Starring: Song Kang Ho as Lee Jung Chul, Gong Yoo as Kim Woo Jin, Uhm Tae Goo as Hashimoto, Han Ji Min as Yeon Gye Soon, Tsurumi Shingo as Higashi, and Lee Byung Hun as Jung Chae San
Rating: R, subject matter and some violence
Running Time: 140 min
Twinkies: 4 stars
Synopsis: Lee Jung Chool once had connections to the Korean independence movement, but he now works as a police officer for the Japanese occupation’s forces. He receives an order to take down the leaders of the Heroic Corps, an anti-Japanese resistance organization. But while Lee wants to keep his favorable position with the Japanese, he begins to question himself while chasing Kim Jan Ok, a key resistance fighter who used to be his classmate.
Then Lee meets art dealer Kim Woo Jin, whom he suspects is the regional leader of the group, and whose antique shop is a front for a scheme to smuggle explosives from Shanghai into Seoul. Both men are well aware of each other’s true identities and intentions, but get closer to each other seeking out more information. Jung Che San, the leader of the Heroic Corps, wants to turn Lee—all while Lee is being hounded and watched by the suspicious officer Hashimoto. Conflicted over duty and loyalty, Lee knows he could become a traitor or ally to either side.
Musings: Definitely a movie about the period. If you watch for any other reason, I caution you just to skip this one. Some fans tend to watch a drama/movie simply for the artist, this is not one of those. Age of Shadows truly gives you a glimpse into the time period where Korean Resistance fighters were willing and did just about anything to rid themselves of the Imperial Japanese occupation.
I really applaud Gong Yo’s choice of movies! He has covered some truly insightful periods and subject matters. As Kim Woo Jin, his dedication to the cause was simply admirable. That is something that cannot be denied when watching this film.
Han Ji Min as freedom fighter and spy, Yeon Gye Soon was sensational! She’s another one that I totally respect when it comes to her movie choices. Her scenes throughout the movie are memorable.
Last but definitely NOT least is Song Kang Ho as Lee Jung Chul. He was surely a man whose loyalties I questioned right until the end. But it is the ending that tells you his sincerity to the resistance in the end.
Overall, this is a movie infused with both truth and absolutely some creative license in bringing to you the times that the people of Korea lived in under the chokehold of the Japanese. This movie is long! This movie focuses on its subject matter. If you are watching for any other reason, you will be bored. I liked it simply for the history it presented.
Trailer is available on on YouTube Website only. The movie is available on various streaming websites to include YouTube for $3.99 rental.
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