The plot in the South Korean martial-arts period piece "Memories of the Sword" may verge on the incomprehensible but, boy, is it gorgeous.
|"MEMORIES OF THE SWORD"
Opens Friday at Pearlridge West
Director Heung-Sik Park’s take on a classic Chinese "wuxia" tale — a medieval-set meshing of war, love, and wire-work choreography where characters can become airborne as in "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" — bears all the classic elements of honor, betrayal and revenge. While Park doesn’t do much new with these, and the clanging action scenes aren’t particularly revolutionary, the film gets by on its ravishing good looks.
Go-eun Kim is Hong-yi (who later goes by Seol-hee), a girl who decides to use her considerable skills with the sword to avenge the death of her father. He was part of a peasant uprising while she was an infant but he and her mother were betrayed by his cohort Yoo-beak (Byung-Hun Lee). Yoo-beak is now the big guy in the kingdom.
wIt gets more complicated from there, and many viewers may just give up trying to follow what’s going on. That’s just as well. "Memories of the Sword" is more a parade of striking images than a coherent story.
Review by Cary Darling, Fort Worth (Texas) Star-Telegram