Every once in a while a great director manages to produce a work of such unsurpassed greatness that it is destined to stand amongst the greats for all time. This is such a film. The story is about a group of Koreans whose quest to return home from China is turned into an epic struggle for survival against overwhelming odds when they go to the aid of a Ming princess. It differs from most asian action movies in two ways. The first is in the action. It is wonderfully filmed but in a realistic manner. None of the silly artsy wire work which seems to be so poupular these days. The second is that the acting is exceptional. The characters are given both a sense of nobility and depth along with a flawed humanity. In my opinion Kim Sung-su has proved himself to be as good as Kurosawa, if not better. It was quite rightly described as "the biggest motion-picture event in Korean cinema history." This film was also released under the title "The warrior" but if you look for it under that name then be careful. There is another film by that name and it sucks. For some reason the reviews for both films of that name come up for both of them.
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