It is believed that when a person dies, their soul spends 49 days in Jungcheon, or Purgatory, before their eternal fate is decided -- heaven, hell or rebirth. That’s where accomplished demon hunter Yi Kwak finds himself as he lies on the edge of death in our world. Blessed with astounding swordsmanship and the uncanny ability to see the evil spirits invisible to most, Yi enlisted with the royal squad of elite demon exterminators, the Chuhyongdae, following his fiancée’s tragic death. In Jungcheon, he finds Yon-hwa again, but she does not recognize him –- she is a spirit of the afterlife now, severed from earthly memories. Moreover, she is deeply entangled in a great war between the white-clad warriors of reincarnation and a swarm of dark spirits determined to forever shatter the cycle of life and death. The battle is desperately close to a terrifying conclusion, so Yi must draw his sword to defend the woman he loves and all they holds dear –- and confront the same soul that was once like a father to him.
The Restless signifies a momentous occurrence in Asian martial arts cinema. A Korean-Japanese crossover collaboration shot entirely in China, with a notably huge budget and a crew drawn from across the continent, The Restless benefited from a massive pre-release buzz, including a lavish exhibition of production elements in Seoul, befitting such an important step in the evolution of the Korean variant on wuxia, the operatic, iconographic silks-and-swordplay genre of China. Director Jo Dong-oh, who cut his teeth working on Musa: the Warrior with Restless star Jung Woo-sung, oversees this highly original and thoughtful work with an assuredness and audacity unexpected of a first-timer. He’s wisely enlisted Korea’s superstar of stunt work, Jung Doo-hong (The City of Violence, at Fantasia this year), as action chorographer, and costume designer Emi Wada, who worked her wardrobe wizardry for Zhang Yimou's wuxia efforts and Akira Kurosawa's Ran, which earned her an Oscar.
Director: Jo Dong-oh
Screenplay: Jo Dong-oh, Lee Hee-dae
Cast: Heo Jun-ho
Producers: Jo Min-Whan, Kim Seong-su
Distributor: CJ Entertainment