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Exposed during an illegal arms trade gone wrong in Berlin, a North Korean "ghost" agent finds himself in the crosshairs of an international manhunt. Was he betrayed by his wife or his country? He must prepare to make the ultimate sacrifice.
When a thieving cyclist steals a purse from a pedestrian, clumsy, naive yet honest rookie policeman Sang-hwan gives chase, but it's the skilled specialist in martial arts, Wi-jin, who captures the criminal while severely injuring Sang-hwan. She brings Sang-hwan to her home, where five Masters of Tao heal him and find that he has a powerful c'hi (spiritual energy of the universe). He could be a powerful warrior. As Sang-hwan begins training to ascend to the level of a Maruchi (male Tao Master), the evil, ancient and ambitious Heuk-woon, accidentally released from his imprisonment, awakens. The powerful Heuk-woon attacks the masters, searching for a key that they protect, which would permit him to become an Arahan and dominate the world. When the masters are defeated, Sang-hwan and Wi-jin are the only and last hope of mankind. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil / edited by statmanjeff
Many skilled people reach the state of master without knowing. There are countless masters today. They've just adjusted to a changing world, but most are Tao disciples who fight against evil c'hi. The Seven Masters seek a leader among such people, who can restore the flow of pure c'hi to the world.
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Written (song and lyrics) by Lee Seung-bok
Performed by Kim Hyeong-gyu, Lee Seung-bok, Lee Ho-joon (f. Rec-Roc) See more »
There's an awful lot to like in "Arahan," but, then again, there's always something to like in any film that features a bumbling misfit saving the world.
Sang-hwan is a young police officer, and he's not a very good one. Bespectacled and nervous, he's not exactly welcomed with open arms at work. He bumbles his way into one mess and out of another, all despite his good intentions, and he ends up causing himself (and others) more harm than good. When several old masters guarding the key to enlightenment identify a strong ch'i in him that if properly nourished and trained could save mankind from a newly awakened evil, Sang-hwan decides to believe in himself and accept his new role as a guardian of society but not without bumbling headfirst into the responsibility.
"Arahan" opens with a pace and tone that feels far more dark than the script ever delivers, and moments of whimsy aren't as funny as was quite possibly intended. In fact, Sang-hwan's beating at the hands of a street gang is downright violent, completely void of any humor. Thankfully, the uneven pacing of the first half gives way to some welcome surprises in the second, complete with a spectacular showdown to save mankind with frenetic swordfights, great humor, and some spectacular wire-fu.
If anything, "Arahan" takes itself a bit too seriously again in the closing moments of the fisticuffs when too many fight sequences are photographed in brain-friendly slow motion (gee, doesn't this all look pretty and significant?). But that's a small complaint for a film that delivers some impressive action sequences, some inspired special effects, and more than a dozen good belly laughs.
15 of 16 people found this review helpful.
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