When because of a peace treaty North Korea decides to give up the atom
bomb, hot headed patriot Major Kang (Kim Seong-woo) feels devastated ...
and decides to steal a nuclear warhead, plus female nuclear scientist Kim
(Kong Hyo-jin), just to have a specialist at hand. A batallion of South
Korean soldiers under Major Park (Hwang Jeong-min) picks up pursuit almost
immediately though, and the two are fighting it out on sea in rubber
dinghys ... when suddenly a comet stops by and transports Kang and Park
with two soldiers each and Kim back to 1572 - right into a conflict
between Korean peasents and the invading Japanese - which the visitors
from the future can decide for teh Koreans thanks to their fire power. And
thus they are soon dubbed heaven's soldiers.
However, one night
while they are sleeping in some cave, young Lee Soon-shin (Park
Joong-Hoon) steals their weapons and hides them, and when two of the
soldiers try to chase him down, all three are thrown into jail - but for
the others, it's imperative to get them out again since Lee Soon-shin is the
Korean national hero, the man who laterleads the Korean fleet to victory
against the Japanese fleet vastly outnumbering the Korean battleboats.
However, once they have gotten Lee out again, he is nothing like the
national hero our visitors from the future have hoped for but a cynical
thief and ginseng smuggler - in one word, a big disappointment ... and he
won't even tell the soldiers where he has hidden their weapons.
not until The Japanese capture him, torture him and kill a young girl
before his very eyes that Lee's patriotism comes to the fore, and thus
when the soldiers from the future free him (and are also able to retrieve
the nuclear warhead, which somehow got into the hands of the Japanese), he
agrees to help them defend a nearby village under threat of being overrun
by a Japanese army vastly outnumbering the peasents living there, and eh
even returns the weapons to the soldiers from the future.
the soldiers learn that if they want to return to their time (which is
when the comet passes), it has to be before the battle, and they can't let
Lee join the battle either, because he is more than likely to die then and
there and thus couldn't rise to future greatness.
However, after a bit
of to and fro, all the soldiers, North as well as South Koreans, join Lee
in battle, and they all die a hero's death saving Lee's life on numerous
occasions, and only scientist Kim returns to her time with the bomb ...
first, this film seems like G.I.Samurai
all over again - but apart from the same premise, the two films have
little in common, and for the most part, Heaven's Soldiers actually
takes a light-footed, comedic approach to its material, and while it's not
wildly funny, it's at least in spots pretty amusing. Actually, only the
unreflected patriotic subtext seems a little out of place, and actually
annoying, and when it comes to full bloom in the finale, it actually turns
cheesy - but at least, the final battle is incredibly bloody (and not only
for a comedy).
Not a classic, definitely, but entertaining enough to
give it a try ...