Starring: Hyun Bin as King Jeongjo, Jo Jung Suk as Eul-Soo, Park Sung Woong as Hong Kook-Young, Jo Jae Hyeon as Gwang-Baek, Jung Jae Young as Gap-Soo and Han Ji Min as Queen Dowager/King Jeongjo’s stepmother
Rating: R, subject matter and some violence
Running Time: 135 min
Twinkies: 4 stars
Synopsis: King Jeongjo (Hyun-Bin) has been in power for only one year. He has already gone through several failed assassination attempts on his life and his hold on power is fragile at best.
He trusts only his eunuch named Sang-Chaek (Jung Jae-Young) and the Commander of Geumwiyoung named Hong Kook-Young (Park Sung-Woong).
Meanwhile, Queen Jungsoon (Han Ji-Min) and the vassals from Noron plot to assassinate King Jeongjo.
Outside of the palace, Eul-Soo (Cho Jung-Seok) was raised as an elite assassin by Gwang-Bae (Cho Jae-Hyun). Gwang-Bae then orders Eul-Soo to kill King Jeongjo otherwise his love Wol-Hye (Jung Eun-Chae) will be killed.
Musings: Talk about an impressive come-back after military service? This fits the bill! Hyun Bin as King Jeongjo was phenomenal! There wasn’t a moment on the screen that he didn’t stand out as an actor! Sure, I wanted him to return to a drama but this movie more than satisfied my hunger for his return to acting. This movie was so good, I first watched it at the theater; again at home without subtitles and now for the 3rd time with my own personal copy. Yes, folks. This movie is that good. The ensemble cast was well put together. Everyone in the movie is memorable!
Han Ji Min played the Queen Dowager and this is a role she played to the hilt. I’m not sure that I’ve seen her play such a character before. Usually her characters are syrupy sweet; not this one. As the Queen Dowager, she played a woman determined to kill the King by any means necessary while smiling in his face! It was great!
The final combat scene between King Jeongjo and Eul-Soo was a cinematic dream. The entire scene was filmed at night and in the rain. Every drop of rain was magnified and became a part of the scene. The action scenes were well thought out and put together. I really enjoyed this movie from beginning to end. I really could talk about every character in this movie but I’ll leave that for you to see. There are many different opinions about the movie and whether it was good or bad. Maybe my love and respect for Hyun Bin may play in overshadowing my opinion for the movie but then that is what movie reviews are; totally subjective point of view. Well done movie with a great cast! I highly recommend it!
Trailer is available on Hancinema Website only. The movie is available on several sites. Ask me if your interested.
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