How entertaining? ★☆☆☆☆
Thought provoking? ★☆☆☆☆
9 April 2012
This article is a review of MY WAY.
“I can’t hear gunshots or screams,” Jun-shik Kim (Dong-gun Jang) to Tatsuo Hasegawa (Jô Odagiri).
Even though Je-Kyu Kang directed pretty poor thriller SHIRI, he has also made TAEGUKGI – BROTHERHOOD OF WAR, a stunningly choreographed war epic in the vein of SAVING PRIVATE RYAN (but even more sentimental). Here, Kang has taken mawkishness to a new nadir. I could barely watch his new combat film it was so ineptly scripted. In addition:
- The characters are barely one-dimensional,
- The music is diabolical,
- There are simplistic political and historical analyses, and
- Nonsensical editing and camera-work.
The latter seems a great shame, as the set-pieces look extremely expensive.
Two marathon runners, one from Korea (Jun-shik) and the other from Japan (Tatsuo), grow up to be rivals on the eve of the Second World War. Korea has been occupied by Japan. Autocratic imperialist injustice should be illustrated, but there is a crude simplicity to proceedings. ‘ALLO ‘ALLO! from the 80s has more nuance. Compounding the frustrating depiction of occupation, Tatsuo is portrayed as a merciless, conscience-devoid warmonger.
While the cinematography is beautiful, and the scale impressive, MY WAY tediously moves from battlefront to battlefront with these two as our perspectives. This should have been an emotionally draining odyssey, but instead we are treated to a 137 minute lesson in banality. Based on true events so say the credits. Really? Please tell me how much.