Musudan Review: “Danger in the Korean DMZ”

Title: Musudan

Director: Goo Moo

Writer: Goo Moo; Yoo Sun-Dong; Boo Duk-Hyun

Cast: Lee Ji-Ah; Kim Min-Jun; Do Ji-Han; Park Yoo Hwan; Oh Jong-Hyuk; Kim Dong-Young

Duration: 87 minutes

Country: South Korea

Year: 2016

The movie Musudan is a South Korean movie, which is a mix of action, mystery, thriller and monster movies taking place in the DMZ, the DMZ is the Demilitarized zone which is the land border between both Koreas and is considered the world most fortified land border. I must say that while watching the movie I couldn’t help but have the feeling that this movie’s director loved the first Predator movie.

The plot goes like this “After the disappearance of a group of Special Forces in the Korean Demilitarized zone the South Korean Military dispatches another unit to learn what has happened to them since the last communication with the Unit was a distress call and a call for reinforcements. If possible they have to rescue their brothers in arms and destroy the hostiles who the South Koreans suspect are from the North. Soon it’s clear that the enemy they will be facing is not human and will even be forced to collaborate with the remnants of a North Korean Unit to fight against it. Meanwhile it’s clear that the South Korean military knows more about this inhuman enemy than they let their men know…”

So know that we have the plot summary out of the way let’s proceed on to the part when I give you my opinion about the movie.

My Opinion: Now I think the premise of this story is rather interesting and this movie had a lot of potential, however I does have some very severe flaws. While the story does a good job at having a decent even if thinking about it right now a little simple mystery it doesn’t do a good job to resolve all the plot points it brings up which for me made the movie feel incomplete, now from the end It’s possible they are probably intending to film a sequel that will eventually resolve these subplots but watching this movie it just feels like an unfinished product with sadly some unnecessary scenes that I guess were a poor attempt at character development.

The kills on this movie are off-camera at first and we kind of see things from the perspective of the monster kind of like in the first predator movie however once the monster is revealed the kills are less than impressive, they are not bad nor ridiculous but they are mostly unimaginative in my opinion, and the predator PoV is cooler than this monster’s PoV. Plus the end twist you kind of see coming once the North and South Korean decide to cooperate and you learn more about the monster.

I must say that I was a little disappointed on the characters on this movie, most of them had only one distinguishable trait or something that could make us care about them and in most cases they kind of tell you and not show you what that is which reduces how much you care about them. This characters didn’t make me feel anything I didn’t care if they lived or died. Hell the most interesting character, has to little screen time and I don’t know if I would consider him a main character.

The Villains, aside from a North Korean general and an north Korean officer who are clearly evil and easy to root against  because they are North Korean in a film from South Korea (even if they don’t have much screentime or development), are the South Korean Top brass, and as much as they act in a despicable manner and while we are supposed to root against them I was more confused by their actions than anything else that’s one of the points the movie doesn’t resolve what do the South Korean know why do they act the way they do sometimes etc. I mean I hoped they didn’t get what they wanted but I also wanted to know what the hell was going on in their minds since some of their objectives were pretty obvious but the reasoning behind them didn’t make sense at all or at least wasn’t explained well enough.

Having said all that the acting was kind of decent and it was clear the actors were trying to do a good job with what they had of course some of the actors performed better than others, I especially liked the way the actor playing the North Korean captain acted in this movie.

The action scenes and the kills, the action scenes were scarce but they weren’t bad, they were decent, the kills like I said when you kind of see the monster are a little disappointing but when the kills are offscreen or the monster just take a soldier away to kill it off-screen that was kind of cool. The Monster when you finally fully see it, doesn’t look all that bad but it’s not as memorable as it could have been. I think their final fight against it is perhaps one of the better scenes of the movie even if a little generic.

So having said all this is Musudan a Five Star Movie? Well I believe it’s pretty obvious that it’s not a Five Star Movie however it’s not a bad movie either. I will the movie this even with all it’s flaws it managed to keep entertained and even a little curious about what was going on and how it all was going to end even if some parts of it frustrated me mostly that it doesn’t resolve some of the plot points and that I believe the characters should have been more interesting or more developed. Is it a bad movie a good movie? I’d say it places itself around the middle just, it’s just a movie and while I’m doubtful about how how many stars to give it, between 2 and 3 Stars I’d give it Three out of Five Stars (but just barely) worth a watch but I don’t think I’d see it again.

Now the trailer (Sadly not subbed) Uploaded to YouTube by 민병석

  • Bulgingsnake

    Bonkers

  • Mr. Perfect

    Does it have any hot Korean chicks? Do they have sex in the movie and cry like little babies?

    • PQG 1991

      Afraid not, you do have a chick who I must admit it’s pretty hot but she only applies make up and lets her hair down a little once… you know to show the audience she is a woman

  • Carolina Alvez

    I love Lee Ji Ah. She is a great actress in her debut movie The First king 4 gods. The problem was the scriptwriters and the directors. For me all characters were great.