There were a few reasons why I went to watch this movie, the most important of which is the movie topped the Korea box office for a few weeks. The second is ever since the 2008 movie "A Frozen Flower", I love the way they make period dramas and tell a tale.
Starring Park Hae-il, who picked up a Best New Actor award for his role as a highly skilled archer who would stop at nothing to save his sister from the Machurians, Moon Chae-won, who also won the Best New Actress award, Kim Mu-Yeol, Ryoo Seung-Ryong and many others, I only recognize Ryoo from other movies.
After surviving the massacre of his entire family, other than Nam-yi and his sister Ja-in, from the new king's henchmen and hiding from the authorities for 13 years at his late father's family friend's residence, the Qing army sent a legion of troops to invade the village and enslave the survivors as prisoners. He was out hiding from his sister's wedding, which he disapproved of, when the army charged into the village and slaughtered most of the villagers and held his sister captive along with many others.
He vowed to protect his sister at all costs until his last breath since the family tragedy and went in hot pursuit of the Manchurian army in a bid to save his sister. Armed with his only weapon, a bow and red feathered arrows, his brother-in-law and 2 friends, he had to defeat the enemy's team of highly skilled and ruthless warrior archers, led by the formidable leader Jyushinta. After killing off the lecherous Crown Prince who assaulted his sister in the enemy's camp, they set out to hunt him and the others down. With his wits, courage and master archery skills where his arrows were able to appear from impossible angles, he was able to decimate the enemy's team of archers.
From more than 15 archers, he killed them off one after another. And then there were 10 archers and after a grueling battle at the river, he lost his 2 allies but managed to reduce the opponent's numbers to 6, and then to 4 and 2 in what I would described by the chinese proverb "one arrow two condors". He thought he killed the last warrior chief until the final showdown in a field. It came down to who was able to close the gap faster than others in a triangular run towards each other, involving Nam-yi, Ja-in and Jyushinta. Arrows were shot and as expected, the warrior chief was killed and so was Nam-yi, but not before he managed to save his only sister from dying right in front of his eyes.
The cinematography and pace were good and I found myself almost gripping my seat in anticipation of what was to come during the movie. So yes, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie.