Nam Yi (Hae-il Park) and his younger sister Ja-in (Chae-won Moon) escape the government assassins who kill their father and flee to a family friend. There they grow up knowing they are the children of a traitor and will never be able to lead full lives. If they are discovered they still face death. Nam Yi deals with this by drinking and despair, Ja-in attempts to make the most of life. She is set to marry Seo-goon (Mu-Yeol Kim) once Nam Yi gives his permission of course, her brother has taken on the role of her father. Nam Yi doesn’t really want to give it, her children, he tells her, are doomed to be the descended from a traitor, what life can they possibly lead?
And then Manchurian invaders attack and take Ja-in and Seo-goon, among others, as slaves. Nam Yi sets out to rescue his sister.
I wasn’t too sure about this film after the first scene. It was violent and quite graphic. But I kept watching and in the end I really enjoyed the film.
It is quite violent, but then again the film is called War of the arrows so you know before you start watching that this isn’t going to be a bunch of people sitting around. It is pretty much a chase movie. Nam Yi chases around after the evil “savages”, killing them with archery while trying to find his sister. It isn’t a subtle film.
It also isn’t that kind to the Manchurian invaders. Then again, they did invade Korea so I’m guessing there is some sort of resentment there, plus you need your bad guys to be bad guys in a film like this.
All in all I really enjoyed it. Plus Ja-in got to have some action too. She isn’t a warrior, or a fighter, but she isn’t a passive damsel in distress waiting for rescue, she acts, even if she does need help in escaping.
If you are in the mood for some action and adventure you could do a lot worse than this film.