"Crying Fist" is actually two fists, or more accurately, two pairs of fists. The film follows the separate trajectories of two down-and-out men who look to boxing to change their lives, and their eventual collision.
In one corner, we have Sang-hwan (Ryu Seung-beom), a bitter and angry young man with a huge chip on his shoulder. Despite the efforts of his father, Sang-hwan's criminal behavior finally lands him in juvenile prison. There, at what seems to be the lowest moment in his young life, a guard turns him towards boxing to channel his rage against the world.
In the other corner is Tae-sik (Choi Min-sik), a middle-aged man whose moment of glory came long ago, when he won the silver medal as an amateur boxer at the Asian Games. But now, with his family life falling apart due to mounting debt, he earns his income as a novelty act, standing out in the street and offering up his body as a punching bag to passersby for money.
The moviegoer knows that at some point the two characters will end up meeting inside the ring, but as the saying goes, it's not the destination but the journey that matters.
Ryu Seung Wan is back, and his newest, "Crying Fist (Chumogi Unda)," packs a considerable punch. The film returns to the darker and moodier palette of earlier works, but with the knowledge and skills gained from making the technically sophisticated "Arahan."