With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013
With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

BATTLE FOR INCHEON: OPERATION CHROMITE reviewed; debuts today on Blu-ray and DVD

CJ Entertainment
 Battle for Incheon: Operation Chromite / In-cheon sang-ryuk jak-jeon
Directed by John H. Lee
South Korea, 2016, 111 minutes

Battle for Incheon: Operation Chromite , an exciting action film set during the Korean War, debuts on Blu-ray and DVD today, Tuesday, January 24th from CJ Entertainment.The film hit North American theaters last August. At that time it was simply titled Operation Chromite.

The titular operation was the audacious invasion by sea of Incheon, far behind the North Korean front line. The plan was the brainchild of General Douglas MacAuthur (Liam Neeson), commander of the U.N. and South Korean forces, who overcame the objections of more conservative military leaders.  The decisive victory by the U.N. forces resulted in a strategic reversal of fortune for the previously beleaguered Allied forces.

At the beginning of the film there is a notice that what follows was "inspired by true events." This is one step further removed from the "based on true events" designation. Basically, "inspired by" means that the film takes something that happened as its springboard and dramatizes it in a way that has little concern with historical accuracy.

Here, the heroes of the invasion are a small group of South Korean soldiers who impersonate a North Korean inspection team so that they can obtain information essential for the success of the invasion. The group is led by Captain Jang Hak-Soo (Lee Jung-Jae, seen in Assassination and The Thieves) of the South Korean Naval Intelligence Bureau. His group is aided by members of the Korean Liaison Office (KLO) in Incheon, a group of resistance fighters.

Leading the defense of Incheon is Lim Gye-Jin (Lee Bum-Soo, The Divine Move). He is depicted as being the only person in the North Kor4ean political and military leadership who believes that MacAuthur's attack will be at Incheon. Lee Bum-soo, it deserves to be mentioned, makes an outstanding villain.

The movie is well-paced and the cinematography is commendable. There are numerous action sequences that vary in nature, from shoot-outs to a vehicular chase through the streets of Incheon.

All-in-all, a good Korean War action film. Sit back and enjoy; just don't expect much in the way of an accurate history lesson.

Disc Specs:
-- Audio/Subtitles
   -- English 5.1 or 2.0
   -- Korean 5.1 or 2.0 with English Subtitles
-- Bonus Features
  -- "Making Of" featurette (note that this featurette is marred at times by incomplete subtitling (resulting in incomplete sentences) and by some statements not having subtitles at all)
  -- Trailers
     -- Battle for Incheon: Operation Chromite
     -- Five other CJ Entertainment films

AsianCineFest Rating: 3 out of 4 stars; a good, solid action film.

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