16:00 - 2nd April 2014, by Calum Waddell

The Taste of Money

This sexually-charged Korean thriller is, unfortunately, rather average and, as an exploration of corporate crime, far inferior to last year's similarly Seoul-set, but infinitely grittier, New World. That said, The Taste of Money is certainly aesthetically adventurous - with often cold visuals accompanying this story of a money-hungry family that also indulges in sexual affairs. Led by a matriarchal mother figure (a top notch turn from Yoon Yeo-jeong) who is far more decadent than her controlled exterior suggests, the family structure affords plenty of room for sexual subversion. In the middle of the madness is a young, handsome lawyer who has been hired to try and sort out charges of tax evasion levelled at the group.

The Taste of Money is the latest offering from director Im Sang-hoo - who last gave us the sexual intrigue of The Housemaid, and this time around there is still plenty of flesh and close-ups of beautiful women in bum-hugging dresses. Obviously, this is fast becoming a fetish for the filmmaker! One particular sequence even highlights a spontaneous bout of intercourse in an airplane bathroom - which indicates that, perhaps, everything here is intended to be a bit more farcical than the frequently po-faced actors let on. There is also a clear message about excess wealth and its power to desensitise its owners but, really, is this anything groundbreaking? We would wager (pun intended) not. In all, The Taste of Money is not entirely without interest, but, thanks to a slow-moving pace and a clichéd plot, it is difficult to conclude that this stands as a fully worthwhile follow-up to the more sensual and sinister theatrics of The Housemaid.

Part crime thriller, part softcore silliness - The Taste of Money has an epic abandon that all too often falls flat...
SCORE: 2.5/5
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