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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Korean, Fact Based, Action Fest and it's got Nazi's!
This is the sort of film the word `epic' was coined for. It is a Korean World War II film that takes in China, Russia and Europe as its scenes for some really well done battles. It is based on `true events', and I suspected a lot of licence has been taken but have since found out that this is based on the life of a Korean captured by the Americans on D Day in a Wermacht...
Published on 28 Sep 2012 by Tommy Dooley

versus
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful, awful film.
This film is a like a very bad joke, it is awful, awful. Words fail me, where do I start? The characters are dreadful, how anybody can give this film 5 stars I simply have no idea. The acting is pretty stretched, the plot is thin, and as for the D-day the CGI is risible. I give up, one star is far to generous.
Published 1 month ago by Baz Douglas


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Korean, Fact Based, Action Fest and it's got Nazi's!, 28 Sep 2012
By 
Tommy Dooley "Tom" (London, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: My Way [DVD] (DVD)
This is the sort of film the word `epic' was coined for. It is a Korean World War II film that takes in China, Russia and Europe as its scenes for some really well done battles. It is based on `true events', and I suspected a lot of licence has been taken but have since found out that this is based on the life of a Korean captured by the Americans on D Day in a Wermacht uniform - Yang Kyougjong.

The film is the story of two men Jun-Shik (Dong-gun Jang `Brotherhood') and Tatsuo (Jo Odagiri - `Shinobi'), the former is Korean and the latter Japanese. They are both keen runners and an early rivalry starts between them as children when Tatsuo's family move to the now conquered Korea to bring the Imperial Army jackboot down on the populace. An enmity soon grows between the two which is worsened by Japans decision to not allow Koreans to do the try outs for the Olympics.

As a result of the ensuing unrest many Koreans and press ganged or sentenced to fight in the Imperial Army, this happens to Jun-Shik and many of his friends, they are sent to China to further the war that has been raging there since 1937. They have to face Russian tanks with swords drawn and strap bombs to themselves as suicide attacks and it all kicks off. Hopelessly out numbered and out gunned they are taken prisoners of the Russians. This now begins the story of bitter struggle in the camps and the ensuing journey across Europe. To say any more would be a plot spoiler, but having said that there is rather a lot of plot so please don't think I have revealed too much already.

There are some great battle scenes and the action is all excellent as is the period detail and the languages are all authentic too, including Korean, Japanese, Mandarin, German and English; so this is obviously sub titled. There is rather a lot of CGI and it is all on the above average side, but considering the scope and ambition of this film, they could not have done it any other way.

This is from `Brotherhood' director Kang Je - Kyu who has taken seven years off but made this in ten months, I just hope he doesn't need such a break this time. For location fans this was actually shot in Latvia, but I did not feel this lacked authenticity. Whilst this is unashamedly emotional as most Korean cinema is, it is still brimming with action and no on screen time is wasted, it is an edge of seat marathon with a run time of 2 hours and eighteen minutes, you get a 40 minute `making of' as an extra too. If you are a fan of the ever growing catalogue of Korean action films, then this is one you will want to add to your collection - unmissable.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Under three totalitarian regimes, in three different armies - humans carried by the winds of war and destiny..., 21 May 2013
By 
Darth Maciek "Darth Maciek" (Darth Maciek is out there...) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: My Way [DVD] (DVD)
I liked this powerful and original South Korean war film and I am happy that I bought it - in fact, even if it has some small weaknesses, I liked it more than the renowned "Brotherhood". Below, you will find some more of my impressions, with some limited SPOILERS.

This is a work of fiction, but it is remotely based on a true story. During the battle of Normandy in June-August 1944 allied armies captured in France numerous soldiers from so called Osttruppen of Wehrmacht. Those units were composed of conscripts and volunteers from occupied territories in Soviet Union and also from volunteers recruited amongst Soviet prisoners of war. A total of at least 86 Ost battallions were raised with soldiers coming from Central Asia (34 battalions), Georgia (14 battalions), Azerbaijan (14 battalions), Armenia (11 battalions), Volga-Ural region (8 battalions, composed mostly of Volga Tatars) and Caucasus mountains (5 battalions, composed mostly of Chechens). Possibly as much as 12 of those Osttruppen battalions were present in France in June 1944.

Amongst those captured was at least one Asian from Far East with whom nobody was initially able to communicate, as he only knew a couple of words in German. This man was Yang Kyoungjong, a young Korean who, as his country was under Japanese occupation, was forced in 1938 to serve in Japanese Army. He was then taken prisoner by Soviets during the bloody - and quite important for world history - war waged by Soviet Union and its Mongol vassal against Japan and its own Manchukuo puppet state between 11 May and 16 September 1939 (this war is known as Nomonhan Campaign in Japan and is called Khalkhyn Gol Battle by Russians).

