Korea, 1862; In the time of the Joseon Dynasty
The country is ruled by corrupt and oppressive leaders. The people are ground down by plague and famine. Then along comes Doksul to lead the people and overthrow Lord Jo.
The title sequence of the main characters in freeze frame is pure Sergio Leone and the plot is as pared down as all of the best Westerns. The film uses some rapid zoom-ins and a lot of CGI, inspite of men in topknots and pointy hats the film feels much more modern than its time period.
Even if there are two many characters introduced at the beginning, bald headed Doksul is a great character, a bit like a Korean Robin Hood. There are some awesome duels, including the final battle in a forest. The film took me several goes to finish, but by the end it was worth it. The twangy guitar-led score fits the epic vistas and horses running across plains perfectly .
Kundo premiered at the London Korean Fim Festival last November, and broke Box Office records when it was released in South Korea.