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Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood of War (2004)

Taegukgi hwinalrimyeo (original title)
When two brothers are forced to fight in the Korean War, the elder decides to take the riskiest missions if it will help shield the younger from battle.

Director:

Je-kyu Kang (as Je-gyu Kang)

Writers:

Richard Epcar (dubbed version), Ji-hoon Han | 2 more credits »

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12 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Dong-Gun Jang ... Jin-tae Lee
Won Bin ... Jin-seok Lee
Eun-ju Lee Eun-ju Lee ... Young-shin Kim
Hyeong-jin Kong ... Yong-man
Yeong-ran Lee Yeong-ran Lee ... Mother Lee
Kil-kang Ahn ... Sergeant Huh (as Kil-Kang Ahn)
Jin Jung Jin Jung ... Sergeant Lim
Jae-hyeong Jeon Jae-hyeong Jeon ... Yong-seok
Min-ho Jang Min-ho Jang ... Old Jin-seok Lee
Yun-hie Jo Yun-hie Jo ... Jin-seok Lee's grandaughter
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Won-hee Cho Won-hee Cho
Min-sik Choi ... North Korean Captain
Do-Hee Go Do-Hee Go ... Young-Guk Kim
Taek-ha Hwang Taek-ha Hwang ... Platoon Soldier #2
Dae-Hoon Jeong Dae-Hoon Jeong
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Storyline

In 1950, in South Korea, shoe-shiner Jin-tae Lee and his 18-year-old old student brother, Jin-seok Lee, form a poor but happy family with their mother, Jin-tae's fiancé Young-shin Kim, and her young sisters. Jin-tae and his mother are tough workers, who sacrifice themselves to send Jin-seok to the university. When North Korea invades the South, the family escapes to a relative's house in the country, but along their journey, Jin-seok is forced to join the army to fight in the front, and Jin-tae enlists too to protect his young brother. The commander promises Jin-tae that if he gets a medal he would release his brother, and Jin-tae becomes the braver soldier in the company. Along the bloody war between brothers, the relationship of Jin-seok with his older brother deteriorates leading to a dramatic and tragic end. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Action | Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong graphic sequences of war violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

3L Filmverleih [Germany]

Country:

South Korea

Language:

Korean

Release Date:

24 September 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood of War See more »

Filming Locations:

A-San City, South Korea See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,800,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$363,439, 5 September 2004, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,111,061

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$76,287,982
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Body Count: 531 See more »

Goofs

In a couple of shots the flags of the UN countries that were involved in the South Korea side during the war are displayed. The Canadian "Maple Leaf" is visible and also the current South African flag. The Canadian flag was changed in 1965 from the Canadian Red Ensign to the present design and South Africa changed its flag from the tricolor (orange, white and blue) to the present design after 1994, so both flags displayed are incorrect. See more »

Quotes

Jin-tae: Look at me. Trust me.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Also released in a directors cut running 148min.8min longer than the US and original version See more »

Connections

References Saving Private Ryan (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Oppaneun punggakjaengi
Written by Kim Song Kyu and Park Yeong Ho
Sung by Park Hyang Rim.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Damning indictment of the cost of war
4 December 2004 | by dbborroughsSee all my reviews

When North Korea invades the South, two brothers are forcibly drafted into the army. The older of the two, hoping to win a medal and ticket home for his younger brother, begins going on every suicide mission offered. This, however, puts a strain on his relationship with his brother and those in the platoon. Worse the course of the war has several nasty turns waiting for them...

I'm of two minds about this film. Despite the fact this is a graphic example of both the physical and psychic effects of war, the narrative is more than a bit disjointed. The film is loosely connected snapshots of the course of the war, beginning right before the invasion, then several weeks later before jumping about a month at a time to certain key events. I'm sure that had I better grasp of the history of the war I would have understood the events better. I felt lost and wished there had been more explanation. The lack of a narrative that follows all the way from start to finish hurts the film since we're moved a bit too much from place to place and situation to situation

But the course of the war is not the purpose of the film, rather its the relationship between two brothers. How war changes them and everything in and around them except the love they have for each other. Its a bit hokey but its dead on, just ask anyone who's ever loved their sibling unquestioningly. You understand how one brother would spend 50 years trying to find the other.

And then there are the battle scenes which are wonderful and frightening and seem to be the total chaos that war really is. People die horribly and the experience is far from fun.

Is the movie worth seeing?

Yes. Its not perfect but its a kick in the pants.

8 out of 10.


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