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War of the Arrows (2011)

Choi-jong-byeong-gi hwal (original title)
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A skilled Korean archer goes up against the mighty force of Mongols with the sole purpose of rescuing his kidnapped sister.

Director:

Han-min Kim

Writer:

Han-min Kim (screenplay)
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13 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R For bloody violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

South Korea

Language:

Korean

Release Date:

10 August 2011 (South Korea) See more »

Also Known As:

War of the Arrows See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$24,041, 30 September 2011, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$251,200

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$50,587,661
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(extended)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Hae-il Park's makeup took two hours daily to apply. 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 cadillac20See 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.


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