Taegukgi review

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Billed as Korea's answer to Saving Private Ryan, this epic Asian war flick matches that movie's barrage of gore and its shameless, heartstring-tugging sentimentality. Brothers Jin-tae (Jang Dong-gun) and Jin-seok (Won Bin) are forcibly drafted into the army to fight the invading commies in the Korean War. After learning that he can save his little bro from the frontline by winning the medal of honour, Jin-tae transforms into a one-man war machine, volunteering for every suicide mission and killing Reds by the truckload until his bloodlust makes him forget what he's actually supposed to be fighting for. Misty-eyed melodrama more suited to an afternoon soap opera ensues, sitting uncomfortably with Shiri helmer Kang Je-gyu's vision of battlefield slaughter: bodies burst apart under artillery fire, flamethrowers lick out fiery death and maggots crawl over seeping stomach wounds. It's Hieronymus Bosch with an M1 carbine.

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