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War of the Arrows (2011)
"Choi-jong-byeong-gi Hwal" (original title)

R  |   |  Action, History  |  10 August 2011 (South Korea)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 7,567 users  
Reviews: 34 user | 53 critic

Set during the second Manchu invasion of Korea, Nam Yi, the best archer in Korea, goes up against the Qing Dynasty to save his younger sister Ja In - who was dragged away by Manchurian.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Hae-il Park ...
Nam-yi
...
Jyushinta (as Ryu Seung-Ryong)
Mu-Yeol Kim ...
Seo-gun
Chae-won Moon ...
Ja-in
Han-wi Lee ...
Gap-yong
Gu-taek Kim ...
Kang-du
Kyeong-yeong Lee ...
Kim Mu-seon
Gi-woong Park ...
Prince Doreugon
Seung-joon Lee ...
Wanhan
Jae-goo Lee ...
Hu-man
No-shik Park ...
Jang-sun
...
Young Nam-yi
Min-seo Jeon ...
Young Ja-in
Rye Hei Otani ...
Nogami
Hyeon-tae Kim ...
Hu Reu-gang
Edit

Storyline

Two children Nam-yi and Ja-in are being chased by King Injo's guards and saved by their father Choi Pyeong-ryung, an officer of King Gwanghae and a skilled archer. He sends his own children to find a place of refuge with his best friend Kim Mu-seon. As they escape crying, Ja-in begs her brother to go back to their father but their father is killed in front of Nam-yi. Nam-yi, though bitten by the guard dogs, kills them and escapes with Ja-in. Nam-yi becomes the only family Ja-in has. 13 years later Nam-yi is now a skilled archer and hunter. He learns from Mu-seon's son Seo-goon that he and Ja-in plan to get married, with the approval of Mu-seon who is also Ja-in's godfather. During the wedding, Nam-yi is up in the mountains hunting deer. He hears the rumble of the invading forces. When Nam-yi makes it back to the village, he finds his step-father slaughtered and his sister taken away. Nam-yi then sets out to find the Qing army and take out their army with his bow. Written by Raja Bhattacharya

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Hero Is Born The Legend Begins

Genres:

Action | History

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R For bloody violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

10 August 2011 (South Korea)  »

Also Known As:

War of the Arrows  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(extended)

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Actors who played Manchu characters in the film actually learned to say their lines in Manchu, a language that almost came to the brink of extinction in the early 21st century. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Movie Friends - Eine Videothek stellt sich vor (2013) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
One Of The Best Action Films Out Of Asia In A Long Time
24 February 2012 | by (Culver City, California) – See all my reviews

War of the Arrows is not your typical action film. Certainly, much about it is typical. The lone hero, avenging his nation which has been taken over by some other hostile nation, sets out on a journey to rescue his kidnapped sister. In the process, he becomes a hero of the people. Yes, we've seen this before. But where this film truly shines is in it's inspired choice of focus: that of the bow and arrow. This is particularly interesting because archery is something that takes great skill. So, seeing an action film that takes on this weapon as focus is interesting in and of itself. But the film actually succeeds where it might otherwise fail.

As stated before, the film is fairly typical. It takes place during the Second Invasion of Manchu, when China invaded Korea in the early 1600's. The focus is on Nam-Yi, a skilled archer who, along with his sister Ja-In, must flee to a friend of their father's when he is killed. We spend a good deal of time in the beginning of the film seeing these two characters as children and then when they are young adults, but it's mostly somewhat interesting drama that does a decent job of setting up the story. The real meat of the film kicks off in the second hour when Ja-In is kidnapped and Nam-Yi must go after her. Once this part of the story gets underway, the action gets underway with it, and it's pretty damn impressive.

The choreography and cinematography following the battles between arrow slinging warriors is fantastic. There were moments when I had to rewind and play the scene again just to get a second look. This isn't out of poor filmmaking, but because some of the scenes are so damn cool, you want to see them again. And luckily, these scenes are rapid fire and a plenty. From the chases through the woods to a ravine shoot out to the final stand off, you barely have a moment to catch your breath. Although you realize that these men aren't actually as skilled as they come off, there are moments when you're none the less amazed at what's being shown.

Of course, this action would mean nothing if it weren't surrounded by at least competent filmmaking, but there is great skill displayed here. Our actors never feel unnatural, even if the acting isn't to rave about, and the cinematography is fantastic. This film would not work at all if the camera work was shotty, and thankfully it's not. You can savor each moment of fantastic action in calculated, collected shots that take the time to slow down when necessary and catch you by surprise when necessary. Suffice to say, all of this creates one fantastic action film, one of the best I have seen from Asia in quite some time.

If you're a fan of Asian action films, you owe it to yourself to give War of the Arrows a try. It's completely worth the time, even running over two hours. You won't be disappointed.


30 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Cliched ending wuhugm
I used to like this movie.. hannibp
Manchurian uniform colors biblio_la
Meaning of his statement, 'My arrow's intent is not to kill.' inchalice
Incredible Use of Archery kaiser100
okay movie. HoppingBunny
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