Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood Of War (2004)


When two brothers are conscripted to fight in the Korean war, the elder makes a deal with his commanding officer to win the Medal Of Honour in exchange for his brother’s freedom.

This Korean war film is clearly heavily influenced by Steven Spielberg; the gritty and brutally realistic battle scenes are very reminiscent of Saving Private Ryan and are similarly impressive, and the modern day prologue/epilogue is very much in the same vein as Schindler’s list. The personal relationships and characterisation lack the subtlety of those films however, as I felt the characters were a little too sketchy and melodramatic to create any real emotional resonance; the result can best be described as a “heroic bloodshed” version of Platoon.

As a visual spectacle however, it is stunning and as this particular conflict is rarely tackled by western cinema, it makes refreshingly different subject matter.



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