I was looking forward to seeing this one as I am a fan of Korean cinema. This follows in the wake of many other excellent films from South Korea telling some of the stories that came out of their still ongoing civil war.
Once again this is based on `actual events' that took place on August 11th 1950, when a group of volunteer `Student Soldiers' held back a North Korean commando brigade. They are hopelessly outnumbered being only 71 in number and hence the title of the film, but show remarkable ingenuity and tenacity. It is slightly reminiscent of the German WW 2 film 'Die Brucke' or The Bridge,The Bridge (Die Brucke) [DVD] [1959
] where school children are left to defend a bridge against overwhelming odds, but this has buckets more action.
The events unfold in a mix of real time and some flash backs which help to create empathy for the main characters, who are all desperately young and most still in school uniforms.
The action scenes are regular and bloody, they have built on the incredible realism that we saw in films like `Brotherhood',Brotherhood [DVD] [2004
]and the excellent 'Assembly'Assembly  [DVD
] and first came to the fore in the West with `Saving Private Ryan'. Like those films, this is in Korean with English sub titles. I do not want to give away any plot spoilers as this is a rollicking rollercoaster from start to finish, during the more contemplative moments I was actually glad for a breather, such is the intensity of this film. It is 116 minutes long, which seems like a long film, but the time just flew past and there is so much action in it I feel I will have to view this again to be sure I did not miss too much. There are some plot holes and quite clearly this is `based' on actual events, all of that aside this is one of the best films I have seen in ages.