This Korean action pic aims for the scale of Hollywood’s Tom Clancy blockbusters with a story where the North Korean bad-guy steals nuclear missile kits covertly supplied by the US to the South, snaffles ex-Chernobyl nuclear waste, and plots to devastate Seoul by unleashing an atomic nightmare from a ship off-shore. Oh, and in case you hadn’t guessed, there’s a major tropical storm on the way. A competent enough set-up, one might imagine, but the movie’s slavish adherence to its US models – just get that cheese-tastic montage introducing the square-jawed marine sent undercover to save the day – explains why it so often plays like a poor man’s Tony Scott movie. Still, if the pulse barely quickens, the politics are fascinatingly up-front, since the villain’s embittered by a failed childhood bid for asylum in the South, and is clearly supposed to warrant a measure of sympathy for this bum deal – Korean brotherhood even extends to those errant souls bent on apocalyptic mayhem. Looks like there’s a bit of re-writing in store if the Americans ever try to remake it.
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