The Battleship Island

Watch The Battleship Island

"1945 Hashima. We called it hell on earth."
  • NR
  • 2017
  • 2 hr 12 min
  • 7.1  (8,385)
  • 60

The Battleship Island is a Korean historical action-drama film released in 2017. Directed by Ryoo Seung-wan, the movie stars Hwang Jung-min, So Ji-seob, and Song Joong-ki in the lead roles. Set in 1945 during the Japanese occupation of Korea, the movie highlights the brutal history of the labor camps where thousands of Koreans were forced to work as slave laborers for the Japanese during World War II. The story takes place on the Hashima Island, also known as Battleship Island, where hundreds of Koreans were forcefully recruited to work in the coal mines under extremely inhumane conditions. The island is located off the coast of Nagasaki in Japan, and the forced laborers were not even allowed to leave the island.

The film follows the story of Lee Kang-ok, played by Hwang Jung-min, a Korean man who smuggles himself onto Battleship Island with his daughter So-hee, played by Kim Su-an, in order to rescue his sister, who is working in the coal mines. They meet with a group of Korean independence fighters, who are planning a mass escape from the island. Among them is Park Moo-young, played by So Ji-seob, a mysterious figure who is undercover as a member of the Japanese Army. Song Joong-ki plays the role of Park’s comrade and friend, who helps in the escape plan.

The movie depicts the grim reality of the slave labor camps, where the Korean workers face constant abuse, torture, and exploitation at the hands of the Japanese overseers. The brutal working conditions and the utter disregard for human life and dignity are shown through the ruthless and sadistic actions of the Japanese. The filmmakers have done an excellent job of creating a hauntingly realistic portrayal of life on the island, with dark, gritty cinematography, powerful performances from the cast, and disturbingly accurate depictions of the atrocities committed against the workers.

The movie's theme of personal sacrifice for a greater cause is what sets it apart from other movies in the genre. The central characters, especially Lee Kang-ok and his daughter, embody the spirit of the Korean people and the desire for freedom from oppression. Their love and sacrifice for each other and their country are truly inspiring.

The film also explores the themes of identity and loyalty, particularly through the character of Park Moo-young, who is stuck between his loyalty to Japan and his secret allegiance to the Korean Independence Movement. So Ji-seob’s portrayal of the complex character is one of the highlights of the movie, and his chemistry with Song Joong-ki adds a human touch to the otherwise bleak narrative.

The climactic escape sequence is a thrilling ride that will keep the viewers on the edge of their seats. The brutal fight scenes, explosions, and chases are all executed with precision and skill, ensuring that every moment is high-stakes, emotionally charged, and satisfying.

Overall, The Battleship Island is a powerful and important film that serves as a reminder of the brutal history of Korea under Japanese occupation. The movie is not only a gripping action-drama but also a testament to the perseverance and strength of the human spirit. The talented ensemble cast, the meticulously crafted production design, and the unflinching vision of the director come together to create an unforgettable cinematic experience.

The Battleship Island is a 2017 action movie with a runtime of 2 hours and 12 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.1 and a MetaScore of 60.

The Battleship Island
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 12 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.1  (8,385)
  • Metascore