If John Woo’s The Killer had been made by a Korean director lacking talent and a script, you’d have Typhoon, a cheap-looking action movie that sabotages itself at almost every turn. A modern-day pirate named Sin (Jang Dong-gun) plans to build a few dirty bombs with waste from Chernobyl, then hurl them into an oncoming typhoon, which will disperse radiation across the Korean peninsula. But Sin really isn’t such a bad guy: He’s just hurting inside because of the time when he was a kid from the North who tried to sneak across the border with his family, and his mother was killed. Still he must be stopped, which brings us to a lieutenant (Lee Jung-jae) who plays by his own rules. Director Kwak Kyung-taek shows some skill with the flashbacks but no aptitude for action, apart from one slo-mo-in-the-rain bit that’s clearly a Michael Bay homage.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 23, 2006