Over the long weekend, I accompanied prettygirl99 to a screening of the latest Korean blockbuster in town…
The Divine Fury.
Essentially The Exorcist x Korean Oppa x Fantasy, The Divine Fury takes the concept of a standard horror flick and turns it on its head.
A protagonist who can actually fight. Check.
Hot Korean oppas. Check.
Disgusting horror visuals. Check.
The dream of every Korean fangirl. Check.
Yet, despite all the quality ingredients that seem to make it tick; is it truly perfection as fans would say?
Well, let’s find out, shall we?
#MovieMonday: The Divine Fury Review
Before we begin, however, here’s the synopsis for the movie:
After losing his father at a young age in a terrible accident, Yong-hu (Park) abandons his Christian faith and chooses to only believe in himself. Now as an adult, Yong-hu is a champion fighter and has everything he has ever wanted, that is until mysterious wounds appear in the palms of his hands. He solicits help from a local priest Father Ahn (Ahn), hoping the priest can help relieve him of the painful markings only to find himself in the middle of a dangerous fight against otherworldly evil forces seeking to wreak havoc on the human world.
Vague? Yeah, the movie doesn’t seem very concise from the get-go.
Directed by Jason Kim, the Fantasy/Mystery/Horror flick stretches 2h 9mins and is distributed by Lotte Entertainment.
You can view the trailer here:
As for the reviews’ side, there seems to be a pretty balanced ratio going on. While ratings on platforms such as iMDb and MyDramaList are more forgiving…
Ratings on Rotten Tomatoes are more balanced out.
Image: Rotten TomatoesBut hey, before you make up your mind, hear me out;
It might just make you change your perception of the movie. Entirely.
First things first, for those looking for something to scare their pants off…
You might be better off looking elsewhere.
While The Divine Fury does contain elements of horror, as well as moments of trepidation, they aren’t exactly the main focus of the film. No. Few and far between, the horror aspects come and go, quick as a flash, and they should not be the main reason you’re watching The Divine Fury.
As mentioned earlier on, The Divine Fury belongs to the Fantasy/Mystery genre, and that’s precisely what you’re going to get. Right off the bat, you’re introduced to this sobfest of a background story, which forms the fundamental premise of the film. From there, we walk alongside the protagonist Park Yong-hu, who seeks to understand why his palm bleeds excessively every night, and why demons seemed so fixated on him.
Score wise, it actually reminded me of Hans Zimmer’s own collection, with musical scores that resonate epic, epic and epic. The soundtrack during the sobfest was exceptionally well done too; I doubt it would’ve drawn half as many tears from the crowd had the score been less impactful.
The visual effects, too, really amazed me from the get-go. I’ve always known that the Korean VFX industry was a really formidable force in its own right, but this, this, was something exceptional. With fluid effects and animations that rival those of Hollywood’s, it’s a sure indication that Hollywood’s dominance in the film industry might soon be a thing of the past.
As for the story, I found the film to develop its premise pretty well. Except for the occasional lapses, the film was smooth in nature, and it was a rather pleasant ride to the end. The long screen time, 2h 9min, was also well-deserved, considering how it allowed the film to uncover at its own pace.
Acting-wise, everyone did a great job. If you’re a fan of Park Seo-Joon or Woo Do-hwan, you’ll surely be satisfied with their performances here. Their big fight at the end, in particular, was pretty impressive, though the build-up might leave Street Fighter fans chortling on the floor. And for the ladies, I think you’ll be happy at the chocolate bars on show too. 😉
All in all, this show’s a pretty good pick if you’re into sub-horror, sub-fantasy films, or if you’re just a manic Korean fan. From its outstanding scores to the majestic visual effects at work, you’ll have something to crave for. And to that end, I applaud The Divine Fury on it.
Fun fact: ****** **** will return in the ***** ********.
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