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Yojimbo's Movie Reviews (2318)

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Divine Weapon, The ( Shin ge jeon ) 
"Divine Weapon" by Yojimbo
2.5/4 stars

The plans for a secret weapon developed by the Kingdom of Joseon are stolen by the agents of the tyrannical Ming emperor, imperilling their status as an independent state.

This period saga is more of a romanticised swashbuckler than an accurate depiction of historical events and as such can be seen as the Korean equivalent of Braveheart or the like. Jae-yeong Jeong makes for a likeable, roguish hero very much from the Han Solo school, but it is Han Eun-jeong's fiery and independent heroine who is the true star of the show, her character reminding me of Princess Yuki from Hidden Fortress. The action scenes are nicely choreographed and there is a nice streak of playful humour throughout that tempers the cruder crowd-pleasing moments that occasionally seem at odds with the tone of the rest of the film, but it is the finale that contains the only real off-note of the story. Somehow I found it difficult to continue to cheer on our heroes as they deployed what was essentially the WMD of the day, thereby blowing hordes of fearful, retreating soldiers to bits.

This soured the story somewhat for me, but the journey there was an amusing and entertaining jaunt through Korean history.


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