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2009 Lost Memories (KOREA 2002)


Director : Si-Myung Lee
Writer : Si-Myung Lee
Cast : Toru Nakamura, Dong-Gun Jang, Ken Mitsuishi, Jin-Ho Seo, Gu Shin and Kil-gang Ahn.

What if Japan allied with the United States during World War II? What if the atom bombs were dropped on Berlin instead of Hiroshima and Nagasaki? What if the sovereign nation of Korea never existed? To J.B.I Agent Masayuki Sakamoto these questions are not the subject of speculation-they’re history. However, during a routine investigation of a terrorist attack upon a museum displaying ancient cultural artifacts, Sakamoto uncovers a web of intrigue which leads him to an underground band of freedom fighters willing to risk everything to acquire an ancient relic known as the “Lunar Soul.” As Sakamoto unravels the mystery, everything he ever knew about the world he lives in will be turned inside out.

by Edward Tang

The Korean film market has been dishing out goods for the last few years now, with such hits as Oldboy and Shiri, I hope that they continue their pace. Their answer to the summer big budget film is 2009: Lost Memories. Memories is a very good film, a film that intrigues you from the beginning with its interesting setup and how it unfolds down the road. It follows down the road with “what-ifs”, what if this man wasn’t assassinated? What if Japan fought with the US in World War Ii? These types of ideas are great and were the right step in developing the plot. Throughout Memories, there are great action sequences and some very emotion scenes, but as well there are some very over-dramatic scenes and just how long this film is. But the film’s length never bothered me, I got caught up in how this film moved and where we ended up, the typical ending to such a film.

Now to the real goods. I liked Memories because it entertained me, and it never lacked any entertainment in my book. The plot is great but how they delivered the answer to our problems seemed a little cheesy to me. Don’t get me wrong, the “time-travel” aspect wasn’t horribly done, it just seemed out of place in this type of film. The two leads in Dong-Kun Jang and Toru Nakamura were good for these particular roles, they threw in a few overacting moments for the book, but were mainly solid for this type of film. The rest of the cast was good as well, nobody really stood out as “actor of the year”, but hell give ‘em a break.

The action was pretty good, but don’t expect any such as John Woo would dish out. People don’t dive around and shoot guns, basically everyone is mowed down. Some of them felt a little choppy, but for the most part they delivered the goods. The scene in particular, was the scene in the base, just how all these people were fighting for their lives was harsh but well done. I liked the score for the most part, the music fit with the emotional status of the current situation. I can also say that the main characters were well developed and you did care if one another died at the end. A what would happen look and feel to it which mostly paid off.

To say that this film was perfect is wrong, it isn’t, and quite the wasted opportunity. It ends on a nice moment, everything is at peace (not what I”m complaining about). But everything seemed rushed from the time of the “knowledge scene” involving the explanation of who and what happened to make this alternate reality toward the end. The only thing else I could complain about, was how quickly everything went by to explain things. I had to watch a second time just to take it all in. The film was extremely long as well, as I mentioned, the length can be noticed and does detract some away from the film.

But in the long run, complaints such as these are irrelevant. This film’s sole purpose is give us some entertainment for the long day at work or so forth. It contains everything you’d expect from a summer film and maybe a tad more. My final thought on 2009, is that it had a good plot even though it seemed to get lost in the length of this film. That might turn you off, but give it a chance, for what it is, it’s a good film that is worth a view.

Plot : 3/5
Acting : 3/5
Entertainment : 3/5
Overall : 3/5

Notable Scenes
-The final showdown between Sakamoto and Saiko.
-The opening moments (showing the failed assassination and the events that occurred after)
-The raid of the Korean base

Buy this movie at : YesAsia – 2009 Lost Memories

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