South Korea’s most expensive film ever, this war epic makes sure you see every dollar onscreen: large-scale battles, lavish CGI effects and the sort of big-budget flair you expect from Hollywood’s historical spectacles. Two marathon-runner rivals—Korean Jun-shik (Jang Dong-gun) and Japanese Tatsuo (Jô Odagiri)—continue their enmity on WWII’s battlefields, where the former is conscripted into the Imperial Army under the latter’s brutal command. They put aside their cultural animosity once they both become POWs, and later find themselves fighting together on the beach at Normandy (cue a Saving Private Ryan “homage”). The paeans about national pride and brotherhood may be regional, but constant slow-motion battle scenes and squishy sentimentality are strictly wanna-be Tinseltown.
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