Tuesday, 12 April 2011


An Amazon review: "Unusual Korean Fantasy"

One of the several unusual things about this film is that despite the DVD being rated 15, when you check the small print underneath you discover that the film itself is only 12 rated and that it's the bonus material which has raised it to 15. The bonus material in question is one violent and bloody trailer. I'd have thought that to increase the appeal the producers of the DVD would have omitted it. So, if you're wondering whether this would be suitable for someone younger than 15, the answer's yes -just skip the first trailer. While there is plenty of action, it's quite bloodless and an early scary sequence isn't very scary. As to whether or not you should buy it, keep reading.

Most of the film is set in mid-Heaven where souls stay for a little while before either being reincarnated or continuing on to heaven. Our hero is magically transported here alive because only he can stop the human-like but magically powered demon warriors (formerly his comrades on earth of whom he is the only survivor) from destroying mid-Heaven and thus dooming both Earth and Heaven. things are made difficult by the fact he has to protect the life of an angel who is a woman he loved on earth but who no longer remembers him. And that's pretty much the story, so it's both a tragic love story and an action film and both facets work well together.

I mentioned above that it's quite bloodless. That's because when anyone is killed in mid-Heaven, they burn up like coloured pieces of paper and this is, in an odd sort of way, quiet a lovely effect. Swords, spiked chains, and arrows still go right through people but bloodlessly.

Visually it's an attractive film with excellent use of CGI in the backgrounds and the action sequences. As you'd expect, the fight scenes are spectacular and, because this is set in a magical land, the flying and running along the tops of trees are more acceptable than in the usual martial arts movies. The subtitles are fine which is a relief as poor subtitling can spoil a film.

This isn't the greatest Asian fantasy movie I've ever seen but it's an enjoyable one, a slick proficient well-made fantasy.  Three and a half stars.

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