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44
4.7 out of 5 stars
War Of The Arrows [DVD]
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Originally called Choi-jong-byeong-gi Hwal (`Arrow the Ultimate Weapon') we start this film by seeing a young Nam-Yi seeing his home being attacked as his father has been branded a traitor, as such a claim means that the whole family must die, he orders Nam-Yi to take flight with his young sister Ja-In being chased by some slavering dogs and slavering lackeys to the King. The plot then jumps on thirteen years to 1636. Nam-Yi is now being played by Hae-Il Park - (`Memories of Murder' and `The Host'). His sister has fallen in love with their adopted new family's son and they want to marry, and he is none too pleased as the match is unfitting, so he gets drunk and starts a bar brawl.

The wedding goes ahead any way, but just as Ja-In is about to tie the knot a strange rumbling is heard. This heralds the second Manchurian (Qing Dynasty of China)invasion of Korea and they are there for plunder, pillage, and slaves, so not at all welcome wedding guests. Nam-Yi has been trying to emulate his father's skills as a bow man and when he encounters the enemy he lets fly. The Chinese are both impressed and threatened by him and set out to get him at all costs. He meanwhile is following the slave caravan to attempt a rescue. What follows is a full on action film with excellent camera work and a high degree of authenticity in both the sets and the quite stunning period costume and detail.

Also there is an attempt to paint both sides with some honour, so the Chinese are portrayed as a nasty bunch but with some saving graces, though not many. This is loosely based on history but with a lot of poetic licence, but this is a film and not a history lesson. There is some dodgy CGI but to say where would be a plot spoiler and this has been slightly cut to remove perceived animal cruelty of a horse.

Director Han-Min Kim has made a film that compliments the ever growing catalogue of excellent films that have come from South Korea. If you have a liking of historical, costume, war based drama then you will probably want to see this, it is just over two hours long, but virtually all of that is used wisely, no nasty bed room antics but plenty of good old fashioned action. As mentioned there are some flaws but not enough to lose a star hence the rating, in Korean and Chinese with English sub titles- recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 1 April 2014
Brilliantly made action film. The archery is phenomenal the characters likeable, cinematically stunning . Recommended for film buffs, Archery lovers and historians..
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on 21 March 2013
If any film fans out there can recommend a more action-packed movie, irrespective of origin, please let me know. After a quite breathless start, followed by a slightly benign ten minutes, this Korean cracker just explodes into life. There is a hint of Mel Gibson's 'Apocalypto' in here, as one reviewer noted, but that does not detract from a whole host of brilliant action set pieces that just keep on coming at you. This, coupled with some of the most ravishing cinematography I have seen to date, make up a remarkable, unique experience.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 May 2014
prity much was what said on the breef.the tiger scene didnt quite work not sure why .great production house of flying daggers meets appocolipto.in korea.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 6 June 2012
This is an amazing wee film that shud have had a bigger cinematic release in the uk. The action is outstanding without having to resort to the usual flying through trees that alot of asian movies resort to. Really worth your time
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on 15 February 2013
I have watched a lot of Korean films & tv shows & they can at times be a very mixed bag in terms of quality , acting & story.
This film however is at the top of the tree.
Good story, great special effects & well acted throughout it's at least on a par with the more popular Chinese films & in a lot of cases better it relies a lot less on the fantasy element found in Chinese films & more on the skill of the characters & the actors.
Well worth a watch
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on 6 January 2014
Sub headings?-yes, but don't let this put you off. The archery in this is really just brilliant to watch and contemplate. Against all odds the main 'ordinary' guy is a real hero. One of the DVD's that I can, and do, watch again and again as there is so much to it. Lessons of fighting against the odds, agianst oppressors, for love etc. It's just great. I would recommend, but you probably guesed that already.
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on 28 January 2014
I have purchased this movie because I practice archery and so I was very curious about this title.
Let me say that it was better than I had antecipated. The story is very well written and the action scenes are excelent.
A great movie.
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on 27 March 2014
Engaged with this film from the begining.The people of a small town,ripped from their comfort zone ,then while being taken to a strange land break free & its time for payback.Would recommend this film for the storyline alone, simple & heroic!
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on 1 February 2013
Not what was expected but a good story and good effects and show of skills. I watch a few cine asia films but did not recognize anyone. Made the movie a good one in that it was not just relying on big names to win my approval.
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