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Illang: The Wolf Brigade Netflix – Review

Illang: The Wolf Brigade is the kind of movie that splits opinions (watch here). While it has qualities that leap to the eye, it is clear that there are problems that are very difficult to get around. Anyway, this feature that comes to Netflix after being acquired by the platform for worldwide distribution brings pertinent issues that can reverberate in the head of the viewer. If this, of course, is able to withstand production errors, which unfortunately are greater than its merits.

This being a film directed by Kim Jee Woon, it’s natural that it has attracted curious looks from those who know the filmography of who is one of the main professionals of the Korean audiovisual. His films are very well received by both critics and audiences, such as “I Saw the Devil” or “The Age of Shadows”, which came to have considerable success in the West. It turns out that Illang: The Wolf Brigade does not live up to his previous material, giving the impression of having been directed through telephone.

A vision of the future

This film, in fact, is the adaptation of a Japanese manga called “Kerberos Panzer Cop”, that also got a movie adaptation in 1999 (“Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade”, an animation). The story leaves Japan and has its action transported to the border between the Koreas, just as they are working out the last details for their unification. A terrorist group called “The Sect” wants to ruin these plans and prevent the union between the two then antagonistic countries, so the local police needs to fight them and avoid a tragedy.

This vision of the future shown in the movie is very well done, with a production design done with great care, much superior than what is normally seen in Korean films. The budget is very visible in the scenarios and the visual effects, which demonstrate an accurate and well-suited visual for the audience, both Eastern and Western. It cannot be denied that it is a delight to watch Illang: The Wolf Brigade, at least as far as its looks are concerned. It is also necessary to draw attention to the costumes, created by Eddie Yang: they are not extravagant like most films that happen in the future suggest, but also do not seem old-fashioned.

The biggest problem of Illang: The Wolf Brigade, however, is in all the rest. The direction seems to falter and not decide for an action movie or a political drama – in doubt, it tried both, obtaining results of bad to medium in both cases. Kim Jee Woon signs the film, but seems to have been limited to just that: the conscious and well-choreographed action, the hallmark of his cinema, appears only in flashes

Many failures, little interest

Because of this, the flaws of the movie appear in a cascade. The acting do not work the way it should, as the director’s hand seems to weigh and the interpretations are at the edge of parody. The movie has characters who could gain a lot in depth if they had been worked with more subtlety. Still, they can maintain some interest until about half of the film, when the monochord tone ends up tiring who watches.

The many flaws of Illang: The Wolf Brigade end up arousing little interest in the plot, which is interesting and very relevant to our current political moment.

It is a pity that so much potential is wasted in a very beautiful production. Its meanings and relevance stands up as much as an empty bag.

Trailer and additional information of Illang: The Wolf Brigade Netflix

Synopsis 1: They were meant to ensure public peace. But is there humanity left behind the mask – or are they wolves in human form?

Synopsis 2: In 2019, the elite police squad Illang combats a terrorist group opposing reunification of the two Koreas. But another enemy may be lurking nearby.

Age rating: 16;

Release year: 2018

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