Review by: Andrew Chan FCCA AACTA
Review Date: 23rd August 2012
DVD Review Date: 9th November 2012
Released by Madman Entertainment on DVD and Blu-ray
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“War of the Arrows” starts off slowly and even to the point of boredom, but when it picks up pace, it just never stops going till the finish line, the effect is pretty amazing. I am going to be totally honest here, the opening 30 minutes was painful to endure and at times, pinching my face to stay in attention. However, I have never seen a film redeems itself so much that it almost became the perfect action movie. Ignoring the first part, the film is engaging, tense, exciting and originally shot.
Hae-il Park (“The Host”) scores high marks in the acting category and is utterly convincing as the older brother that gives everything in order to save his younger sister. His chemistry with Moon Chae-won (who play the younger sister) is so radiating on screen that at times, it feels as though they are romantically linked than sibling. Moon always flares well and does particularly well in the scene when she confronts the evil Prince (played by Park Ki-woong). Seung-yong Ryoo is menacing and interesting as villain and Mu-Yeol Kim’s performance is probably one of the weak points in the film.
All in all “War of the Arrows” is a wonderful film to kick of the 2012 KOFFIA in Sydney and is a perfect example of why films should be watched from start to finish, no matter how boring the first act seems to be. Perhaps, I simply didn’t tick in the opening sequence, but by the end of the ride, I was fully loaded, grasped and engaged. It is really the kind of film that “Robin Hood” should have been and with the benchmark setted so high at the start of the festival, “War of the Arrows” remains the film to beat in the coming days. After a slow start, the film simply races to the finish, before you even have time for a breathe. For action fans, this film cannot be missed… (Neo 2012)
I rated it 9/10
Behind the scenes
English dubbed feature (blu-ray only)