5 days ago
Friday, December 23, 2011
War Ghosts In Vietnam
In 1972 Vietnam, a South Korean base gets a radio transmission from a platoon that has been missing and presumed to be dead. One person from that platoon was found, and he still claims that everyone else was dead since he took their dog tags himself. Lieutenant Choi Tae-in (Woo-seong Kam) is recruited to lead a hand picked platoon, made from people who have been on medical leave. Their mission is to find the lost platoon and find out what happened to them, and to bring them back if possible. The transmission came from a place referred to as R-Point. Soon after getting there, they are attacked by a lone woman, whom they manage to take out. After that they soon discover markings that describe a story of how the Chinese attacked and killed many Vietnamies and put the bodies in a lake. A temple was then build over the bodies. The land is considered a cold zone because both the South and North consider it sacred ground. They find a place to hold up while doing their search, but it doesn't take long before weird things start to happen. When one of their own kills himself and they discover that it was a guy from the missing platoon, Choi has to figure out what is going on.
As I was watching R-Point, I kept wondering why this was being based during the Vietnam war. I just assumed that the story was being based there in order to have this story. After I finished watching it, the first thing I did was look up to see if South Korea was part of the Vietnam war, and they were. Someone else mentioned that they didn't know this either on IMDb message boards, and was made fun of. "Stupid Americans don't even know who their allies were in wars." Personally I don't remember being taught in school that South Korea was part of the war. Every show I ever watched about the war only talks about American troops that were there to support the South Vietnamese troops.
Writer/director Su-chang Kong manages to weave a pretty interesting and strange story. It isn't a new plot really. There have been other films where troops come up against the supernatural while in battle. What is happening to these guys is never completely explained, but I didn't mind that. Even after the movie I wasn't completely sure what was going on. Was it just a place that had a way of keeping ghosts there? Was it a main ghost they were seeing, or could the place just control ghosts? It is kind of weird how with some movies I don't mind that it isn't fully explained, while with others I wished they had explained it more. I thought the pacing was good for this movie. There are some slow points to it, but it is kept interesting but always having something to think about.
For a war/horror movie, R-Point wasn't very gory. You get the usual stuff of when a person is shot and things like that, so there is plenty of blood to go around. The only real complaint I have about R-Point was the way it was acted. At times it seemed like the characters were being way to silly. I guess I could write it off as they were just dealing with things in their own way. I know when stressed I can start laughing at things I probably wouldn't find all that funny normally. Anyway, I didn't find that acting bad, just wish it had a bit more serious feel to it. You can also find Ju-bong Gi, Seon-gyun Lee, Won-sang Park, Tae-kyung Oh and Byung-ho Son.
Another, but smaller, problem was that there seemed to be a lot of Sergeants in this platoon. It could make it a little confusing at times when names start get thrown around a lot. Another thing is that they don't seem very well trained. Maybe these guys are officers that never saw much combat but once the bullets start to fly, it seemed like most of them would scream like little girls and act like they don't know what to do. Despite these things, the acting being the most annoying part, I would gladly watch this one again. There are some creepy parts to it, like knowing they are interacting with ghosts even if they don't know it yet. Maybe I have a soft spot for movies like R-Point since I tend to give them high ratings, but I do feel this has been one of the better movies I have watched so far this month. Time will tell if it will be the best or not. If you haven't watched R-Point yet, and love the mix of supernatural and war, you should give this one a watch when you can.
4 out of 5 I'm excused when I scream like a little girl