Jan 05, 2006|
“Typhoon” is a nice complement to the hot gorilla-on-dinosaur action in “King Kong,” for it boasts some mighty spectacular action scenes. But be advised you won’t see any of that during the first 90 minutes. Instead, you’ll be treated to some unspectacular character development and clumsy (and confusing) plot construction.
The ambitious story attempts to tell a layered, intricate tale of post-Cold War international conflict getting all tangled up in South Korea. North Korean terrorist Sin (Jang Dong-gun) hatches a scheme to destroy an American ship en route to Tokyo (which is part of a military buildup to balance China). Somehow, he hopes, this will also result in him acquiring a secret nuclear missile recipe (mmm, just like Mom used to make). Fortunately, the dashing and patriotic South Korean special agent Gang Se-jong (Lee Jung-jae) is on the way to foil Sin’s best-laid plans. But wait, soon Gang gets intimate and sympathetic with Sin’s sister, Ju (Lee Mi-yeon). He goes through a little morality crisis, but soon gets back on track to stop Sin before he wipes out the entire Korean peninsula. That’s the story, if you can untangle it from the web of incomprehensible political banter between the US, both Koreas, Japan, China, Thailand and Russia.
And here’s the price tag: $110 million. Though apparently not enough to buy a plot, that sum does fetch some amazing boat-attack sequences in the middle of a typhoon. There are also many astounding technical feats in the movie, which makes the lame shootouts and car chases all the more disappointing (and puzzling). Maybe an inordinate amount of that big old budget went directly to Korean heartthrob Jang (fresh off “The Promise”). Well, one thing’s for sure: “Typhoon” won’t be making waves in a cinema near you.
Best Bit: When Sin releases what everyone thinks is nuclear material from balloons in a roaring typhoon.