This globetrotting South Korean action fest from writer-director Kwak Kyung-Taek is said to have the biggest budget in the history of that nation’s film industry, and it certainly shows as both the ocean and landlocked action sequences are elaborate as can be – lots of stuff blows up real good and the rest of it gets really soaking wet. But, as is so often the case with bloated action pics, the film has more serious problems when it comes to issues like story and acting.
“Typhoon” brings us Korean superstar Jang Dong-Kun as Sin, a North Korean refugee turned modern day pirate on an insane mission of nuclear revenge against the entirety of Korea. Opposing him is Lee Jung-Jae as a stalwart South Korean agent. Bringing some pathos to the story is Lee-Mi-Young, affecting as his gravely ill, long lost sister. The story, simple as it is, comes across as something of a mess to this non-Korean – a problem that’s likely been made worse by some sound problems on the DVD during a lengthy, unsubtitled and all but unintelligible English language section, as well as by the fact that the version on the Genius Products release has been cut down by 16 minutes from the original 124 minute release. Another problem is that Lee Jung-Jae’s agent is one dull, super-stoic action-hero. Fortunately, Dong-Kin brings lots of crazy emotion to the party as an ultraviolent, revenge crazed, ex-cannibal Jack Sparrow on meth, who we are invited to sympathize based on his tragic childhood and the fact that the really does love his sister. “Typhoon” doesn’t even begin to hang together, but thanks to a ton of action and shameless emotion, it’s usually not dull.