Rampant – Review

Now, this is more like it.

Rampant is a film directed by Kim Sung-hoon who previously directed A Wonderful Moment and Confidential Assignment, two films this writer will be looking for in the near future. In Rampant, Kim made an incredible film about zombies, which is referred to as Night Demons.

Our reckless hero is Prince Ganglim played by Hyun Bin (who starred in Kim’s Confidential Assignment) is part of the Joseon dynasty. His older brother was next in line to be king, but after he commits seppuku to attempt to save others from being discovered about a coup. Ganglim returns from China as he was fighting with the Qing dynasty and had spent the last ten years away. He returns home to not only find a group of men with swords who then try to kill him but he also soon finds the already mentioned Night Demons (once again, read: zombies) have destroyed the town.

The action in this film is impeccable. Especially if we are comparing this to Iceman, I had an understanding of where everything was, including the onslaught of zombies that swarmed everywhere. Meanwhile, the King and Ministry of War Kim Ja-Joon are attempting to deal with the aftermath of the attempted coup, but it’s a lot tougher when zombies are roaming around eating and destroying everything and everyone in sight.

In reality, it’s revealed that Kim Ja-Joon had been aware of the Night Demons and could have attempted to save the day, but as he was the one who was also behind the coup, he allowed it to take over. Jang Dong-Gun plays Kim, and while he’s prolific in South Korea, he plays a villain here and tries to showcase a side that hasn’t been shown before, and he is incredible in it. He carries this stoic force of nature to his performance that makes you believe you must go through him before anyone else.

The graphics aren’t always the best, but the action and the choice to focus and pay attention to what’s actually occurring makes up for it. Most action films tend to cut away from moments or not allow their actors to prove they can do what they’re supposed to be doing, not Rampant and I am grateful for that. It makes for a better experience with the film.

The movie runs at 2 hours and while that doesn’t sound like necessarily a long run time, it feels like it. What Kim Sung-hoon does in this film is great and as I previously mentioned, I’m already intrigued to check out what he has in the past and will be seeking them out as soon as I can.

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