The Roundup: No Way Out (2023) Movie Review

Ma Dong-seok or as we know him by his other name Don Lee, returns to the big screen through his latest film The Roundup: No Way Out. From the title alone, for those of us who follow Don Lee’s career, this film is the third film in The Roundup franchise which is still being directed by Lee Sang-yong.

This sequel starts from the first film in 2017 called The Outlaws . The film introduces Ma Seok-do as a detective who struggles to maintain control of a Seoul Chinatown amidst fierce battles between several gangs.

The Roundup: No Way Out

Furthermore, the second film of this franchise, The Roundup , is set in Vietnam. The story follows the journey of the detective who goes to extradite a suspect. Unfortunately, it ends in the pursuit of kidnappers and serial killers.

The second film, which was just released in May 2022, became South Korea’s biggest hit in 2022 and managed to earn over 100 million US dollars. This sets The Roundup as a new benchmark for post-pandemic films in the country.

The Roundup: No Way Out (2023) Synopsis

Seven years after the extradition case in Vietnam, Ma Seok-do (Don Lee), who previously served at the Geumcheon Police Station, now joins the Metro Investigation Team led by Jang Tae-Soo (Lee Beom-Soo) and includes Detective Kim Man- Jae (Kim Min-Jae). They investigate the circulation of the drug Hiper, which has entered many nightclubs in Korea. After the discovery of the body of a police captain drowned at the bottom of the sea, Ma Seok-do begins to investigate a mysterious case which turns out to lead him to the Hong Kong mafia, the Triads and also the Japanese mafia, the Yakuza.

Movie The Roundup: No Way Out

One of the things that was suspicious was when he found Joo Sung-Cheol (Lee Joon-Hyuk), who was also a police inspector on duty in another city, involved in this problem. The problem continues when 20 kilograms of Hyper is missing, and causes the Yakuza to send a ruthless fixer named Riki (Munetaka Aoki) and his team to come to Korea to fix this problem. Can Ma Seok-do solve increasingly complex problems that involve both the police and the two mafias at once.

The Roundup: No Way Out (2023) Movie Review

Action with domination of more intense comedy spices

In this third film, The Roundup franchise is growing even further. Apart from having a different narrative from the previous two films, this film now explores action combined with comedy which is only getting more intense. Uniquely, the comedy that is presented is very natural and not contrived. The jokes that are made and also the gestures of the characters make all the scenes that are presented even funnier. Of course this really entertains the audience until the film is over.

The Roundup: No Way Out Review

There is no doubt about the action scenes. Now Ma has more and more opponents that match him. Now facing Riki who is a Yakuza fixer, the fight is definitely dominated by swords. Ma’s fighting style with his powerful boxers is much loved by his fans. How this style fights sword slashes is interesting to see. For those who still remember, playing Riki is Munetaka Aoki who was previously famous for his role in the Rurouni Kenshin Trilogy (2012-2014) as Sanosuke Sagara who always accompanies Kenshin Himura with his giant sword. His somewhat brutal action has indeed given its own color to the latest The Roundup film, which is now dominated by comedy.

The Roundup: No Way Out (2023) Conclusion

The Roundup: No Way Out Movie

The Roundup: No Way Out has indeed given a new color to this franchise and has solidified Don Lee’s name abroad. The action is more brutal, the comedy that can churn the stomach longer, will make the audience laugh and at the same time be excited to see the action scenes that Ma is showing. Don’t forget that there are post credits indicating that there will be a sequel to this film. This film is highly recommended by Cineverse to watch with family. So hurry up and watch it immediately at the nearest CGV and Cinepolis cinema networks in your city.


Zephyrine is an experienced film critic who has worked for many magazines and websites specializing in cinema. She has a deep education in film history and theory, as well as a passion for classic and independent films. Writing style: Zephyrine always evaluates films objectively and honestly, not influenced by external factors such as the fame of actors or directors. She often focuses on the content, screenplay, technique, and personal feelings to provide insights and reviews of the film. Her writing style is easy to understand and familiar to readers, but also professional and profound. Notable articles: "Step Up" - Success comes from the perseverance and relentless effort of young people "The Social Network" - A fantastic documentary film about the birth of Facebook "Moonlight" - A touching story about love and the essence of humanity "Nomadland" - A poignant journey of a mature woman "Parasite" - A sensational film of Korean cinema with profound social messages.

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