As almost all Japanese, Korean and Manchu prisoners taken by Red Army he was send to a concentration camp in Siberia where he managed to survive the hard labor and all kinds of privations until early 1942. He was then, as hundreds of thousands other gulag inmates of all nationalities, pressed in service in Soviet Army and send to fight against Wehrmacht. In March 1943 he was again captured (possibly after deserting), this time by Germans, during the Third Battle of Kharkov (last major German victory on Eastern Front during WWII).

Soon after he found himself wearing German uniform as a soldier in one of battalions of Osttruppen. He probably volunteered, as the alternative was death by slow starvation, hard labour and other abuse - Germans were notoriously EXTREMELY cruel in their treatment of Soviet prisoners! Once formed, his unit was ultimately not send to fight against Soviets, but to garrison the Atlantic Wall in Normandy. It was there that he was captured for the third time, by US Army - once identified as Korean he was not send back to Soviet Union after war but allowed to imigrate to United States, where he lived peacefully until his death in 1992.

Now, this film DOESN'T tell Yang Kyoungjong story. The main hero of this film is named Kim Jun-shik and his adventures, although inspired by the story described above, are also GREATLY DIFFERENT in many aspects. But of this I will say no more - you will have to discover it your self.

This is a very powerful, brutal, bloody, dramatic and cruel story. At a risk of being taken for a male shauvinist pig, I would even risk here an opinion that this is really a film for men, to watch amongst guys, with some good beer (but NOT popcorn - this is not this kind of movie) and rather in silence, both to fully enjoy it and to show some respect for all human misery and suffering pictured...

This film has of course some small weaknesses, which actually made me smile by moments (but briefly). To cite some of them, let's just say that no matter how good a shot a soldier is, it was never possible to INSTANTLY destroy a Polikarpov I-16 fighter (quite well made CGI by the way) with ONE single rifle-shot...))) Also in this film, at Nomonhan battle, Soviet tanks charge WITHOUT any infantry present, when in reality Soviet "tankodesantniki" (infantrymen riding to battle on tanks, by groups of 4 to 8) were a great Red Army speciality, beginning already during Spanish Civil War (1936-1939).

But possibly the funniest thing happens during one of battles on Eastern front. For some reason the director decided to decorate German positions in a ruined town by hanging everywhere he could a great number of absolutely ENORMOUS Nazi flags, the kind of which were used during those massive Nazi "Reichsparteitags", like the one filmed by Leni Riefenstahl in 1934 in Nuremberg. OK, it is not really a deadly sin, but it made this otherwise horrible battle scene unwillingly very funny.

There is also one moment when in 1943 the hero wanders through a frozen desolation, after his Soviet unit was destroyed. Well, he travels through some incredibly gigantic mountains - which are notoriously absent from Russian, Belarussian and Ukrainian flatlands...))) The only mountainous places in Soviet Union which were concerned by the fighting during World War II were the Caucasus, which Germans had to evacuate at the end of 1942 as well as Crimea and Carpathian mountains, which both were reached by Soviet Army only in summer 1944...

Finally, it was surprising to see Iowa-class battleships shelling Normandy in 1944 considering that all four were in this time fighting in the Pacific (but the footage of those ships firing broadsides is freely available in public domain...) as well as seeing hundreds of B-17s bombing in full day from such a low attitude, that they could be engaged not only by light 20 mm Flak pieces, but even by machine gun and RIFLE(!) fire. Such a thing NEVER happened in Normandy as 1) there was never need for such an action and 2) the losses thus suffered would be absolutely crippling.

But all those things are very minor points, noticable only for military history freaks like me and my kind. This film is an EXCELLENT, brilliant, very moving and beautifully filmed thing, with actors giving everything they had in them and what they could borrow. I liked this film very much and I am going to keep it preciously for a possible future viewing. Warmly RECOMMENDED, albeit mostly for male public. I can not really wish you to enjoy it, as it is a very brutal and violent thing - but I think you will not regret buying and watching it!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 11 Oct 2012
By 
Mr. P. Craig (belfast) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: My Way [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Always a big fan of the film brotherhood (korean war).This film based on a true story in WW2 and made by the same director is yet another masterpiece.Starting with an intro with the two main characters as children one korean the other japanese and both having a passion for running.Later on the koreans are forced to fight in the imperial army against the red army.As the japanese character is only too willing to die for his country,the relationship between the two is tested to the limit.The fighting continues accross europe right up to D Day with grapic battle scenes.O.K some of these are computer generated but still realistic enough.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great war film, 29 Sep 2012
By 
David I. Walker (Galashiels) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: My Way [DVD] (DVD)
I have watched a few Korean made Films over several years , and have always been highly impressed ( Hollywood never seems to match them , with the exception of SAVING PRIVATE RYAN and WHEN TRUMPETS FADE ) - this was another great Korean made war film that used the coreect type of tanks in each battle and the uniforms were spot on -
eg Nomohan ( Khalkin Gol Battle ) used Russian BT-7 Tanks
Please note - another great war film from Korea well worth watching is BROTHERHOOD .
anyway , watched this film tonight and was highly impressed ,
well worth the wait for it to arrive over the last few months after pre-ordering it
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A film that should not be missed, 6 Jan 2013
By 
"OBERON" (SUSSEX.ENGLAND) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: My Way [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
A lot has been written about the great battle scenes fully justified too, I can not praise the making and acting of this film enough , The films being made from this country are getting stronger ,this story also brings home the amount of war this world has seen, and the spirit of friendship and hope, i think i should add the fact that this film looks truly amazing in blu-ray, and worth every one of the five stars ..
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WIN OR DIE, 10 Jun 2013
This review is from: My Way [DVD] (DVD)
This is a story of an unlikely bromance between a Japanese soldier and a Korean during WWII. The film starts with their childhoods and marathon competitions. Jun-shik Kim (Dong-gun Jang) is a poor Korean who trains by being a ricksha driver. He is our likeable Rocky underdog. He runs against a privileged Japanese man, Tatsuo Hasegawa (Jô Odagiri). Through circumstance the two end up together fighting in the same Japanese unit in China. Kim is a lowly private, who is considered fodder while Tatsuo is a complex character driven by his nationalistic teachings which he must overcome in order to survive.

