Film review: 2009 Lost Memories

26 May 2003

IMDB: - but see below!

Am I doomed or what? Our hero Oh dear, I hope that wasn't an expensive helicopter

I'm not familiar with Korean cinema. But this is a seriously impressive film: it feels like a mixture of HK action films (there's a lot of gunplay and bloodshed, and it's certainly heavily influenced by the John Woo school of action) and some reasonably thoughtful cultural stuff, including the setting: an alternate history where Korea remained a Japanese possession after the failed assassination of Ito Hirobumi in 1909. Highly recommended if you can live with subtitles (or a dub, I suppose). Better if you can recognise spoken Japanese and/or Korean; both languages are used, and at times it's fairly important which is being spoken.

This is a very racist film. That's not necessarily a bad thing; but almost all the Japanese are bad guys and almost all the Koreans are good. Somehow I doubt this film got a great reaction in Japan.

Particularly notable: the opening sequence, a Korean separatist terrorist raid on a museum and the police response.

If you've read any of the other reviews of this film, you'll notice there's a plot point I'm not giving away. I think it's better to come to it cold, as I did. For this reason, avoid reading the IMDB comments...