America has no lock on alienated youth. The nearly silent hero of this fascinating Korean love story is a well-educated young man (Jae) who zips around urban neighborhoods on his motorcycle, breaking into unoccupied houses and apartments. Once inside, he bathes, noshes, models the absent homeowner's clothes and takes photos of himself alongside their objets d'art. He never makes off with so much as a ballpoint pen, though. That is, until he steals the heart of a mistreated wife (Lee) when he breaks into her luxe house under the misimpression that it's empty.
Written and directed by Kim Ki-duk (Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter...Spring), 3-Iron is by turns violent, comic, touching and spiritual—and always intriguing. This film, alongside last year's Spring, clearly marks Kim as a rising star among the busy pack of impressive new Korean moviemakers. (R)