Top positive review
Excellent war movie, with very original, solid scenario and good fighting scenes
on 27 November 2012
I was surprised and IMPRESSED by this highly original and very well interpreted South Korean film - and I believe it is one of the best war movies I have seen ever (and I saw A LOT of them).
This is the story about a South Korean counter-intelligence officer, Lieutenant Kang Eun-pyo, who during the last months of Korean War is affected to an infantry company (Alligator Company) which recently lost an important position, the Aerok Hill and which commander died in suspiscious circumstances. This and also some other inteligence seems indicate, that there is a North Korean agent infiltrated amongst the soldiers. Kang's mission is to identify this man. But once he arrives to his new unit he finds much, much more than he expected. And also, Aerok Hill must be retaken - at any cost...
All this covers the first five minutes of the film and I will say no more here - you deserve to discover this excellent film by yourself.
The scenario is very, very good and very original. This film is different from anything else I ever saw. Surprises are many and we do not see most of them coming. Things described are very believable and people act logically, although the logic can be sometimes a little bit... odd. With the time we start to develop an attachment to some characters, like the drug addicted Captain Shin, the veteran of anti-Japanese guerrilla Master-Sergeant Yang and even the cold and cruel Lieutenant Kim. At one moment we even have an insight into the minds of North Korean soldiers (in a rare moment when no political officer is present) and frankly I was pretty impressed by those scenes.
Action scenes are exceptionally good, and certainly better than in the more renowned "Brotherhood of war". Great attention was given to the details concerning weaponry and uniforms. South Korean soldiers are armed with M1 Garand semi-automatic rifles, M1 semi-automatic carbines, Browning BAR light machine guns, 60 mm light American mortars and Colt M1911 pistols. North Koreans have Mosin 1891 rifles (and also for one of them a Mosin 1891/44 sniper rifle), PPSh-41 submachine guns, Maxim 1910 heavy machine guns, 82 mm Soviet mortars and Mauser 1896 pistols. I couldn't find one mistake concerning military equipement.
This is a purely Korean story - we only see an American negotiator in the first scene of the film and some US Air Force planes later on (they look a little like Douglas A1 Skyraiders). There is also at one moment a charge by a Chinese regiment. Other than that, the whole film tells the story of South and North Korean soldiers.
The final battle and the final scene are amongst the most powerful things I ever saw on screen. I will say no more here, but believe me, if you like war films, you WANT to see the last 15 minutes of this one!
Bottom line, this is an exceptionnally good film, of highest quality, in my modest opinion better in every aspect than "Brotherhood of war". I will keep my copy preciously and I recommend it with all my heart.