Movie Review: The Battleship Island (NC16)
This is not just an ambitious war flick but also an embellished one.
Featuring some of the biggest names in the South Korean film industry, director Ryoo Seung Wan not only came up with a massive outdoor set but also never before seen action set pieces.
South Korean bandmaster Lee Gang Ok (Hwang Jung Min) and his daughter Sohee (Kim Su An) want to seek a better life in Japan after they depart Seoul during World War II.
Instead, they are forced onto the Hashima (Battleship Island) labour camp alongside other casualties of the Japanese Occupation, who are either imprisoned and forced to mine for coal or become comfort women.
Along the way, the pair meet Choi Chil Sung (So Ji Sub), a gangster who fights his way to power, former prostitute Mallyon (Lee Jung Hyun) and Park Mu Young (Song Joong Ki, above), a resistance fighter who plots a dramatic escape for the South Koreans.
While the film is technically impressive, there are too many main characters to focus on, making it rather distracting.
But I enjoyed the touching performance of the father-daughter duo, and Battleship Island will undoubtedly attract hordes of Song fans who want to see their idol don a military uniform again after Descendants Of The Sun.