16 September 2005 | markchuck
Far from perfect, but a worthy treatment of the subject nonetheless
When I tell people that my father went to Vietnam as a member of the South Korean army, the response I often get is, "Wow, I didn't even know that South Koreans were in the Vietnam War." Given this low base line of knowledge, this film is worth recommending on the sole basis that it provides an overview of an often-overlooked facet of this tragic conflict. Aside from that, as a film it certainly has its flaws (editing, pacing, music, and production value are a few flaws that come to mind), but overall it conveys the spirit of the novel and gives a reasonably historically accurate portrayal of the men and the times.
If you're looking for a great Korean war movie, though, this isn't it. Watch Taegugki, the gripping Korean War tale that is part of the recent "New Wave" of Korean cinema sweeping the global film scene. This movie, made in the 90's took place well before this New Wave and pales in comparison to newer offerings. Still, if you're looking for a different take on the Vietnam War film and can find this at your local video store, give it a shot.
And if you like the movie, or were even remotely intrigued, you really owe it to yourself to read the novel, which gives a much greater sense of depth and character development to the story.