What the movie shows us is that the Chinese, Koreans, and Russians have no love for each other, but can find unity in their hatred of the Japanese. It is a lesson in being careful how you treat people on the way up because you meet them on the way down. I loved the cinematography. The camera angles showed you bullets and bombs coming at you in a mock 3D CG effect. Since the DVD box tells you they become friends, you have to wait for the "Agorn" moment...but you know it is coming.

The film is dubbed in English. At 137 minutes I started feeling the length with about 20 minutes left.

PARENTAL GUIDE: No F-bombs, sex, or nudity.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Would have been a great Miniseries, 16 Jan 2013
By 
Ernst Wiltmann "store746" (Parry Sound, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: My Way [DVD] (DVD)
I did enjoy the movie, because history is my hobby.
However, the sheer amount of information will be a challenge to follow, and digest, for the average viewer. 160 minutes can only very superficially cover this amazing journey through the Nomohan Conflict (War between the Soviet Union and the Empire of Japan,)and through all of WW2.
For the action fans, probably allright. A curious person however, wants to know more about of what's going on in the film. Many scenes beg for character development and perhaps some narrations.
There are sometimes too many why's, which a miniseries could have suspensefully covered:
1.) What was the Nomohan Incident all about ?
2.) Is there always snow in siberia ?
Our protagonist's spent 3 years in a siberian
POW camp.
Why where they treated so harshley by the
Russian Guards (the viewer just gets the usual
klischee's)?
3.) In November 1941, they join / or forced into
the Soviet army. I would have liked much
more info about this chapter.
4.) They are thrown into the Soviet Winter-
offensive campaign against the German
Wehrmacht.
5.) They get captured by the Germans, and
spent time in a German POW camp for
Russian Soldiers. The film makers
obviusly ignored, how the Russian
POW's fared in those Camps.
They only show the part, where our
protagonist's are taking the offer, to
join the Wehrmacht.
Than the movie jumps 2 years again,
so we never will know about our
protagonist's interaction with Germans.
Like the interaction with Russians, it
would have been extremely interesting
to follow those culture clashes.
The film did not offer anything like
that. What we get are scenes of extreme
brutality and nihilism. A touch of
human interaction(drama) would have made this
film great.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Awful, awful film., 10 Oct 2014
By 
Baz Douglas (Thames Valley, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: My Way [DVD] (DVD)
This film is a like a very bad joke, it is awful, awful. Words fail me, where do I start? The characters are dreadful, how anybody can give this film 5 stars I simply have no idea. The acting is pretty stretched, the plot is thin, and as for the D-day the CGI is risible. I give up, one star is far to generous.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Absolute peach of an action movie. I don't quite ..., 2 July 2014
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This review is from: My Way [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Absolute peach of an action movie. I don't quite understand how I only managed to stumble onto this film by accident.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The convolutions of adoption, 15 April 2014
By 
Ken Raus "Ken Raus" (Lugdunum) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: My Way [DVD] (DVD)
My Way is the true tale of two rival Asian runners,one Korean,one Japanese,one,of the occupees,the other,of the occupants of whom the former and his Korean comrades are co-opted into the IJA after a riot over a disputed run result-As Koreans they are treated badly by the chauvinist Imperialists until in a suicide mission both they and their Japanese captors are defeated and captured in turn by the Russians who use them as Russified cannon fodder against the Germans...then they are captured by the Germans and Germanized as cannon fodder against the Western Allies and the war ends for them...the film is long but worthy and grounded on a true story and I recommend a watch given the excellent thespianism despite some corny romantic heroics and given the extraordinary battle scenes and special effects and the complete linguistic authenticity so,beware lazy sub-title haters unless your Korean,Japanese,Russian and German are up to scratch.
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My Way [Blu-ray]
My Way [Blu-ray] by Kang Je-Kyu (Blu-ray - 2012)
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