Like "Wolf Warrior 2" in China, the commercial success of "The Battleship Island" in Korea can be largely attributed to its extreme patriotism. From a pure critical point of view, "The Battleship Island" is rather mediocre, if not completely catastrophic.

Author: jarods83 from Los Angeles, CA
***imdb上写的比较客观的一篇。 This review may contain spoilers ***

Admittedly, the film is not a total disaster. There are some brutal and bloody action scenes. But that rare merit could easily been overshadowed by more CGI-enhanced (in other words, fake) action sequences. Also, Hwang Jung-min and Kim Su-an perform well in the movie such that the love between their characters, the father Kang-ok and the daughter So-hee, easily moves the audience. Yet most characters in the movie are flat and one-dimensional, especially Park Moo-young, played by Song Joong-ki.

Crowd Report: Watched this movie on Christmas day. The crowd is a mix of seniors and Chinese speaking audience of various ages. Theater is about 60% full for a 2pm show. And adults please don't bring young kids to this movie. Some scenes are so brutal I have to cover my eyes.

To make things worse, countless problems lie in the plot, the storytelling and the editing. How did Park arrive at the Battleship Island? Why did Park survive after being shot and severely wounded for a long time? Why were the Japanese completely unaware of the meeting of the Koreans? Why did the Japanese give up after the death of their commanding officer? Why could the Korean see the explosion of the atomic bomb, which is physically very far away? Why did the movie end suddenly without a fourth act?

The critics reviews are terrible and I was on the fence about seeing this movie. Zhang Yimou's films from the last ten years had been disappointing starting with "Hero". I felt he caved in too much to commercial interests and government interference. But make no mistake, the critics are overly harsh on this film. Flowers of War is a solid film that worth seeing. It's Zhang's best in ten years.

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  1. About the "white man saving the native" angle - this is unfair criticism. Bale did have a lot of screen time but the movie's heart really lies in the heroic act of 13 courtesans. Chinese audience totally get the reference when Yu Mo says prostitutes in China have a reputation