The Woochi Download
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Jeon Woo-chi, an undisciplined womanizing Taoist from the Joseon era, ends up in present day Korea causing mayhem with his knack for magic.
I came to find "Woochi: The Demon Slayer" by browsing DVDs on Amazon, and I read the reviews for the movie, and it got really high praise, so I decided to give the movie a go; partly because of the praise, but also because I enjoy Asian movies and action movies. And I was hoping that this movie would be in the likes of "Volcano High".<br/><br/>However, I didn't know that about half of the movie would take place in ancient Korea, though it didn't make the movie bad. I had just expected it to be set in the present day, because of the movie cover and all. But having the movie take place in two different eras was entertaining enough, and it did work out well enough.<br/><br/>Now that I have seen it, I feel somewhat disillusioned, because the movie wasn't all that it was hyped up to be with the praises and the comments on the cover; "jaw dropping action" (24framespersecond.net) and "The no. 1 Asian box office smash hit!". The movie wasn't bad, but with praise like it had received, I had expected a bit more from it.<br/><br/>The story is a combination of action, drama and comedy, and it does work out well enough. And you do get caught up in the storyline, but it is not really one that will stick with you for long after you have ejected the disc from the DVD player.<br/><br/>"Woochi: The Demon Slayer" has really great effects, and there are some interesting scenes. The demons were depicted as a rat and a rabbit in semi-humanoid form, which was sort of strange to see, as that is not how I envision a demon to be, being a Westerner and all, but I suppose it might work out well enough for Korean mythology.<br/><br/>This movie is well worth checking out for the effects alone, but in my honest opinion, then there are better Asian movies available out there of a similar genre.
Combining fantasy, adventure, action and humour to maximum effect, this lively Korean film deserves to be seen by as big an audience as possible. Writer/director Dong-hun Choi, best-known for his excellent con-artist films THE BIG SWINDLE (2004) and TAZZA : THE HIGH ROLLERS (2006), takes an unexpected turn into fantasy/action territory, but again shows why he is such a highly-regarded film-maker. Using the time-travel premise that was well-used in films such as ICEMAN COMETH (from Hong Kong) and of course HIGHLANDER, WOO-CHI makes the most of the material, helped along by a strong cast and superior technical crew. Dong-won Kang (from SECRET REUNION, DUELIST, VOICE OF A MURDERER, and the very funny TOO BEAUTIFUL TOO LIE)is excellent as the title character, making a flawed, at-times quite vein person likable. The great Yun-seok Kim, who impressed audiences in RUNNING TURTLE and inparticular in the brilliant THE CHASER, is perfectly cast as Woo-chi's main nemesis. Su-jeong Lim (from Park Chan-wook's under-rated I'M A CYBORG, BUT THAT'S OK and the outstanding A TALE OF TWO SISTERS)is perfect as the object of Woo-chi's affections. It's also great to see Dong-hun regular Yun-shik Baek (TAZZA / THE BIG SWINDLE / THE ART OF FIGHTING / SAVE THE GREEN PLANET) make a very welcome appearance. With $200 million Hollywood productions failing to make the grade, it is wonderful to see a film like WOO-CHI deliver such high-class entertainment on a fraction of the budget. Fast-paced, exciting, very funny, and full of vibrant, involving characters, JEON WOO-CHI : THE TAOIST WIZARD will certainly be one of my best films of the year. One hopes it will get a proper international release (unfortunately the director's other films have yet to achieve a deserving release outside of South Korea).
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