It’s been a looooong dry spell here at the Litterbox, as Life seems to be conspiring to keep lil’ ol’ me busy lately, but finally I’m back at it, with a look at Korea’s 2011 Martial Arts action epic adventure “War of the Arrows”…. and a special “guest star” appearance by our friend Elpeevio of “Things Fall Apart” to join in the fun.
Oh how exciting, I have never been a “guest star” before, I’ll be doing my best to add to the experience of this review. How about the Catgirl gets us started with a little synopsis of what this one is all about?
Our synopsis goes as follows: “Set in 1636, during the second Manchurian invasion of Chosun Korea, young Nam-Yi’s entire family have been branded as traitors by the Crown, but he also happens to be the best archer in the Joseon Dynasty. Living his life in hiding within the household of his father’s one remaining friend, Nam-Yi’s only desire in life is to keep his sister, Ja-In safe from any harm. However, on the day of his sister’s wedding, the villages of Joseon Korea are attacked by the Qing Dynasty of China. The border village in which Nam-Yi and Ja-In live is directly in the path of invasion and Ja-In gets kidnapped by the elite troop of Qing to be taken back north as a slave. In order to rescue his sister from the raiders, he departs from his demolished village with only the bow that his father had bequeathed upon him before dying. Disrupting his mission to save his sister is Jyu Shin-Ta, a fierce Qing warrior who leads the elite troop. They are relentless in their chase to bring down Nam-Yi, who has but one day to save his sister from slavery. As Nam-Yi finally gets a hold of his sister, Jyu Shin-Ta comes between them and a fierce battle between two of the finest warriors unfolds.”
Crazy lil’ me likes a good swashbuckling Martial Art film almost as much as my Ghost Stories….. It’s probably that “Warrior Princess” deep inside me aching for some heroic action, so naturally when this one slipped onto my radar a while back I just knew I’d have to give it a look see. I mean…. “Rambo” crossed with “Robin Hood” and seasoned with more than a little “Crouching Tiger” meets “Musa the Warrior”…. I can honestly say it’s certainly got this wee Catgirl plenty interested. So then… does it indeed have the goods? Will it live up to the hype and suitably sate my need for extravagantly gorgeous period action and adventure? And…. most importantly of all… will my sweetie like it too, subtitles and all?
I have grown to love the Martial Arts genre too over the last few years, and the Korean take on things is always a little different to that you find in Chinese and Hong Kong films. I think the film initially intrigued me by the use of Bows and Arrows rather than the normal swordplay, and I am a total sucker for Joseon-era stories with the amazing outfits and the strict Confucian society. This really was a massive hit in its homeland, and I was rather surprised to see it got a limited North American Cinema outing. We also have it on DVD and Blu-ray here in England too, which is nice.
So… really only one way to find out what we all thought of it, o’ Gentle Visitors, and that’s to “Read On”…