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This film has been the talk of the town for several months now after it broke several box office records in its native South Korea, and pleased many crowds in film festivals across the world. It was billed as a slick new-generation monster flick but ends up disappointing in a number of ways.
Based on a real story, the film starts with a US Army base throwing dangerous chemicals in the Han river (which flows through Seoul) and causing the mutation of some thing in there. A few years after, a monster emerges and starts ravaging the city like a wild animal on the run.
The film, in a traditional South Korean manner, mixes several genres together. It's an action film, filled with humor and some dramatic elements. The characters are well fleshed out and the monster is cool looking. There are even a few scenes that are really exciting. But the film loses steam quickly and seems to run out of breath before it crosses the finish line. The film borrows a lot from other monster flicks such as Mimic 1 (1997) but something is amiss.
Fans of South Korean cinema or generally, monster flicks, should give it a try. Maybe my expectations were too high, and i ended up not enjoying this as much as i had expected.
- Laurent Hasson