Look Corner: “The Divine Weapon (신기전)”

English Title: The Divine Weapon
Korean Title: 신기전
Year: 2008
Genre: Action & Adventure
Director: Kim Yoo-jin (김유진)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Not available
My Rating: 4 out of 5

Have you ever played the Civilization computer game series? In the game, you get to choose a civilization and work to outmaneuver other civilizations. Each civilization has certain advantages. If you choose to play as the Korean civilization, you are able to construct the hwach’a (화차), a wooden cart used to launch multiple rockets at once. In the film The Divine Weapon (신기전), the protagonists attempt to construct the singijeon (신기전), a specific type of fire arrow rockets that can be launched from hwach’a.

Truth be told, Korean period films are not usually my interest. I am more intrigued by modern Korea, but not as much in pre-1880s history. This is no disrespect to the genre, as there are many acclaimed films that fit into it. It’s just not normally my thing! However, the popularity of The Divine Weapon drew me in.

The film follows a group of Korean merchants who attempt to secretly develop a high-powered weapon to defend against a pending Chinese invasion. There’s a little something for everyone in this film, and, unsurprisingly, there’s a happy ending.

I do not really have a ton to say about the film. I wrestled between giving it three stars or four stars, but I ultimately decided upon the latter. The film is solid, kept my interest, and had some engaging action sequences. But, it may run a bit long and may have some historical inaccuracies, but it’s a fun ride.