(This is Take Point film review, which is a 2018 South Korean action drama film tells the story of an alternate reality where a group of mercenaries is infiltrating North Korea to apprehend the Supreme Leader)
Kim Byung Woo is a South Korean director that is famous another movie The Terror Live [더 테러 라이브], which incidentally also stars the same main actor Ha Jung Woo as the lead character. He is yet another very famous actor that rises to stardom with The Chaser [추격자] and also has been involved in many other action drama films that become blockbusters. It also stars Lee Sung Kyun and Jennifer Ehle as supporting characters. Take Point seems to follow a similar formula with The Terror Live, and it aims to depict and balance realism and dramatic moment. It also tries to incorporate the recent real events between the President of the United States and Supreme Leader of North Korea. Could the same formula work twice in a row? Let’s read on the Take Point film review to find out!
When a group of mercenaries that comprises of ‘illegals’ of various countries infiltrates North Korea in order to catch the Supreme Leader, they are instead faced with an ambush from an unknown military. With their hands now between the decision of both the United States and the unknown enemy, could they manage to complete their mission and escape safely?
Take Point Film Review
Alright, I will get straight to the point, the premise is kind of predictable, yet it is also in a mess. Perhaps in an effort to make things seem realistic, the premise is made simple, but also slightly confusing in its direction to portray either more dramatic action moments or on the characters developments. To be fair, infiltrating North Korea to catch its leader is not a very original idea itself, with it being a common premise across many South Korean action films. But I like how most of the scenes are shown on screen from the perspective of cameras and some weird ball-like robot drones. They are able to show a wide view of the situation, and this part makes the film stand out in a way of representation of an infiltration mission that is both slightly futuristic and realistic.
Sadly, Take Point’s take on the premise is nothing special and can be said to be a run of the mill. It strives to maintain that balance but eventually fails to shine on either of them. Pacing wise, I kind of like how the things flow, where it starts slow then towards the end, becomes faster and also more tensing. However, the middle portion can be a bit draggy when the action scenes involving guns are extended to a level where you will feel slightly bored from seeing the same thing for the next 10 minutes.
The characters are the saving grace for the film. Though it is not the best I have seen, it’s also not the worst either. I like how the characters are varied with different nationalities and accents, making the group of ‘illegal’ mercenaries realistic when such is indeed the case with most mercenary groups. We can see the common stereotypes such as African, Mexican and other Baltic Eastern European mercenaries working together to try to accomplish the mission. I like the main character Ahab, which is played by Ha Jung Woo, where he acts as the leader, but his character is not developed too much. We do see some forms of human in him where he tries to get back before his wife gives birth and also aims to save everyone of his teammates without abandoning them. Such scenes are shown time and time again, but when it becomes repetitive, you kind of have to wonder if that’s all you have seen from the man. You would expect a dark past, but would then be disappointed that it’s not really that ‘dark’ or maybe ‘heroic’. Though, it does portray the realism factor where you can’t save everyone in such cases like a typical manga hero. Other characters have some lines but they either die fast or are too shallow in everything else.
Finally, the soundtrack is pretty good, where it induces tension and sets the atmosphere and mood that really makes you engross into the infiltration journey. Each scene that is full of action is made more epic, while the quiet scenes are made to be more dramatic. This is especially so towards the ending where the longest take I have seen of the characters falling from the sky coupled with explosions around them making it the most dramatic part of the films that I like the best. In fact, those scenes are what make this film able to redeem itself and gain more brownie points from me.