“The Roundup” offers a better plot than its prequel, although there is no connection between the two. What makes it interesting is that the Geumcheon police are after a downright criminal and not some mad gangster (Jang Chen in “The Outlaws“). So, we aren’t able to anticipate what the guy is about to do next. All that we know is that he is hungry for money and eager to kill for it. This makes him very dangerous. “The Roundup,” despite having less run-time than its predecessor, offers high-octane action and thrills while being steady in its plot development. A lot is happening, but we don’t miss anything. That’s the fun of it.
‘The Roundup’ Plot Synopsis: What Happens In The Film?
When Ma Seok-do and Jeon Il-man are sent to the office of the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Vietnam to extradite a criminal named Jong Hoon, who has sought asylum, they find out that there’s more to him than meets the eye. He is part of a trio consisting of him, Lee JD, and Ki Baek. The gang was hired by Kang Hae-Sang to abduct a resort business owner named Choi Yong-gi. Choi is the son of Choi Choon-baek, who is the head of Joeun Capital, a company that lends money to big corporations. After kidnapping Choi Jr., Kang took the ransom but killed him. Kang also killed Ki Baek when he dared to threaten Kang. Afraid, Jong Hoon and Lee JD ran away right after Kang received the ransom. However, it seems that some people are out to kill Hoon and JD. That is why Hoon has sought asylum. Seok-do and Il-man arrive at JD’s place and find him murdered. They then find out from one of their sources that a Korean thug, Raku, has been looking for Kang. Seok-do decides to meet Raku and finds out that he and his guys were paid to track Kang. They get Kang’s location from Raku and head there.
Kang and his subordinate arrive at their hideout, where they are intercepted by mercenaries. They kill all the mercenaries and find out that they had been sent by Choi Jr.’s father, Choi Choon-baek. (It was these mercenaries that killed Lee JD and were after Jong Hoon.) The ransom is also gone. Kang decides to go to Korea and get his money back. In other words, he is going to kill Choi Sr. Meanwhile, Seok-do and Il-man arrive at Kang’s hideout after some time and are attacked by Kang and his subordinate. They capture the subordinate, but Il-Man is wounded. Kang manages to escape. Later at the hospital, the subordinate reveals to Seok-do that Kang is heading to Korea. Will Seok-do and Il-man be able to prevent Kang from killing Choi Choon-baek, or will he have his next kill? There is no time to waste for the Geumcheon police force. They need to have “The Roundup” and strategize Kang’s capture.
What Is Kang Hae-Sang’s Motive?
While in Vietnam, Ma Seok-do gets intel from one of the junior officers at the Geumcheon Police Department that Kang’s strategy is to establish contact, make friends, kidnap, ask for ransom, and then kill. As surreal as it sounds, such a modus operandi sounds very realistic, and it won’t be surprising if one day we see a person’s face on the news who is wanted for murder and shares Kang’s strategy. In this way, the film manages to add a subtle touch of realism to the plot. Furthermore, unlike “The Outlaws,” this plot doesn’t seem illogical. At the very beginning of the film, facts are provided to us about how criminals flee Korea but continue their criminal activities against Korean businessmen and even Korean tourists. What makes the film hit a personal note more than the prequel is that Kang is basically operating on his own, and his subordinates are just hired guns. He doesn’t belong to any gang and has taken up this kind of wicked activity purely out of lust for money. This is what makes him dangerous because he has no contacts as such and thus is untraceable. Also, there is the fact that he doesn’t think twice before killing a person. He doesn’t require any motive to do so. He stabbed two patrol officers out of nowhere just because he was angry for losing the case of money that Jang-Isu (assumed dead in “The Outlaws,” but who survived) escaped with. Seok-do knows that the only way to take Kang down is to force him to act and intercept him. He would have lost Kang, who was on his way to escape, had it not been for Jang-Isu, who called Seok-do and informed him about the bus Kang had boarded. Ultimately, it is a criminal who helps Seok-do track down another criminal.
‘The Roundup’ Ending Explained: Does Ma Seok-do Catch Kang Hae-Sang?
Ma Seok-do manages to track the bus that Kang was escaping in with the money and brings him down after a gruesome fight. For some reason, Seok-do always seems to be on the wrong end of knives. It seems that his fear of knives has been following him wherever he is headed. For those who haven’t seen “The Outlaws,” there it is revealed that Seok-do hates knives, and we presume it is probably because knives were used in the killing of his family. We also see his reaction when Kang threatens to kill his family. He punches Kang’s head through the windscreen of a car before he could even finish the sentence. This rage, along with the fact that we never see his family, does pose the question of whether they are still alive. If yes, then where are they?
There is something very satisfyingly visceral about “The Outlaws” franchise that leaves us wanting more. It is so cool, for lack of a better word, to watch Don Lee not pull punches when fighting criminals. Nobody else could have pulled off the role better than him; such is the effectiveness of the way he has portrayed it. In the upcoming “The Outlaws: No Way Out,” Ma Seok-do will be a part of a new investigative team of officers, with Lee Joon Hyuk becoming the new villain, named Joo Sung Chul. It is directed by Lee Sang Yong, who also directed the one we discussed above. So, we can presume we’ll get another equally, if not more, enthralling crime action film with a better plot and a higher adrenaline rush. The film might also reveal Ma Seok-do’s family for the first time in three films.
“The Roundup” is a 2022 crime mystery film directed by Lee Sang-yong.