A blood-and-entrails fest a la Saving Private Ryan, Tae Guk Gi shows more of the
horrors of the Korean War than all 11 seasons of M*A*S*H. University-bound
Jin-seok Lee (Won) and his older, protective brother, Jin-tae (Jang), whose
prewar lives in Seoul are a blissful time of shared ice-cream cones and
fraternal nuzzling, are forced to enlist at the beginning of combat in 1950.
South Korea's highest-grossing film shamelessly exploits the worst tendencies of
the war epic, down to the bombastic orchestral arrangements and slow-mo
flashbacks of the cone-licking days of brotherly love. But Won and Jang somehow
manage to hit the grace notes in their overdetermined roles.