Tuesday, January 17, 2012

War of the Arrows (2011) (aka Arrow:The Ultimate Weapon)

There has been a great deal of chatter across the Internet, at least around my tiny corner, with people getting excited about the trailer for the film War of the Arrows (aka Arrows the Ultimate Weapon). I figured that a release was coming soon, only to discover the film played here in New York back in October.

Looking for something to watch after Saturday's round of football games I discovered that on one of my last trips into Manhattan to check the shops in Chinatown I picked up a copy on DVD.

The film has a young boy and a girl fleeing from their home when Korean officials come to kill their father for being a traitor. Taking their fathers bow they head off to a father's friend who takes them in and adopts them.

13 years later the Qing Dynasty invades Korea which just happens to be on the young girl's wedding day. Most of the revelers are killed and the girl is taken and hauled off to become a slave. Her brother grabs his fathers bow and a good number of arrows and heads off after her.

A just okay first 45 minutes or so, transforms into a super action packed chase as our hero heads off to rescue his sister. Its a series of tense battles as he battles his way first into enemy territory and then out again. I don't want to say too much but there are some truly great sequences here that will have to talking out loud, including one that spans two sides of a river. Trust me, this film will exhaust you.

If there is any real problem once the film has kickwed into high gear, its that some of the use of CGI isn't all that great. For example a late in the game appearance by a tiger doesn't seem to be in the same place as the actors.Its not fatal to the film, but it does weaken the sense of reality that had built up through all the non-stop fighting.

I really liked this movie a great deal. I can completely understand why the trailer has been making its rounds on websites and via Twitter. All I can say is that the promise of the trailer is borne out by the film itself. If you love action films you need to see this.

For a great review of the film which puts the story into historical perspective you should read this piece from Korean Film.org

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