‘For the Emperor’ does not have a lot of plot. It is a movie more about style, appearances, and shock value than anything else. Despite this, the film is surprisingly watchable if you like films that emphasize gang violence, drugs, and sex.
The entirety of the plot exists to set up scenes dripping with these entertaining vices. Yi-Hwan has been thrown out of baseball after being involved in fixing games. He is recruited by local gangster Jung Sang Ha to work for him as a loan shark. Over time Lee Hwan successfully begins to climb the ranks of the gangster enterprise.
Blood, sex, and money. That is what ‘For the Emperor’ is about and driven by. It is simple yet effective. This is not a film for people that want more substance or who shy away from shock value for the benefit of shock. If these things are up your alley then this movie is worth a go. Otherwise, there isn’t a lot here worth watching.