War Of The Arrows (2011)
Positives:excellent costumes,locations, damn arrows are deadly!!
Negatives:poor cgi moments,predictable story
For five minutes dogs were everywhere it seems in the year 1623, and they were out for blood. A young man named Nam-Yi (Hae-Il Park/Da-Wit Lee) becomes his sister Ja-In’s (Moon Chae-Won/Min-Seo Jeon) guardian after witnessing the savage assassination of their father, a man with strong political ideals who had been branded a traitor
PUSH LIKE PUSHING A MOUNTAIN AND PULL LIKE HOLDING A TIGER’S TAIL
For five minutes dogs were everywhere it seems in the year 1623, and they were out for blood. A young man named Nam-Yi (Hae-Il Park/Da-Wit Lee) becomes his sister Ja-In’s (Moon Chae-Won/Min-Seo Jeon) guardian after witnessing the savage assassination of their father, a man with strong political ideals who had been branded a traitor. They escape, making their way to a safe destination to seek help and shelter. Then, BAM! the story fast-forwards 13 years…
After years of living in exile, and now grown-up, Nam-Yi and Ja-In have integrated themselves well within their new community. One night, after a fresh kill, Nam-Yi sits with the boss’ son, Seo-Goon (Mu-Yeol Kim), and hears an irritating request:”Could I please marry your sister?”. Not too chuffed by the whole concept, Nam-Yi lays down the law: let’s fight, and whoever draws blood first wins. But in life, and in love, things are not always so easy.
He loses, gets reprimanded and makes an ass of himself before storming out. Come the wedding day, Nam-Yi prepares to leave everything behind when a sudden rumble shakes him back into action. That’s the story in a nutshell. Need I say more?
Now, for the technical stuff. I thought that the costumes and filming locations were all decent but completely forgettable. The music, on the other hand, stands out a lot more. There’s a lot of it, and it always fits the mood perfectly. The acting was good, but not great. The action scenes aren’t intricate enough and too predictable to dazzle but certainly enough to entertain. Special-effects-wise, it’s pretty bad. Jumping clear over a ravine might fly for some, but don’t get me started on the CGI tiger. Just don’t.
I wonder… and this might make me look a bit insensitive but it’s actually quite the opposite… why is it that an entire continent of actors/actresses has so much trouble capturing what is one of man’s most quintessential instinctive reactions: crying? Almost every time, not necessarily always, an Asian actor/actress starts shedding tears on-screen it comes with a pained look on their faces, as if they were torturing their muscles into submission and it’s accompanied by a continuous shriek, or lament, and incessant whining that drives me totally bonkers. How strange? Back-flips. No problems. Making me believe you’re crying. Not so much.
Here’s another thing I can’t stand: tripping for no apparent reason while you’re smack in the middle of a chase sequence. Who invented that stuff? It’s one of the most used and re-used silly twist ever imagined. I suspect that no one trips while they’re being chased, ever. The adrenaline surge alone would pick you back off the floor instantly even IF you fell. And to really complete the effect, filmmakers across the world fell in love with the tripping and “looking-back-at-whatever-is-chasing-you-in-you-guessed-it-sloooow-motion” bit. How neat…
To complete the trifecta, also present in ‘War Of The Arrows” is the dreaded use of the ‘fake’ baby. You know, the one in plastic wrapped up 75 times in a white sheet so you won’t be able to tell the difference. A faceless ever-screaming farce of a baby meant to invoke the deepest sense of injustice inside the hearts of the viewers just doesn’t work for me, I’m sad to say.
To conclude, I find myself between a rock and a hard place when it come to “War Of The Arrows”. Did I like this movie or not? Even I am puzzled. Despite its flaws, the premise was good: make a movie with archers so deadly they’d make William Tell and Robin Hood spin in their graves. There’s a healthy number of arrows fired, there’s even a couple of different types of bows and arrows used but it didn’t yank me out of my chair any more than if it had been guns or swords. The main character is a master archer and so are his enemies. That’s pretty much it.
War Of The Arrows (2011),