Volcano High

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"Who is the Best WaSanGo Martial Arts Expert?"
  • PG-13
  • 2003
  • 2 hr
  • 6.0  (3,584)

Volcano High is a 2001 Korean film that merges elements of martial arts, fantasy, and high-school romance. Directed by Kim Tae-gyoon, the movie features a talented cast, including Jang Hyuk, Shin Min-a, and Soo-Ro Kim. The plot follows a 17-year-old boy named Kim Kyung-soo, who possesses supernatural powers and gets expelled from several high schools due to his uncontrollable abilities. Determined to find his place in the world, he enrolls at Volcano High School, a prestigious institution that is run by rival factions of students with diverse powers.

In the opening scene, the audience is introduced to Kyung-soo, who is on the run from a group of menacing teachers who try to capture him for his powers. After some thrilling chases and fights, Kyung-soo ends up in a rundown high school, where he meets a group of students who are also gifted with supernatural abilities. These students belong to different factions, each with their own agenda and power dynamics. The factions are led by Jang Ryang, a stoic and cold-hearted girl who leads the dark side and is determined to conquer the other groups, and Song-ok, a goofy and kind-hearted boy who is the leader of the good side.

Kyung-soo is soon told that he is the key to the legendary Manuscript of the Absolute, a mythical book that contains ultimate knowledge and power. The Manuscript is sought after by both factions, who believe that possessing the book will give them control over the school and the world. As Kyung-soo tries to navigate through the complex web of alliances and rivalries, he also falls in love with the charming and brave Go-bong, a girl from the good side. The two share some poignant moments while trying to maintain a balance between their loyalties and feelings.

The film is notable for its stunning visuals and choreography. The special effects and action scenes are well executed, giving the movie an immersive and dynamic feel. The use of wire work, slow-motion, and CGI is impressive, creating a surreal and fantastical atmosphere. The movie also has a distinctive style, combining traditional Korean clothing and martial arts with a modern twist. The soundtrack features a mix of contemporary and traditional songs that fit well with the movie's theme.

Despite being a martial arts movie, Volcano High also explores some deeper themes, such as the struggle to find one's identity and the consequences of power. Kyung-soo's journey is one of self-discovery, as he learns to control his powers and accept who he is. Through his interaction with the factions, the movie also shows how power can corrupt and divide people, leading to conflicts and chaos. The movie emphasizes the importance of compromise, empathy, and friendship as antidotes to the toxic influence of power.

In conclusion, Volcano High is a visually stunning and thematically rich movie that blends action and romance with metaphysical questions. The cast delivers convincing performances, with Jang Hyuk and Shin Min-a standing out for their nuanced and charismatic acting. The movie has gained a cult following over the years, earning praise for its creativity, humor, and heart. Whether you are a fan of martial arts or simply looking for an entertaining and thought-provoking film, Volcano High is definitely worth checking out.

Volcano High
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.0  (3,584)