: If there had been a more believable emotional connection or romantic chemistry between the hit man and the single mom, I think the movie would have been more impactful. The hit man’s relationships with the temp and the retired hitman felt more authentic. In those instances, you understood the emotional impact that their loss would mean.

Only: Yes, I thought the romantic relationship between those two was an unnecessary add-on, and that’s where my attention drifted. If they’d spent more time on some kind of friendship with the temp, then the movie would have felt more focused, especially since that would have fit more neatly with the office satire and the action sequences.

Junggugeo Kaenada: Still, the movie annoyed me less than others that we have reviewed. I was entertained from beginning to end, in spite of the tepid romance wedged in.

Only: I would agree with that. It really only lost focus during the romance. That said, they didn’t spend that much time on it, which was a relief.

Junggugeo Kaenada: Near the beginning of the movie, So Ji Sub’s character admits that he once wanted to be a singer. It had me wishing they could somehow find an excuse to allow So Ji Sub to rap. Would that have improved or destroyed the movie?

Only: I don’t know, because I would have stopped watching and plucked my eyes out.

Junggugeo Kaenada: Sorry, I knew the answer to that question. But, picturing So Ji Sub rapping lent some levity whenever things got too tense in the movie.

Only: If he would just stick to making soulful eyes versus rapping, I would become a So Ji Sub fan. But, let’s not get carried away with So Ji Sub’s stillborn hip hop career. What’s your final take on A Company Man?

Junggugeo Kaenada: An entertaining action movie and office satire with great visuals, exciting action sequences, and So Ji Sub’s sad face as the anchor. Sadly, the romance was shoehorned in and the least believable aspect of the story.


  1. I was pleasantly surprised by this movie. I wasn’t expecting much, though I like So Ji Sub as an actor (*cough* and as a rapper *cough*), but I loved it. Did you notice there was a bright yellow object in nearly every scene? I tried to find analyses of the movie to get an explanation, but I didn’t find anything.


    1. I didn’t even notice the yellow objects. It might refer to the smidgen of hope the hit man retains in his rather sad existence.
      Ha! Kudos to you for admitting to enjoying So Ji Sub’s rapping. Personally, I think it gives him personality. Otherwise, he would just be another pretty face.


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