HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Furnace, The
Tyrel
Iceman
Blue Sky
Tokyo Dragon Chef
Pittsburgh
12 Hour Shift
Intergalactic Adventures of Max Cloud, The
Spoilers, The
Killer Therapy
Man Upstairs, The
Bloodhound, The
New Mutants, The
Tesla
Flame of New Orleans, The
Ham on Rye
Imperial Blue
Tenet
August 32nd on Earth
Don is Dead, The
Seven Sinners
Body of Water
Away
Soul
About Endlessness
Let It Snow
Ava
Deliver Us from Evil
Shark Attack 3: Megalodon
Midnight Sky, The
Lego Star Wars Holiday Special, The
Mon Oncle Antoine
Blast of Silence
Blackout, The
Stars in Your Eyes
Alone
Climate of the Hunter
Farewell Amor
Let's Scare Julie
Okko's Inn
   
 
Newest Articles
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
Blood Wedding: The Bride with White Hair on Blu-ray
The Inhuman Element: The Ladykillers on 4K UHD
As You Like It, Baby: Breathless on Blu-ray
Stargazing: Light Entertainment Rarities on DVD
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
   
 
  Battle of Jangsari, The Korea's forgotten heroes
Year: 2019
Director: Kwak Kyung-taek, Kim Tae-hoon
Stars: Kim Myung-Min, Choi Min Ho, Kim Sung Cheol, Megan Fox, George Eads, Kwak Si-Yang, Kim In-kwong, Lee Ho-jung, Lee Jae Wook, Lee Han Jong, Daniel Joey Albright, Myeong Gye-nam, Jeong Jae-Hoon
Genre: War, Historical, BiopicBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: In 1950, at the dawn of the Korean War, South Korean troops stage a diversionary operation at Jangsari beach to shift attention away from the Allied landing at Incheon. Led by Captain Lee Myung-Joon (Kim Myung-Min), seven-hundred-and-seventy two young, inexperienced students-turned-soldiers storm a North Korean stronghold fighting through superior numbers and unimaginable hardship that take a tragic toll.

This lavish war epic aims to spotlight an incident, simultaneously tragic and heroic, that while hitherto unheralded elsewhere is of obvious importance to the nation of South Korea. The second instalment of a Korean war trilogy following 2016's Operation Chromite, which featured Liam Neeson as General Douglas MacArthur, The Battle of Jangari strikes an odd tone midway between the gut-wrenching sentiment of Saving Private Ryan (1998) (from whence co-directors Kwak Kyung-taek and Kim Tae-hoon rather shamelessly lift more than a few shots and sequences!) and the contrived melodramatic bombast of Pearl Harbor (2001). Gung-ho would be too strong a term in this instance, but as war films go it still skews more towards the celebratory than the caustic. It spotlights individual acts of patriotism, bravery and self-sacrifice, eulogizing the heroism of these brave young men while critiquing those that either exploited or took them for granted. Be that callous South Korean generals or cavalier American allies.

Voicing most of that outrage is imported Hollywood guest star Megan Fox. Sporting bleach blonde hair and a brassy attitude she plays legendary war correspondent Marguerite Higgins. No doubt Megan Fox savoured this chance to break away from her sex bomb image to tackle a weightier role of historical significance of the sort Hollywood seems uninterested in offering her. Though one imagines the Korean filmmakers were also hoping her glamour might entice international viewers less enamoured with foreign war epics. While Fox gives a very credible, poised performance her scenes sit awkwardly alongside those of the Korean actors with whom she does not interact. She shares most of her scenes with fellow guest star: CSI veteran George Eads who portrays an American general. In addition, as observed by Korean critics, her character's dialogue signposts the filmmaker’s moral outrage in a decidedly unsubtle fashion.

Nevertheless viewers looking for sober-minded spectacle offset by the odd affecting moment of pathos could do a lot worse. The Battle of Jangsari is engaging and sincere if prone to cliché. The young soldiers are a cross-section of stock war film types: the cocky guy, the fat guy who is always hungry, the sarcastic but goodhearted Sergeant, the stoic and selfless Captain. One novel if unlikely seeming Mulan-style twist unmasks one of the soldiers as a girl, sent off to war by her family instead of losing their only son. These contrivances aside the film is on surer footing with genuinely moving moments (despite a tendency to score Big Emotional Scenes with accordion music) as when one soldier finds his cousin serving on the North Korean side, underlining how the war tore families apart. Kyung-taek and Tae-hoon do a solid job with the battle sequences which are well-staged and suspenseful with one chaotic trench skirmish especially arresting and brutal.


Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 279 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
Paul Smith
  Lee Fiveash
   

 

Last Updated: