On Bluray and DVD this week from director Jong-bin Yun, Showbox and WELL GO USA Entertainment comes the fight of KUNDO: Age of the Rampant.
This film tells the story of a time of the Joseon Dynasty. It is 1859 and there are bandits known as the Kundo who take from the rich and give to the poor. Working as a butcher in the town is Dolmuchi (Jung-woo Ha), a young man trying to feed his mother and sister.
Taking advantage of Dolmuchi’s situation is Jo-yoon (Dong-won Kang) whose father is a leader who did not marry Jo-yoon’s mother. Taking him as a boy it was thought he would follow in his father’s footsteps and lead. Instead, father marries someone else and has a son pushing Jo-yoon aside.
With this brother no longer in the way there is one person that is – an unborn child who can unseat Jo-yoon. Instead, he offers Dolmuchi money to find the mother and make her disappear.
But Dolmuchi is made of stronger stuff and turns against Jo-yoon. Instead, he is welcomed into the Kundo because he stayed strong. Banning together in a small hidden village, now renamed Dolchi, he trains to be able to defend his new family and stop Jo-yoon from killing everyone who stands in his way of power.
FINAL WORD: Ha Jung-woo as Dolmuchi starts off as a young man who knows his place in the world. Butchering as a way to earn money to care for his mother and sister, it is easy to see why he would be swayed. After losing his mother and sister it becomes clear that it is his time to change. Accepted by the Kundo, the transformation from servant to warrior becomes stronger.
Kang Dong-won as Jo Yoon is just stunning to watch, especially during the martial arts scenes. Playing the very angry and vengeful son he does so with a smooth look on his face never letting his anger really come out. When wielding the sword it is smooth and, dare I say, graceful. I’ve never seen scenes such as these ever look more smooth and seamless – very well done.
Cast includes: Gok-ji, Man-shik Jeong, Hae-suk Kim, Seong-gyoon Kim as Jang, Kyeong-yeong Lee, Sung-min Lee, Dong-seok Ma, and Ji-hye Yun.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give KUNDO: Age of the Rampant three and a half tubs of popcorn out of five. There is amazing martial arts here with stunts that are exceedingly well done. It is a tale of people fighting back against a tyrant which makes for a solid storyline. The acting is stellar and the cast is perfect working together to bring this to Bluray!
Coming in at 137 minutes there isn’t a moment to breathe! The Bluray is just stunning to watch with crisp colors and in-your-face action. The ‘spaghetti western’ type music along with the wide shot of horse riding totally gives this Korean tale of fighters for rights an extra joy in my book.
KUNDO was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for Yoo Ji-hye, Best Cinematography for Choi Chan-min, Best Art Director for Park II-hun by the 23rd Buil Film Awards this year. There was a well deserved win for Best Music by Jo Yeong-wook.
In the end – it’s beyond vengeance!