(Jung Woo-Sung, Heo Jun-ho, et al / DVD / NR / (2006) 2008 / Genius Products)
Overview: Set in a utopian fantasy world for souls that have passed away long before they are reincarnated, this truly epic film combines romance, fantasy, swordplay and martial arts to choreograph a tale about the ever long struggle between good and evil.
DVD Verdict: The worlds of the living and dead collide in Jo Dong Oh's action fantasy epic 'The Restless.' Presenting harrowing, yet beautiful visions of an ancient reimagined Korea and a timeless purgatory, the film enchants with its sweeping action and romance and aesthetic splendor.
Having previously served as assistant director for Musa, Jo already has experience with period epics, and 'The Restless' surpasses its predecessor in visuals and grandeur, employing state-of-the-art special effects to create majestic landscapes and striking action scenes that earned the film Best Art Direction and Best Visual Effects trophies at the 44th Daejong Film Awards.
Popular television starlet Kim Tae Hee (Love Story in Harvard) makes her feature film debut here alongside Jung Woo Sung (Daisy).
In the waning years of the Shilla Dynasty, the land is ravaged by chaos and violence, as demons roam freely amongst the people. Born with the ability to see ghosts, Yi Kwak (Jung Woo Sung) joins the royal squad to help battle the demons and the corrupt court. A failed coup, however, leaves all the members but Yi Kwak dead. While hiding in a shrine, he happens upon the entrance to mid-heaven, where souls reside for 49 days before reincarnation.
There he meets So Hwa (Kim Tae Hee) who greatly resembles his deceased lover. So Hwa, who guards the gates between the mortal realm and mid-heaven, is thrown into danger when an army of restless spirits attempts to return to the land of the living. Yi Kwak comes to her rescue, only to discover the army is led by his former squad comrades.
In closing, 'The Restless' may not offer much in originality which would make it stand out, it makes the film a little forgettable. On the action-entertainment side of the coin, the film doesn't disappoint. It may be more of an execution of "style over substance," but what a style it is to behold! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.66:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs, and comes with the Special Features of:
Reincarnation for 49 Days Featurette
Production Design Featurette