Review - "tae Guk Gi"
Kang Je-Kyu Film Co. Ltd., Sony Pictures, Destination Films | Korean | 148 minutes | Rated R
I seen this on a Blockbuster shelf some years back and rented it. It has now been in my list of favorite movies of all time. While overshadowed by other war campaigns such as World War II and the Vietnam, the Korean War is a conflict that should never be forgotten. Since the invasion by North Korea to now, the two Koreas are still on stand by, watchful of each other, but to many Koreans, nothing would be more satisfying than to see the Unification of Korea.
Jin-Tae (Jang Dong-gun) and Jin-Seok (Won Bin) are two brothers striving for a better future in 1950s Korea. Jin-Tae works tirelessly shining shoes, saving up enough money for his younger brother Jin-Seok to go to college, but it all comes to a screeching halt as North Korea invades the South on June 25, 1950. With their family, they try to make their way to their uncle's house to escape from the clutches of the communists. While looking for a train, they're forced to join up in the South Korean army and are sent off to battle. They must now look out for each other if they are to make it back home together. Jin Tae discovers a way to send his younger brother Jin Seok home safely, but must risk his own life in the process.
Fans of the war genre (Saving Private Ryan, Band of Brothers) will not be disappointed with Tae Guk Gi. It has a lot of battle scene, some of which are pretty graphic, from large gunfights in rural and urban areas, to one on one bayonet fights. There are some CGI sequences that look really dull, but the story and scenes are still impressive. I own the DVD that has a good amount of goodies, from "Behind the Scene" to a look back on the actual Korean War with interviews with Veterans that served in the South Korean forces.
Tae Guk Gi is a must see.