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
I'll make it short and sweet. This is an excellent movie. Beautifully shot, acted, directed and scored.
Make no mistake, it is violent and has a certain amount of gore. The action is obviously heavily stylized, but done so to appear more real as opposed to the likes of 300 or even Gladiator. It never glorifies violence, and the movie makes sure that the audience sees this through its commentary. That said, if you like action movies with a historical flair, then this one is definitely for you. And when I say action, I mean relentless, ongoing and very much in your face action. Once it starts, it just keeps on going and keeps you on edge for the ride. And what's surprising is that the movie still allows for character exposition; something South-Korean cinema is revered for and should be proud of (in case they aren't). There are some nods to Hollywood stylizing here, and of course, influences are inevitable, but make no mistake, this is not a Hollywood rip-off or carbon copy of any kind. While there are similarities in certain scenes and aspect of this movie to Mel Gibson's Apocalypto, it is only on the surface level. The intent is completely different.
Get your popcorn, you pop and your M&M's and enjoy the ride.
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