Director: KWAK Kyung-Tack
Starring: JANG Dong-Gun, LEE Jung-Jae, LEE
RunTime: 2 hrs
Released By: GV & Encore Films
Rating: NC16 (Some Violence)
Official Site: http://www.encorefilms.com/typhoon/index.html
Day: 30 March 2006
The plot centres on an attempt by a North Korean pirate (JANG
Dong-Gun), to make a nuclear attack on the Korean Peninsula,
and efforts by a South Korean agent (LEE Jung-Jae) to stop
agent comes to sympathize with the pirate, who grew up penniless
in China after witnessing as a child the massacre of his family
after a failed attempt to seek asylum in the South.
on locations in Thailand, Korea and Russia, Typhoon is South
Korea highest budget film made at US$20 million.
sets 5-day Box Office record for the year 2005 in Korea drawing
in 1.8 million people.
- a tropical cyclone, literally meaning "great wind",
which brings about massive rains dancing to high wind speeds,
and in the centre, a calm eye, oblivious to the chaos that
surrounds it. In many aspects, the movie Typhoon resembles
its namesake to a T. The noisy set action pieces that ring
out from the start, and in its tender moments, scenes of calm,
love and recollection amidst the chaos.
is a big budgeted action movie, and it makes no apologies
for being loud. It tells the story of 2 men on opposite sides
of the law, and on different sides of the Korean Peninsula.
Jang Dong-Gun plays Sin, a North Korean regional pirate /
terrorist, who hatches a grand plan to avenge a broken vow
of unfulfilled defection to the South. Blaming the South for
the death of his extended family, he swears violent revenge
on everyone South using weapons of mass destruction, while
at the same time, seeks his long lost sister. Lee Jung-Jae
plays Gang Se-Jong, an elite naval officer who's been hand-picked
from the best to head the mission in hunting Sin down, before
the diabolical plot can be executed.
what you'd expect from an actioner - from gun play, car chases,
military hardware, cool special effects (I think it rivals
The Perfect Storm's), and again an armed combat scene with
knives, though not in the same vein as V for Vendetta's computer
graphics aided sequence. It's also quite refreshing to see
a Korean movie go on location to countries like Thailand and
Russia to shoot pivotal scenes, which adds to its international
flavour, and its ability to launch a challenge as a worthy
addition to pseudo-spy flicks. The actors too got to practice
their linguistic skills as they had to speak multiple languages
- Jang Dong-Gun seemed more comfortable with Thai than he
was with Mandarin in last year's The Promise.
when it came to the calmer bits, this was the area where the
movie plodded along. The flashbacks helped you to understand
the motivations behind Sin's actions and behaviour, though
they did tend to drag and got a bit overdone. While there's
a lack of romantic love interests, sibling love gets substituted
in place, with a brother's search and rescue of his sister,
and a sister's sacrifice for her sibling as they rough it
out during their escape.
we understand Se-Jong's empathy for Sin, the script was somewhat
weak in portraying this feeling, that in a separate life,
they could have been best of friends, or even brothers-in-arms.
Both were men with plenty of drive, with passion and obsession,
but on screen, this sense of brotherhood gets across as being
too contrived when both Sin and Se-Jong confess their admiration
for each other. Not that the actors didn't try their best
to pull it off, but the script and the way it was written
to be delivered, was lacking that punch.
soundtrack was pretty weak too. While the action bits could
get you all excited, it lacked a strong musical overture to
accompany the visuals on screen. What could have been crescendos,
turned out to be just whimpers, failing to punctuate face
paced scenes with appropriate musical mood.
themes and music aside, Korean action movies never fail to
amaze with its picture perfect shots (pardon the pun) of violence,
either up close or from afar. It's shock-and-awe during those
scenes, which in fact, should just about matter in a movie
action movie which got bogged down by its calmer portions)
by Stefan Shih