Director: John H. Lee
Distributor: Splendid Film
Duration: 111 minutes
Operation Chromite (In-cheon sang-ryuk jak-jeon) (Blu-ray) – Movie Review
The topic of ‘war’ has always been a great plot to start a movie with, be it an intergallatic war in Star Wars, a prehistoric one in Troy, or those that are still fairly fresh in our memory, such as the two Great Wars, or even more recent events in Iraq. Those last two tend to be the driving point of many movies, but there are still many unmarked wars when it comes to the massive library of war movies. This time we take a closer look at the Korean war that occurred in the 1950’s, with both an American and Korean cast. Don’t expect any flashy Jackie Chan scenes however, as this is a story based on actual events.
On June 25th of 1950, North Korea invades South Korea, with the help of the Russians, and while the Americans immediately got involved, almost entire South Korea immediately surrendered to the brutal troops of the North. Nonetheless, the last bastion remained intact, and from here on out, general Douglas MacArthus (Liam Neeson) devised a plan that might as well win them the war, albeit at the risk of eight brave soldiers, who would have to infiltrate in the North, and learn about Incheon, and mainly the mines surrounding the harbor of said area. The valiant soldiers successfully infiltrate the encampment of the enemies, but information is dealt out rather scarcely, as the North believes spies could be everywhere.
From here on out it’s a race against time to provide the American fleet with the proper information, so they can take over Incheon, while the enemy suspects they will attack other harbors, which are poorly defended. Incheon is the stronghold of the North Korean forces, and without help, not only would sailing into the minefield jeopardize this specific mission, it could also cost them the war, and the lives of many soldiers. Of course, as expected, the missions does not proceed without any problems, and soon after the eight find their numbers dwindling, but even so, they will have to press on if they ever want to win this war.
Operation Chromite is filled to the brim with action sequences, as well as suspenseful moments. Even though the movie spans nearly two hours, there isn’t a single dull moment to be found, as the infiltrating group of soldiers finds themselves in a hefty amount of dangerous situations from start to finish. Overall the flow is just right for a movie like this, and even though it’s already a very heavy movie to process, action enthusiasts will also get their money’s worth.
With Liam Neeson on the cover of the box, and the movie’s posters, you’d expect him to play the leading role, but in reality he’s one of the characters that hardly gets any screen time, compared to the cast who are playing the infiltrators. Nonetheless, even with Liam Neeson on the background, the rest of the cast is certainly on par with the British veteran, even though he adds a nice touch to the movie. You’ll be treated to very convincing acting experiences, and sometimes the Korean cast manages to make you laugh, even in this otherwise grim adventure.
Safe for a ‘making of’, the Blu-ray edition of Operation Chromite does not contain any other noteworthy extras that have anything to do with the movie. You’ll only be able to watch a few trailers of other movies soon to be released, or already released, by Splendid Film. If you’re hoping the making of will offer a lot of content, you’ll also be sorely disappointed as it only spans around four minutes, thus not really lengthening the value of the movie.
Operation Chromite is an interesting collaboration of an American and Korean cast, who bring us a real story about a war that is often neglected in the west, while it was also a very bloody one that certainly stained many history books. If you’re considering this movie solely to see Liam Neeson, you’d better not get your hopes up to see some badass combat scenes as in ‘Taken’, as his role is quite minor. If you’re doing it for the story, the great acting performances by the rest of the cast, and the otherwise beautifully filmed movie, then this one is right up your alley.