Du-sok can do this without worry of imprisonment because, unlike these United States, the statute of limitations has run out. He’s a free man even after taking credit for most heinous deeds. Naturally, that irritates the case’s lead detective, Lt. Choi (Jung Jae-Young), whose run-in with the killer a decade ago left the policeman with a rather large facial scar and an even bigger grudge.
That Du-sok’s book becomes a record best-seller further infuriates the families of his victims, so they conspire toward a collective revenge. Around the same time, however, doubt is cast when a masked mystery man calling himself “J” also takes credit for the crimes … and seems to know more than Du-sok. Because this J fellow looks like the Asian version of Javier Bardem’s Anton Chigurh character from No Country for Old Men, I immediately was inclined to believe him.
Confession of Murder introduces writer/director Jung Byung-gil to the feature filmmaking world, and he displays immense skill and confidence for a first-timer, excelling in particular in an action sequence atop cars speeding down a highway. Blood is spilled throughout the movie, but to be honest, the grossest thing in it involves no more than spat noodles.
As the cop getting a second chance, Jae-Young matches that bravado with a pissed-off performance, casting the movie as a pretzel-twisty chess game à la 2009’s Law Abiding Citizen. At two hours, however, it’s a bit too long in the tooth to be as effective as it deserves to be. —Rod Lott