The Movie Binge

Preview: Typhoon

Typhoon still

"The story of a modern-day pirate planning a massive attack on North and South Korea." Do you need to know anything else? Oh, you do? Oh. Well, Typhoon is the latest film from Kwak Kyung-Taek, who is the biggest director in South Korea (according to Asian Cinevision) and had two of the biggest blockbusters in his country with Friend and Taegukgi. Kaiju Shakedown reported that the film cost US$15 million, which is the most expensive film in South Korean history. Unfortunately, the film sold a lackluster 4 million tickets. Hey, I guess it's their Mission Impossible 3.

There aren't too many reviews out there right now, but I've managed to get a couple good quotes for you.

Koreanfilm.org

From a technical perspective, Typhoon is impressively constructed (as well it might be -- at an officially stated $15 million, the film's production budget is the highest in Korean history). Fans of the director should be warned in advance, however: rarely does the film display the personality of Kwak's previous works like Friend, Champion, or Mutt Boy. With strong appeals to patriotism, Typhoon feels at times like a recruitment video for the military. At other times, the chest-thumping male melodrama drags on for far longer than seems necessary.

The Onion A.V. Club

The outsized effort is up there on the screen, but there's nothing too striking about the way it's presented, and the story does even less to impress: It loses its sense of political urgency by relying on melodramatic clichés (the bad guy has a dying sister) and rhythms that are all too familiar from the big-budget American films it sets out to emulate. This may be the biggest production in Korean-film history, but viewers should search elsewhere for a better sampling of what the country has to offer.

Umm, well, there'll be explosions, right?