3 Best Movies to Watch by Zo In-sung

Staff & contributors
While Hollywood still makes some films in this genre, there are less historical epics being released, in part due to cost, but also in part due to having had so many, ever since the start of the medium. However, there are some historical events that we rarely see on film, and one of them is The Great Battle. Set before the formation of a united Korea, the film is a classic standoff against a larger army, that has all the swordfighting and armies we’ve come to expect, but it’s also grounded by the dynamic between a young warrior sent to assassinate, and the hardened, brilliant commander whose leadership kept the troops protected. While there are moments that definitely eludes historical accuracy, and there are some subplots that distract from the main conflict, The Great Battle is a fairly entertaining historical epic to watch, especially when focused on the action-packed clashes and the spectacular warfare.

Genre: Action, History, War

Actor: Bae Seong-woo, Bae Sung-woo, Cha Eun-woo, Eom Tae-goo, In-sung Jo, Jang Gwang, Jeong In-kyeom, Joo-Hyuk Nam, Ju Seok-tae, Jung Eun-chae, Jung Ji-hoon, Kim Seol-hyun, Nam Joo-hyuk, Oh Dae-hwan, Oh Dae-whan, Park Byung-eun, Park Sung-woong, Seol-Hyun Kim, Seolhyun, Shin Yoo-ram, Stephanie Lee, Sung Dong-il, Sung-woong Park, Um Tae-goo, Yeo Hoi-hyeon, Yu Oh-seong, Zo In-sung

Director: Kim Kwang-shik, Kim Kwang-sik, Kwang-shik Kim

Rating: Not Rated, R

Escape from Mogadishu follows diplomats from the North and South Korean embassies as they put aside their differences and work together to escape from an outbreak of civil war in Mogadishu, Somalia. Director Ryoo Seung-wan provides thrilling, high-budget action, especially intense car chases and suspenseful escape scenes that pump you with adrenaline and leave you on the edge of your seat. However, the Somali side of the story leaves much to be desired. Only existing to kill or be killed, the depiction of the Somalians is distasteful, and the country it’s set in seen as nothing more than a senseless warzone.

It’s in crafting a political thriller where Ryoo strikes a chord, following the tradition of South Korean films and dramas that question the current South/North relations. It’s also the aspect that pushed this film to win awards, given that it’s based on a true story from the 1991 civil war in Somalia, albeit with blockbuster flair. Sure, it’s a highly fictionalized story, but the political tensions and heightened atmosphere make good entertainment. And, as with all Korean thrillers, you’ll have to get on a certain wavelength of melodrama to be fully on board with the bonkers yet emotional escape.

Genre: Action, Drama, Thriller, War

Actor: Ahn Se-ho, Han Chul-woo, Heo Joon-ho, Jeong Man-sik, Jo In-sung, Joo Bo-bi, Kim Jae-hwa, Kim So-jin, Kim Yoon-seok, Koo Kyo-hwan, Lee Jin-hee, Park Kyung-hye, Park Myung-shin, Yoon Kyung-ho, Zo In-sung

Director: Ryoo Seung-wan