Last summer it was Kim Seong-hun’s Tunnel that got a UK release even while the movie was still topping the Korean box office. This year the summer blockbuster Battleship Island, released in Korea on 27 July, gets some London screenings just two weeks later, from 11 August. The film raked in $27 million in box office receipts in its opening week – though since then it has been eclipsed by Taxi Driver. Being a Ryu Seung-wan movie, expect plenty of well-choreographed mayhem in the group action scenes. But it’ll be good to see the eleven-year-old Kim Su-an (Sprout, Train to Busan) again, too.
The location where the film is set, Hashima Island (10 miles off the coast of Nagasaki), also featured in the Bond movie Skyfall, and is one of the sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution that was listed as UNESCO world heritage in 2015.
Dir: Ryu Seung-wan (2017) 132 mins
Cast: Hwang Jung-min, So Ji-sub, Song Joong-ki, Lee Kyoung-young, Kim Su-an.
Screenings at Odeon Panton Street and Odeon Kingston from 11 Aug | Book tickets
As World War II nears its end, at the site of a massive coal mine on the small island of Hashima (nicknamed “Battleship Island”), tensions run high between the Japanese soldiers who maintain order with shocking cruelty, and the Koreans who were tricked or forced into working there.
Then, just as the island’s dark secrets are revealed, the Koreans plot a dramatic escape.
- Reviews by Jason Bechervaise (Screendaily) | Pierce Conran (Screenanarchy) | David Noh (Film Journal) | Simon Abrams (RogerEbert.com)
- Interview with Ryu Seung-wan in Korea JoongAng Daily
(automatically generated) Read LKL’s review of this event here.