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The Divine Weapon

(Shin ge jeon)
Sponsored by: Messenger Plus!

Canadian Premiere

  • South korea 2008
  • 134 min
  • 35mm
  • Korean with English subtitles

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Director: Kim Yoo-jin
Screenplay: Lee Man-hui
Cast: Jung Jae-young, Ahn Sung-ki, Huh Joon-ho, Han Eun-jung
Producers: Lee Seung-ryoul
Distributor: CJ Entertainment


It is the 15th century, the height of the Joseon Dynasty, and Sejong the Great rules benevolently over the Korean people. All is not well, though. To the north, the Ming emperor has ever-greater expansionist ambitions for the Chinese, and all eyes now fall on their subject state to the south. Spies have been sent in under diplomatic cover and what they have learned of sends chills through the imperial court. Sejong’s finest military talents are conspiring to develop an unprecedented weapon, one that will only be matched in efficiency and scale of destructiveness by Western armourers several centuries later. The weapon isn’t ready yet, though, and protecting its secrets, which now lie exclusively in the hands of the lovely young Hong-ri, is of utmost importance. Into these dramatic circumstances stumbles Seol-ju, a cocky but capable small-time merchant with copious courage, a knack for leadership and unexpected skills in hand-to-hand combat.

THE DIVINE WEAPON was a smash hit upon its release this past fall in South Korea, and that’s hardly a surprise, given not only its strong streak of Korean historical pride but also its engaging cast of characters—portrayed by some of the most renowned figures in Korean popular cinema at the moment—and of course its astounding action and battle scenes. A grand historical epic that never forgets to focus on the ordinary souls at the eye of the storm, THE DIVINE WEAPON stars the excellent Jeong Jae-yung, memorable for his turns in NO BLOOD, NO TEARS and of course last year’s Fantasia crowd-pleaser GOING BY THE BOOK, as the hero-despite-himself Seol-ju, never to mention veterans Ahn Sung-kee (MUSA THE WARRIOR, ARAHAN) as King Sejong and Heo Jun-ho, from THE RESTLESS and SILMIDO, as his top soldier. Elegantly evoking the intricacies and intrigues of Korea at the time, THE DIVINE WEAPON lights a fuse that sets off a tremendous finale. Be sure to catch these fireworks!

—Rupert Bottenberg

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