My Way


My Way
Directed by Kang Je-kyu
CJ Entertainment and PMK*BNC Films
Opens April 20

Racking up a truly staggering bit-player body count, the Korean World War II epic My Way marshals an overbearing score, turbulent handheld camerawork, and a punishingly brief average shot duration toward the story of two archnemesis long-distance runners who form an unlikely alliance amid the welter of world war. The film, co-written and directed by Kang Je-kyu, gets under way in Japanese-occupied Korea, where peasant local Kim Jun-shik (Jang Dong-gun) and well-heeled Tokyo transplant Tatsuo Hasegawa (Joe Odagiri) go toe to toe several times as young men, the rivalry reaching a head when imperial higher-ups strip Jun-shik of his rightful Olympic qualification. A couple of years later, in 1939, they both find themselves at the Mongolian border—Tatsuo as a sadistic colonel and Jun-shik as a forced conscript who takes a stand when his superior sends all the Koreans on a suicide mission to destroy Soviet tanks. When Tatsuo orders Jun-shik's execution, the latter simply runs away, the first of many last-minute escapes from certain death managed by the two fleet-of-foot main characters. Each CGI-enhanced battle scene (Kang appears to have a Michael Bay–ish fondness for showing combat vehicles massed in formation) effects a realignment of the Jun-shik/Tatsuo dynamic. As they meet again in a whiteout Russian P.O.W. camp and then as Nazi prisoners at sunny Normandy Beach, bad blood gives way to a deepening mutual reliance. Perhaps the most charitable thing that can be said about the 143-minute marathon My Way—with a reported budget of almost $25 million, the costliest Korean motion picture ever produced—is that it does nothing by halves.

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So I wonder what idiot wrote this review? Hmm... All I can say is, watch the movie yourselves guys. You will find out just how wrong this reporter is, who is probably half blind. Do something better with your time, Benjamin Mercer, instead of dissing award-winning directors and movies.


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