One of the bloodiest confrontations in Korean history, the story of the siege of Ansi, where Goguryeo forces held their fortress against 200,000 invading Tang soldiers that raged for eighty-eight days, is a familiar piece of the country’s history.
Stationed along the Korean border, soldier Sa-mul (Nam Joo-hyuk) is chosen to put his courage to the test with a special plot by his commander to assassinate the rogue commander Yang Man-
When looked at within a historical action film context, “The Great Battle” has a to to like. This is in large part due to the massive-scale ground battles liberally peppered throughout the film. These provide a jaw-dropping scale full of large-scale combat techniques that showcase the horse-drawn fighters, archers, walled buttresses and ground-based troops being utilized. With these forces utilizing all manner of swords and broad pole weaponry in battle, the carnage on display brings about the kind of brutality usually associated with this kind of combat. There are soldiers that get decapitated, their limbs ripped off, their stomachs or chest sliced open and most impressively, dragged along the ground until being speared by a comrade going the opposite direction. It’s a rather impressive tactic and contributes greatly to the action within here as the numerous battles provide even more to enjoy.
What makes this action so prevalent is Kim Kwang-
There are a few problems with the film. The major obstacle to overcome is the excessive length that really does this no favors. There are several big reasons to stretch the movie out, namely the multitude of side-plots that aren’t in the slightest pertinent to the main story. The early stages showing the life of the soldiers at the compound ends up doing nothing but stretching the running time, accomplishing nothing. The details of the psychic that’s held hostage at the compound contributes nothing since their purpose doesn’t mean anything and there’s too much time spent with his allegiances to their cause, due to his background. It really doesn’t need to be brought up several times , all making the film run on for a good fifteen-to-twenty minutes longer than it really should. The film would’ve been fine at just around the two-hour mark, yet the two-twenty it actually runs is a little tiring.
-The other real problem is the inability to really expand on some of the storylines and subplots it sets up, despite the time to do so. A large part of the film is built on
In the end, “The Great Battle” is a slightly overlong but still wholly enjoyable historical action epic that manages enough spectacle to be rather entertaining. Give this one a chance if you’re a fan of these brands of films or looking for a different entry in the genre, while only those who are not interested in the genre should heed caution.