Jeri Jacquin

Currently on Bluray from directors Lee Hae-jun, Kim Byung-seo, Capelight and MPI Media Group comes a disaster ticking away to ASHFALL.

On the border of China and North Korea is a volcano known as Mt. Paektu. When it begins to rumble, there are several destructive earthquakes that follow and felt all the way to the Korean peninsula. Professor Kang (Ma Dong-seok) has a plan that could stop any more destruction.

Jo In-Chang (Ha Jung-woo) is told he would be going on a special mission and as an incentive, his pregnant wife Choi (Bae Suzy) would be allowed to leave with special permission. He would also be able to join her after the mission is complete. The mission is to free Lee Joon-pyeong (Lee Byung-hun), a double agent for the Korean People’s Army and in a North Korean prison.

After releasing Lee, In-Chang and his group are ordered to get uranium from a nuclear missile and take it to a mine closest to Mt. Paektu. Lee proves to be a problem when he makes it constantly difficult to get the job done. Lee has plans of his own which include finding his young daughter and make a deal with gangsters for the uranium. The Americans try and intervene as well, but In-Chang has one goal – to get to his wife.

In-chang manages to keep the gangsters as well as the Americans at bay and prepares to get to the mine but this time, Lee makes it clear he is going as well. The two men know that they may die in the process of saving millions of lives.

Jung-woo as In-Chang has been thrust into the leadership role once the accident of those in charge happens. Doing all of this so his pregnant wife will be safe, he takes his roll as seriously as he can. Not happy with the antics of Lee does not help but also does not stop him from his goal, saving lives. Jung-woo is a strong character who has minor moments where he is not sure how this is all suppose to play out. I actually thought his constant thought of his wife and child made him a hero in my eyes.  

Byung-hun as Lee is a man in jail who does not seem to have a conscience about any of it. Getting out of prison is only the beginning and helping his rescuers isn’t part of his bigger plan. Tracking him down once he escapes, the conflict between Lee and In-Chang gets even more tension filled. The obvious thing is that they both have a moment of the same goals; they just don’t know it until its too late. Lee is a smart ass and slippery but then again, he does it so darn well!

Suzy as Choi supports her husband doing the mission in exchange for their ability to be together and wait for their child to be born. As the clock ticks down, she must get to the air base where In-Chang planned to meet her. I give Choi serious props for her moment on the bridge because that was intense! Dong-seok as Professor Kang is keeping an eye on the volcano but as the plans begin to fall apart and the Americans move in, he takes it upon himself to pack up and go. That is until he meets someone on the bus and realizes that he is not finished yet.

Other cast include Jeon Hye-jin as Jeon Yoo-kyung, Jeon Do-yeon as Sun-hwa, Ja-Yeon Ok as Sgt. Min, Kyeong-yeong Lee as General Choi, Jo Han-Chul as the Colonel, Kwang-il Choi as the President and Robert Curtis Brown as Ambassador Wilson.

MPI Media Group is one of the largest independent entertainment companies with a compelling slate of the world’s most respected cinema, documentaries, performances and television programs.  Films such as THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL and THE INKEEPERS and STAKE LAND brings original talent and projects to a vibrant slate.

Capelight Pictures has brought THE MAN STANDING NEXT, SECRET ZOO and the Russian sci-fi movie ATRRACTION. Their first theatrical release in the US market is the Korean film ASHFALL.

ASHFALL is a big disaster film with a mixture of the good guys and the bad guys but who is really who? I am a big fan of disaster films so anything that blows up and keeps people on the move works for me. This fits the bill beautifully.

The tension is there absolutely as everything that could go wrong does go wrong but it does not stop the characters from doing what they need to. The total idea of saving millions instead of the one runs throughout the story and the special effects are pretty darn cool as well.

In the end – they will do what it takes to get the job done!



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About the Author

Jeri Jacquin

Jeri Jacquin covers film, television, DVD/Bluray releases, celebrity interviews, festivals and all things entertainment.